Peanut Butter and Strawberry Cookies

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I feel like I haven’t posted a cookie round these parts for some time now, but truth be told…we went on a bit of a chocolate chip cookie bender for a bit and maybe had to slow it down in the ‘zerts department. I mean, when you freeze cookie dough into portions and have them stashed in the freezer, there’s not much stopping you from treating-yo-self nightly to a warm cookie or two. Cookie binge was followed by an ice cream binge…so, we had to take it a little easy on the sugar intake.

Then, I decided to make these cute little numbers because they’ve been knocking around in my brain for days and I just couldn’t ignore them any more. I’m gonna have to unload them on Sean’s office mates or something, because I cannot resist these guys.Even Sean, who claims to hate peanut butter cookies, couldn’t stop eating these. They’re thick and chewy and full of peanut butter flavor with little bits of intense strawberry throughout–like a pb&j in cookie form. These are best served with a tall glass of cold milk–the cow kind or the almond kind, or whatever kind you like. I even had one with horchata. GOOD STUFF. Cookie magic, cue the sparkle emoji!

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Peanut Butter & Strawberry Cookies

Makes about 30 cookies

Adapted from THIS recipe.

1 cup coarsely ground oatmeal, ground in a food processor so there are some large pieces and some powdery bits

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (4 ounces) softened, unsalted butter

2/3 cup peanut butter

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups freeze dried strawberries (plus more for topping)

1 cup peanut butter chips

1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanut

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter together until smooth. Beat in the dark brown sugar until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add the oat and flour mixture, all at once, and beat on low speed until just combined. Fold in the freeze dried strawberries, peanut butter chips, and peanuts until distrubuted evenly throughout the dough.

Using a large cookie scoop (about 2 heaping tablespoons), scoop portions of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing an inch or so apart. Pat down the tops of the cookies using your fingertips or the bottom of a flat glass as these cookies will not really spread. Bake the cookies in the center of the oven for 13-15 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are golden brown when lifted from the baking sheet. While the cookies are still hot, carefully press a slice of freeze dried strawberry onto the top of each cookie. Cool about 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough. [/recipe]

Grilled Chicken Skewers and a Raw Spice Bar Giveaway

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I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but around here the weather has been amazing. Spring has sprung! I love this time of year for a lot of reasons, fresh produce, longer days, warm yet breezy days, and it’s the time of year we start firing up the grill with more frequency. I mentioned last week that we’re building a patio in our backyard for the ultimate lounge/grilling area, but this work-in-progress isn’t stopping me from grilling our dinners outdoors. I love grilling because it tastes great, it’s usually quick, and EASY. I love easy.

Even though I love dinner to be easy, I also love to experiment and try new things…which can be daunting at times, you know? I’ll read a recipe and sometimes shy away from it simply because it calls for a lot of ingredients and spices that I don’t want to commit to or just because I am hesitant to stuff one, or five, more bottles into my already cramped spice cabinet. Enter the genius people at Raw Spice Bar. They offer a subscription service for a mere $6 a month…chump change when you consider sometimes a bottle of a single spice can cost even more than that and will probably end up just expiring in your pantry (no, just me?). In the subscription you get 3-5 freshly ground spice blends from a single geographical region–enough to make about 3 dishes and serve several people–plus recipe cards, and possibly my favorite thing next to the spices, a little note on the spice blends, origins, and history. It feeds the nerd in me.

I really love the idea behind Raw Spice Bar–it satisfies my desire to try new things without the commitment of purchasing lots of stuff that will further clutter the cluster that is my pantry, PLUS it’s totally affordable. I also see this being a great gift and can already think of a few people in my life who would appreciate it.

I collaborated with Raw Spice Bar to bring you a little giveaway, a 3-month trial subscription of their spice boxes, in addition to this recipe using the Advieh Koresht from their Persian Spice Box from March.  I came to love Middle Eastern flavors when I was living in Michigan and these blends did not disappoint. They are so fragrant and flavorful. The Advieh Koresht contains a number of spices–including ROSE PETALS! plus, cinnamon, cardamom, angelica, persian lime powder, coriander, cumin, and black pepper. I paired it with creamy-tangy yogurt, lemon, and garlic in a marinade for chicken skewers that I then grilled. These were so easy to make and absolutely delicious. April’s box was a Japanese theme and I am so excited to try a few recipes with the spice blends.

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below about whatever–springtime, grilling, favorite spices, spice cabinet organizing. Easy, breezy. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only (apologies to my international friends!) and will end Thursday, April 30th.

Raw Spice Bar did provide me with a complimentary sampling of their spices, however I was not further compensated for this post. I just really think it’s a cool concept and wanted to share the giveaway with you all. As always, words and opinions are my own. Thanks, always, for visiting. 

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Grilled Chicken Skewers

2-4 servings

2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks

1/2 cup plain yogurt

2 cloves minced garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons of Advieh Khoresht spice blend (or other spice blend)

kosher salt

1 lemon

5 bamboo skewers soaked for 1 hour (or use metal skewers)

Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and sprinkle lightly with salt.

In another bowl, combine the  yogurt, garlic, Advieh Khoresht, a pinch of salt, and the juice of half of the lemon. Reserve the other half. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture in a small dish and set aside. Pour the remaining yogurt over the chicken and mix to coat the chicken pieces. Let the chicken marinate in the yogurt mixture for at 20 minutes.

Cut the remaining half lemon into think half moons. Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers, alternating with some slices of lemon. Prepare your grill and cook the chicken skewers directly over high heat, 2-3 minutes on all sides, or until the chicken in cooked through. Remove from the grill and allow to rest under a foil tent for 5 minutes before serving. Serve drizzled with the reserved yogurt mixture. [/recipe]

 

 

Recently at Betty’s: Lemon Cheesecake Swirl Blondies

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Lemon Cheesecake Swirl Blondies

Guys, it’s FRIDAY! Which means it’s basically the weekend. Do you have plans? Our plans involve prepping our yard for a patio that we’re going to put in so we can lounge out there all summer in the sunshine whilst drinking dranks and trying to keep Casper from putting gross backyard crud in his mouth. I’m not looking forward to all of this manual labor, but I am looking forward to having a proper place to set up a table and some chairs and getting our lounge on. So, I’ll be reminding myself of this often all this weekend and all subsequent weekends it takes us to accomplish this task. BLERGH.

Anyway, I want to let you know about these Lemon Cheesecake Swirl Blondies I made over on Betty Crocker this week. There’s not much to say except that they are SUPER easy, crowd-pleasing, tangy, sweet, creamy, chewy, and LEMON CHEESECAKE SWIRLED. So, click on over if you’re into that sort of thang and have the most perfect of spring weekends, okay?