Peanut Butter Crumble Brownies

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Things I’ve consistently been craving during this thing called pregnancy: fruit, pizza, and peanut butter.

I mean…not together…ever…and I eat other things as well, but those are the things I keep wanting.  There’s been all the fresh fruit I can get my hands on (Sean always asks me if I’m working on my “night-fruit”, a la Liz Lemon and her “night-cheese”), many pb&j’s, and pizza from our favorite local spot with the best happy hour deal. I’ve been throwing in a lot of kale as well…because balance, right? Truth: a year ago I would not have eaten raw kale salads without the saddest of faces, but lately I’ve been making it at home and ordering a mountain of it when we go to our favorite pizza place.

Anyway, needless to say with peanut butter being one of my main squeezes, my yearly addiction to those damn Reese’s eggs is in extra full-force this year. They taunt me with their perfect peanut-butter-to-chocolate ratio. If you find yourself with a bag, or seven, of those sweet-sweet eggs  and you want to do something with them other than shove them straight into your face (ahem, like me…) you should totes chop a few up and thrown them into some brownie batter. That way, you can pawn them off on your friends, family, coworkers, or any other willing passerby. These brownies not only include those magical eggs, but also a peanut butter crumble on top…because extra peanut buttery goodness is always a good thing.

Peanut Butter Crumble Brownies

Adapted from this (super-old) recipe.

Honestly, you could use any brownie recipe you like here…I wouldn’t even be mad at ya if you used your favorite mix. Just use something good and be sure to make the crumble topping!

for the Peanut Butter Crumble:

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (smooth is fine, too)

4 tablespoons powdered sugar

4 tablespoons flour

tiny grating of nutmeg

for the Brownie Batter:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 heaping cup of chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs or peanut butter chips

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 8×8 inch baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment, leaving an overhang on 2 sides. Secure the overhang with metal binder clips.

In a bowl, combine the peanut butter powdered sugar, flour, and nutmeg in a bowl. Mix together with a fork until a fairly dry crumble forms. Set aside.

In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine the butter, chocolate, and cocoa and stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. When the mixture is still warm, but not super hot, whisk in the sugar, followed by the eggs. After adding the eggs the mixture will be smooth and glossy. Fold in the flour, baking powder, and salt until just combine, then fold in the chopped peanut butter eggs (or peanut butter chips) and spread the batter into the prepared pan. Top the batter evenly with the peanut butter crumble and bake for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownie comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before slicing.

 

No-Bake Rhubarb Cheesecake Parfaits

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I’ll take any excuse to make something delicious and hot pink with rhubarb, especially if that excuse is the celebration of a brand new baby girl who the always awesome Stephanie–aka Girl versus Dough–will be welcoming in just a few short weeks. A whole bunch of bloggers are celebrating Stephanie with a bit of a virtual baby shower–be warned, there are LOTS of delicious links below. If you follow Stephanie’s blog (which you should), then you know she posts beautiful and delicious recipes regularly on her blog–even in the midst of her pregnancy! She’s a champ, really. Plus, if you follow her on Instagram you may have even seen a peak of her adorable bump. I mean, it’s the kind of cute-bump to envy.

So, in celebration of Stephanie and her sweet girl, I made these little parfait cups. This completely no-bake treat combines my favorite springtime fruity-vegetable with a sweet + tangy cream cheese filling and crunchy graham crust layered all pretty-like for a sweet, tart, creamy, crunchy dream of a dessert.

All of that said, Stephanie, we cannot wait for your little one to arrive! She is going to be one lucky little lass with such a beautiful, talented mother to make her treats and love her to pieces! Hurray!!

Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes from Sarcastic Cooking

Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake with Lemon Drizzle from Greens & Chocolate

Super Chewy M&M Blondies from The Realistic Nutritionist

Strawberry Cinnamon Twist Knots from A Kitchen Addiction

Lemon Shortbread with Salted Chocolate Drizzle from The Lemon Bowl

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream from A Zesty Bite

Blackberry and Mango Curd Pie from Joanne Eats Well With Others

Pecan Sticky Buns from Warm Vanilla Sugar

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins from Garnish with Lemon

Chocolate Chip Pancakes from Susie Freaking Homemaker

Super Simple Sugar Cookies from Espresso and Cream

Raspberry Acai Frozen Margarita from Nutmeg Nanny

Berry Coconut Frozen Yogurt from The Law Student’s Wife

Pretty in Pink Buttercream Cups from Keep it Sweet Desserts

Broccoli Salad with Honey Toasted Walnuts from The Roasted Root

Neapolitan Baked Doughnuts from Climbing Grier Mountain

Giant Pink M&M and Raisinette Cookies from Steph’s Bite by Bite

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp from A Cedar Spoon

Freckled Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade from Take a Megabite

Vanilla Anise Cupcakes from Blahnik Baker

Mini Vanilla Bean Layer Cakes from The Baker Chick

Mini Blackberry Hazelnut Meringue Cakes from Eat Your Heart Out

No-Bake Rhubarb Cheesecake Parfaits

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

4-6 servings

This recipe makes extra rhubarb sauce, which is perfect for spooning over plain yogurt or vanilla ice cream.

Rhubarb Sauce:

4 cups chopped rhubarb

2/3 cup raspberries (optional)

2/3-1 cup sugar

juice of 1/2 lemon

Parfaits:

6 graham crackers, ground into crumbs

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

rhubarb sauce

whipped cream for garnish

In a saucepan combine the rhubarb, raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the fruit releases it’s juices. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the stove, cool, and store in a jar in the fridge until ready to use.

In a bowl mix together the graham crumbs and coconut oil until well combined. In another bowl, mix together the cream cheese, yogurt, and sweetened condensed milk. Layer graham cracker crust into the bottom of 4-6 glasses or jars, followed by the cream cheese mixture, and finally as much rhubarb sauce as you like. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Super Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This post is a little different, as I developed this recipe as a collaboration with my old high school. I was contacted by a lovely woman named Garney, who works at the high school I went to, about a career board display she and some yearbook students were working on themed “Oh, the places you’ll go…” and they thought that this whole blogging and recipe-makin’ thing I do was interesting. The display went live today…and, seriously, who would have thought!? Especially among people who have become lawyers or are headed for medical school. Definitely not too-cool-for-high-school me. I went to a teeny high school, ECHS, in a speck of a town in the middle of Nevada. When I mean teeny, I mean my graduating class had 21 students in it. I did yearbook, the school newspaper, was a cheerleader, and worked at the community pool as a lifeguard. I was not cool at all and was a total awkward-weirdo…and I mean, I kinda still am, I’ve just embraced it. My favorite things to do included writing super-inaccurate-yet-fun horoscopes for the newspaper and using deadlines as an excuse to cut-out on PE, doing photo layouts for the yearbook, as a cheerleader I loved making huge hand-lettered signs for games, and working at the pool was pretty fun since a lot of my friends worked there too. Like many high-school kids, my free time was super important to me and I could often be found hanging out with my pals, driving around aimlessly, and drinking cherry-diet-pepsi’s from the drive-in. I also spent a lot of that free time baking cookies (or boxed cakes or making magazine collages) whilst chit-chatting with my girlfriends. Though I never Instagram-ed or took phone pictures of those cookies since I only had a cell phone my senior year, had about 4 numbers in it, and it was a huge, red, Nokia-brick with a pull-out antennae…no camera in sight.

Truth be told, whenever I made chocolate chip cookies, I would always make the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag. Sometimes I would add some huge scoops of peanut butter to the dough, sometimes I’d add walnuts, I almost never measured as carefully as I do now, but basically, I never deviated from that classic recipe. Now that I bake much more and many more things, I have tried many a cookie recipe and I think these chocolate chip cookies may be my favorite yet. They are super soft, tender, a little thick–which is how I love my chocolate chip cookies–and packed with lots of dark chocolate. There’s cream cheese in this dough, which adds to the tenderness, as well as contributing a pleasant tang to the buttery, toffee-like flavor of the dough. These cookies don’t bake up flat, but pleasantly domed with a little chewy edge with soft middles. In my opinion they are pretty much perfect and definitely worth trying out…because, honestly, there are never too many chocolate chip cookie recipes in the world.

Some things I did not know about baking in high school that will save you from a broken-cookie heart:

Baking powder is not the same as baking soda. Baking powder has baking soda plus an acid added to it to create the lift necessary in this recipe. Science!

Don’t forget the salt! I used to think it was okay to just leave salt out of baked goods. Don’t be teen-me! Salt makes all sweet things sing. For most purposes, I use kosher salt, but sea salt is nice too.

Parchment paper and waxed paper are not one in the same. Parchment is coated with silicone which ensures your baked goods will not stick and will also hold up to heat…waxed paper is coated with wax, will not ensure that you baked goods do not stick, isn’t meant to be heated (because wax melts!), and will just break your cookie-lovin’ heart.

Beating the butter, cream cheese, and sugars until fluffy will just whip air into your cookie, making it dry and crumbly, instead of soft and tender.

Super Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

The addition of cream cheese in these cookies makes them extra tender and soft, as well as adding a little bit of tang.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 sticks butter

1/3 cup whipped cream cheese

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

Sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl using a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, and both sugars together until just combined, but not fluffy.  Scrape the bowl and add the eggs and vanilla, mix to combine completely. Add the flour mixture you set aside earlier and mix until combined, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and continue to mix until everything is just mixed together, but well blended. Fold in the chocolate chips and place the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 30, up to overnight. Using a cookie scoop or 2-3 heaping tablespoons, scoop dough into balls and place onto a baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.