PB & Chocolate Pan Cookie from Southern Living

For those who know me, and I mean, really know me, they know that I am a peanut butter lover. I am even a bigger fan of peanut butter and chocolate. This mixture of dark chocolate, chunky peanut butter and baking mix makes a rich, crusty cookie that is simple and divine. This recipe is perfect when you’re in a hurry or need to make something quick and easy for a party, bake sale or just to wow the kids after school.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook 25 minutes

Yield: Makes about 24 pieces

Ingredients

3/4  cup  chunky peanut butter

2  large eggs

1  teaspoon  vanilla extract

1  cup  firmly packed light brown sugar

2  cups  all-purpose baking mix

1  (12-ounce) package dark chocolate morsels, divided

Preparation

1. Stir together peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla in large bowl.

2. Stir in brown sugar until combined. Add baking mix and 3/4 cup dark chocolate morsels, stirring just until moistened. Spread mixture in a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan.

3. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate morsels; let stand 5 minutes or until chocolate melts. Spread melted chocolate evenly over top. Cut into triangles, bars, or squares.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Bisquick All-Purpose Baking Mix and Hershey’s Special Dark Chips.

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Warm Fudge-Filled Cheesecake from Southern Living

Okay, yes, my birthday is today so deciding what to put up on the blog was tricky. I tried to think what are some of my favorite desserts? Coconut cake, carrot cake, chocolate cake and any peanut butter treats come to mind. I even thought, maybe a cupcake or a chocolate chip cookie, hmm. Well, after much debate, I remembered one of my all-time favorite cheesecake recipes from when I still worked at Southern Living. This version is awesome! The hint of pistachios makes it really special, and I’m a semisweet chocolate lover for sure. Enjoy this recipe for years to come for your celebrations.

 

Warm Chocolate Cheesecake

Prep: 25 minutes

Cook: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

1/2  cup  butter or margarine, softened

1/3  cup  sugar

1  cup  all-purpose flour

1  tablespoon  vanilla, divided

2/3  cup  chopped pistachios

4  (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 1/2  cups  sugar

4  large eggs

1  (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate mini-morsels

Sweetened whipped cream (optional)

Garnish: chocolate shavings

Preparation

1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add 1/3 cup sugar, beating well. Gradually add flour, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and pistachios. Press into bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

2. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

3. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla. (Do not overmix.)

3. Pour half of batter into crust; sprinkle with chocolate morsels to within 3/4 inch of edge. Pour in remaining batter, starting at outer edge and working toward center. Place cheesecake on a baking sheet.

5. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until set. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour. Serve slightly warm with sweetened whipped cream, if desired. Garnish, if desired.

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With just 4 ingredients and about 20 minutes, you can prepare these homemade candies for your favorite Valentine. These are so easy and fabulous! Be sure to butter the pans good to prevent sticking and use wax paper after the candy has been dipped in chocolate. They disappeared in a matter of minutes at my house so I hope you will love them too! Also, thanks to http://www.tipnut.com for recommending my Valentine ideas.

 

Chocolate-Dipped Caramels

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

Yield: 24 candies

Ingredients

1 (14-ounce) package caramels, unwrapped

2 tablespoons skim milk

2 cups chopped pecans

1 cup semisweet chocolate

Preparation

1. Combine caramels and milk in a heavy saucepan; cook mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Stir in pecans, and drip by tablespoonfuls onto buttered baking sheets. Let stand until firm.

2. Microwave chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring once.

3. Dip caramel candies into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip; place on wax paper. let stand until firm.

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Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I have 3 children, I am always trying to come up with something clever and sweet. Their school has Valentine class parties, and I have an easy idea that is sure to be a hit. Start with a large waffle cone that can be found in any grocery store and simply coat it in chocolate. Fill with your favorite candy for a colorful, fun presentation. These can be made up to 5 days ahead stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also fill these with your favorite ice cream topped with Valentine candy.

 

Chocolate-Laced Waffle Cones

For a simpler version of the chocolate mixture, use 1 (7-ounce) container microwavable Baker’s Dipping Chocolate.

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 2 minutes

Yield: 8 cones

Ingredients

6 to 8 large waffle cones

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet morsels

1 tablespoon milk

Milk chocolate pieces, solid white chocolate and milk chocolate pieces (kisses and hugs), candy hearts, chocolate hearts

Preparation

1. Place waffle cone, pointed end up on a baking sheet covered with wax paper. Combine chocolate and milk in top of  stove in a double boiler; bring water to a boil; reduce heat to low; cook until chocolate is melted, stirring frequently. (You can also microwave chocolate and milk in a microwave-safe dish 1 minute on HIGH or until melted.)

2. Slowly spoon chocolate over cone coating evenly. Let stand 20 minutes or until chocolate is set. Repeat with remaining cones. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, fill cones with your favorite Valentine Candy.

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Every year, peppermint bark is a holiday hit! My friend and neighbor, Kathy, said she was searching for a wonderful peppermint bark recipe, and since one of my favorite parts of being a Food Consultant for magazines and Food companies is recipe development, I made it my mission to help Kathy out. This recipe is simple to prepare and tastes great. I crushed my candy canes in the food processor to save time and went a little overboard, so I ended up with peppermint snow (as my kids called it-and that’s just how they liked it, by the way). Feel free to chop them more or less, depending how you like it. I used Nestle white and semisweet morsels, but I recommend using a quality chocolate such as ghiradelli (you can also use dark chocolate, if you prefer). Be sure to refrigerate the bark and keep it stored in the refrigerator for optimal results. It will keep for up to 1 month.


Peppermint Bark

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 4 minutes

Yield: 2 pounds

Ingredients

1 (8-ounce) package candy cane

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet morsels or baking dark chocolate

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Cooking spray

1 (12-ounce) package white chocolate morsels or baking white chocolate

Preparation

1. Place candy canes in a food processor and process until crushed or in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.

2. Melt semisweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl 1 to 2 minutes on HIGH until melted, stirring once. Add peppermint extract, stirring well. Spread evenly on a large 12-x 16-inch baking sheet covered with parchment paper; spray with cooking spray. Place chocolate mixture in refrigerator for up to one hour to set.

3. Melt white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl 1 to 2 minutes on HIGH until melted, stirring once. Spread over semisweet chocolate and top evenly with crushed candy canes. Refrigerate 1 more hour or until set. Break into pieces and give as gifts.