Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies {Secret Recipe Club}

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Do you know that there are places in the world that just don’t do chocolate and peanut butter together?

I know. It’s so sad.

(On this side of the world, my father-in-law also believes the two ne’er shall meet. I just don’t get it, dude.)

I am glad most people around these parts appreciate the magical duo. (These Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting got SCARFED down by the dorm boys, y’all. Have I mentioned that they were incredibly good?)

Sorry, I got sidetracked thinking about that yummyness. This month I came really close to backing out of my Secret Recipe Club reveal. I left it until kind of late, and then I came down with strep throat. And I was a feverish, icky mess!

But then I went back and looked and saw my assigned blog was Sweet as Sugar Cookies. Like me, Lisa’s been in the Club since its inception. I couldn’t NOT make something from her blog! Also like me, Lisa is mostly a baker. Her blog is full of delicious muffins, pastries, cakes, bars, cookies, and any other kind of sweet you can think of.

I actually made Lisa’s Strawberry Lemonade muffins first. They were incredibly delicious, but I didn’t feel like mine turned out very picturesque. So I had to make these cookies instead. It’s a tough life.

IMG_4024

These brownie-like cookies have chocolate and peanut butter, and then some more chocolate and peanut butter thrown in with the Reese’s pieces. I had those on hand, but using peanut butter M&Ms like Lisa did sounds divine as well.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Yield: about 4 dozen cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Slightly adapted from Sweet as Sugar Cookies, these cookies are rich as brownies and enhanced by peanut butter in the batter as well as the candies.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 1 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. mini or regular Reese's pieces, or peanut butter M&Ms

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

Using a mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar. On low speed, add peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla and mix until uniform, scraping the sides of the bowl.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir or mix on low until incorporated. Batter will be thick.

Fold in candies.

Scoop by rounded spoonfuls (or use a small cookie scoop) onto lined baking sheets. Bake cookies 9-11 minutes. They will still be soft in the middle but crisper on the edges. Let cool on sheets for a few minutes before moving to cooling racks.

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Do you like chocolate and peanut butter together?


Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

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Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting via jessieweaver.net

When I’ve had a long day … I bake. The best part about being on-campus, in a dorm full of high-school boys, has been the ability to bake without having to eat all the end results. I bake, and then I let Mr. V take the goodies down to the dorm boys. They are happy. I am happy because my kids aren’t asking for cookies every three minutes. My belly is happy because I don’t gain 300 more pounds.

These cupcakes were last night’s creation, inspired by a bunch of ripe bananas on the counter. The rest will go in the freezer for smoothies, but I used two bananas making this awesome cake. I might maybe have been eating the little leftover batter with a spoon. I just love peanut butter and bananas together, so I went for that combo. And with chocolate? A total winner.

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting via jessieweaver.net

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 24-32 cupcakes

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

This wonderful chocolate banana cake recipe comes from Joy of Baking. You can also make it in a 9x13 pan and bake 35-40 minutes. Together with the peanut butter frosting, these cupcakes are the perfect balance of sweet, salty, rich, and light.

Ingredients

  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium, ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. flavorless oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 T butter, softened
  • 1 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3-4 c. powdered sugar
  • Optional
  • chopped peanut butter cups

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with liners - I use silicone ones. Spray liners with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla.

Add wet ingredients to dry ones and stir until well incorporated.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. (I made 30 cupcakes with a little batter left over, but the silicone cups make pretty small cupcakes.) Reduce oven heat to 325.

Bake about 22 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool.

For the frosting.

With an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, butter, peanut butter, and vanilla until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat about 2 minutes, scraping the sides. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes. Garnish with chopped peanut butter cups if desired.

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What’s your favorite recipe for using up ripe bananas?

Crumby Banana Muffins

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banana muffins

I’m trying to start the morning out right. I’ve done my Bible study, savoring the last week of A Woman’s Heart during this Holy Week. I’ve thrown a load of laundry in the washer, started the coffee, and shoved in my contacts, thrown on yoga pants. (It’s an at-home day. I’ll change later … this afternoon.)

I know the first words out of their mouths every morning – “Mommy, I’m hungry! Can I have somefing to eat?” If I’m lucky, I’ll have ‘somefing’ ready before Libbie starts looting in the pantry and decides she will eat pretzels for breakfast.

Before they even woke this morning (albeit wiped out from travel, they slept a little late … and by that I mean until 7:20), I started muffins. Trying to beat them at their own game. Trying to be Mother.

I’ve had a kind of abysmal parenting day so far. But at least I gave them muffins. And they were good.

Crumby Banana Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Crumby Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking power
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Crumb Topping
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T cold butter

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.

Make streusel topping in a bowl. With a fork mix together 1/4 c. flour, 1/4 c. brown sugar, and cinnamon until well-combined. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until it is coarse crumbs. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk egg, milk, and butter together; add banana and mash together.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.

Divide among 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with about 1 T of streusel.

Bake about 20-22 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

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S’mores Cookie Cups {Secret Recipe Club}

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S'Mores Cookie Cups

Welcome to this month’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club. Did you know I’ve been making recipes with the SRC since June 2011, almost three years ago? I’ve only missed one month in all that time, too! You can see all my Secret Recipe Club reveals here. (I just browsed back through my last few and oh man … I totally want Oxtail Stew again.)

My assigned blog for this month was Things I Make (for Dinner). This is only Sarah’s second month in the SRC. Welcome to the party, Sarah! Hope you’re enjoying it!

Sarah is a married woman, enjoying life with her husband in Ontario, Canada. She loves to cook in what little time she has and shared recipes from many different sources – but especially loves Everyday Food, from what I could tell on her site!

smores cups

 

I needed a dessert recipe for an Easter celebration at church, so I made these S’Mores Cookies, but with my own little twist on them. I was having a harder time getting my dough to stick together, so I shoved it into mini-muffin cups and stuck the chocolate inside. I didn’t use enough chocolate, though – so use bigger chocolate chips or a more generous portion than shown here. I’ll admit I had a late start this month so I didn’t get a chance to re-make the recipe like I would have liked to.

Mr. V tested these warm from the oven, though, and really liked them. With the addition of a little more chocolate (my fault totally, not Sarah’s!) they will be perfect party bites! Or go ahead and make the cookies as Sarah shows on her site.

S’Mores Cookie Cups

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: about 36 mini-muffin cups

S’Mores Cookie Cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • about 1/2 c. chocolate chips or chunks
  • 12 large marshmallows, cut into thirds with kitchen shears

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F.

Pulse oats in a food processor until they are fine. Add flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; pulse to mix.

With a mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until yellow and fluffy. Add egg and beat, scraping sides. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low speed, until combined. You may need to mix by hand for a few minutes to get the batter to come together. It will be very thick.

Spray a mini-muffin tin with cooking spray. (I love my silicone muffin pan!) Drop about 1 Tablespoon of dough into each muffin cup. Press it down into the cup; then make a deep indention with your finger. Sprinkle chocolate chips or chunks into the indention.

Bake at 350 for about 14 minutes, until tops begin to brown.

Turn oven to broil.

Top each muffin cup with one-third of a marshmallow. Broil until lightly brown - watching constantly. This only took about 45 seconds for me.

Let cool in pan at least 5 minutes, then remove to a rack. Best eaten warm!

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THE Cheesy Meatloaf Recipe

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World's Best Cheesy Meatloaf

There are very few recipes from his mom that my husband insists I make and make it THAT WAY. Number One: Pumpkin cookies. Number two: Summer Bow-ties. Number three: Meatloaf. For Mr. V (yes you all know our last name now but I still don’t want his student to be able to Google him), thou shalt not make the meatloaf without cheese. It shall not have ketchup, nor shall you insert an herb of any kind. ONLY THIS WILL DO.

I won’t tell anyone if you adjust this to your tastes. I’ve actually made a non-cheesy version into Meatloaf Muffins when I was eating dairy-free because of nurslings, and then I used Dijon mustard and thyme. But really, if you use a nice, very sharp cheddar, the meatloaf has plenty of flavor.

My husband gets so excited when I make meatloaf it’s ridiculous. I make it pretty much every time we’re on break and the dining hall is closed. And thankfully, since it’s covered with cheese, the kids will eat it, too! They don’t know they are supposed to hate meatloaf.

THE Cheesy Meatloaf

THE Cheesy Meatloaf Recipe

Yield: 6 servings

THE Cheesy Meatloaf Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce, divided
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 to 1 1/4 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F.

Whisk together egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Mix in ground beef, then oats. Press into a large rectangle on a piece of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese.

Use the aluminum foil to roll the meat into a pinwheel. Push in the ends to seal somewhat, then turn over the loaf into a greased loaf pan.

Bake 50 minutes at 350F. Remove from oven, pour over remaining tomato sauce. Bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover loosely with foil tent and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

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Gluten Free Recipe Roundup via Musings of a Housewife

Do you like meatloaf? What’s your favorite recipe for it? I love this, and I also love the grilled meatloaf at Logan’s. Yummmm.

Vanilla Baked Donuts (Secret Recipe Club)

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Vanilla Baked Donuts for Spring

 

Don’t you LOVE all the Springtime colors there? We’ve been having some beautiful Spring weather lately. It makes me feel kind of bad when I know there are others still covered in snow. But they’ll have their day when we are roasting in the 105 degree weather this summer, right?

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned The Weekend Gourmet. Wendy is a Texan with a passion for sharing about good food, wine, restaurants, and brands she loves. I was tempted by several of her recipes, including Apple Dutch Babies with Currants and Almonds and Margarita Chicken Tacos. But in the end I decided these donuts would make a fun Saturday morning breakfast.

I’ve made baked donuts from time to time since Alli-N-Son introduced them to me and I bought the Wilton donut pan.

Sidenote #1: They have a heart donut pan now! It’s soooo cute! And $5!

Sidenote #2: Allison posted about those donuts on March 10. Amazon tells me I bought my pan on March 20. I am easily influenced. Behold the power of bloggers.

Baked Donuts

So although I’ve made baked donuts a lot, I’ve never posted about them here, and I thought it was about time I did! Wendy provided this tasty recipe that made wonderful, cinnamony donuts of perfect consistency. Baked donuts aren’t as dense as the ones you get at Dunkin, but they are still delicious and a great treat – especially with icing and sprinkles. My kids thought they had gone to Breakfast Heaven.

Iced Vanilla Baked Donuts

Yield: 12 donuts

Iced Vanilla Baked Donuts

Recipe sourced from The Weekend Gourmet. Wendy's original recipe made six donuts but a ton of icing, so I've doubled the donut recipe for you here. You're going to want to make at least twelve, anyway.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 c. cake flour (I used this tutorial from Joy the Baker to make mine from regular AP flour)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 T vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • Icing
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Sprinkles, sugars, or other decorations

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

Melt butter in a large measuring cup. Add milk and lemon juice to butter and stir. (You can use buttermilk instead of milk & lemon juice if you have it.)

Add milk mixture, vanilla, and eggs to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Spoon donut batter into a greased donut pan, filling each cavity 2/3 full.

Bake in preheated oven about 6 minutes, until donuts spring back when you touch them. Let cool 3 minutes or so.

While donuts cool, mix 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla together in a bowl. Whisk in powdered sugar until the mixture is thick but still pourable (about 3 cups). Whisk in 1/4 teaspoon salt so it won't be so sweet your teeth hurt.

Dip the tops of the donuts into the icing, then place on parchment paper. Sprinkle with desired decorations (sprinkles, sugars, chopped-up jellybeans, whatever!).

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