Peanut Butter Cake Bars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Bars

Does anyone recall my love for Jif Whips? I made this Whipped Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting and immediately posted it the following day. Jif Whips are what I call a “yellow light food”- which means I need to approach it cautiously, because overindulgence is absolutely going to happen. So I first used it in a frosting and now I am using it for a Peanut Butter Cake Bar.

I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, Dorothy at Crazy For Crust. She did a brownie version of this bar. I changed it up using a cake mix base, added some Jif Whips and used crumbled brownies on top. The crumbled brownies were really just a way for me to allow myself to finish the brownies left over from the previous project. There is no guilt in eating brownies that are baked into a cake bar, trust me! Head over to My Cooking Spot for the recipe!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Bars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Magic Bars

For more peanut butter goodness you might like:

Whipped Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

No-Bake Mini Salted Caramel Ice Cream Brownies

No-Bake Mini Salted Caramel Ice Cream Brownies

I mentioned on Monday that I am on vacation at the lake for a week, and it is friggin’ hot! The area where I live is somewhat coastal, so it gets warm but not unbearable. The weather here is in the high 90s. I know everyone in inland California, Arizona, Texas and other part of the US are rolling their eyes right now, but seriously, I am not used to this and I don’t know how you deal with it! Thank god I can just jump in the lake at any given time during the day.  So there will be very little baking going on while I am on vacation. Grilling? Sure, all day long, but I am NOT turning on the oven. Therefore, desserts will be of the no-bake variety. I guess it helps that we can hop in the boat and cross the lake for some frozen mud pie!

How about these No-Bake Mini Salted Caramel Ice Cream Brownies? They couldn’t be easier to prepare. I used a container of store-bought brownies, some Haagen-Dazs Sea Salt Caramel Gelato and homemade whipped cream. These mini ice cream brownies are the perfect little snack. I usually feel less guilty when I eat things in smaller portions, until I eat 3 or 4 of them. Oops. Anyway, I am totally head over heels in LOVE with this Sea Salt Caramel Gelato ice cream. I am not usually a salted caramel type of person, but I could eat a pint of this ice cream about as fast as I could down a pint of Ben and Jerrys.

No-Bake Mini Salted Caramel Ice Cream Brownies Continue reading

Espresso Chip Cookie Dough Bars

Espresso Chip Cookie Dough Bars

A few weeks back, my mom and I went on a bakery tour in Austin when I was there for the BlogHer Food conference. One of the bakeries I went to was called Delish and they had a fabulous millionaire bar. The bar consisted of a shortbread crust layered with cookie dough, caramel and chocolate. As soon as I tasted it, I knew I wanted to make my own version at home. I had a few leftover boxes of Walkers Shortbread Cookies so it was the perfect opportunity to try something.

Espresso Chip Cookie Dough Bars

My version of the “millionaire bar” has a shortbread crust, made with a mixture of Walkers Shortbread cookies, and is layered with espresso chip cookie dough then topped with an espresso infused chocolate ganache. Continue reading

Sweet and Salty Junkyard Brownies

Caramel brownies

Who’s ready for some more chocolate? I am so good during the day while I am at work (most of the time), but I get home and I just need something sweet. Yesterday, my second reminder to “get my butt in shape” popped up on my iPhone; I set them for myself in January. Yet, I traded in my workout shoes for one of these Sweet and Salty Junkyard Brownies.

A couple of months ago while browsing through my favorite Wholefoods ever, I spotted some ridiculously amazing looking brownies topped with all sorts of salty snacks. I could see the caramel oozing out the sides and knew I was going to have to make them at home.

caramel brownies

These are really quite simple. I used a boxed mix of brownies and added some Hersey’s baking melts for added chocolate, because nothing goes better with chocolate than more chocolate. I smothered my brownie in caramel sauce and then topped it with pretzels, crushed cashews and caramel popcorn. Continue reading

Mint Chocolate Brownies

When I was only four years old, we relocated from Wisconsin to Vermont, where I grew up until after I graduated college.  Some of the kids I graduated high school with, I have known since pre-school. Several years after we moved to Vermont, a few mothers in my 2nd grade class got together to a organize a holiday cookie exchange. Twenty years later, it is still going on with most of the original moms and some new ones we have met along the way.

When I was little, I looked forward to the cookie exchange every Christmas. It meant a few things for me. I got to help my mom bake cookies and I had an excuse to see my friends on a school night. Plus I got to eat lots and lots of delicious homemade cookies. This year was the 20th anniversary of my Mom’s cookie exchange.

Chocolaty goodness

I thought it would be fun for my Mom and I to each make a recipe of her mother’s Mint Frosted Brownies on the weekend of the cookie exchange. Even though I am 3000 miles away, we constantly swap cooking advice, especially around this time of year. How do I make that again? These mint frosted brownies were one of my absolute favorite Christmas cookies that my grandmother used to make; I swear, this is how I became hooked on mint chocolate. Well Grandma’s recipe is true to it’s taste, the same way it was when I was a child.

Continue reading