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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We love making muffins at my house, and this recipe is completely simple. With only 109 calories and 3.5 grams of fat per serving, you won’t feel guilty eating these muffins. The combination of rapspberry and almond go so well together, but for those of you who prefer blueberries, feel free to substitute blueberry preserves. 


Raspberry Almond Mini-Muffins

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Yield: 24 muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter or margarine

2/3 cup milk

1 egg

3/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup raspberry preserves

Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in Classic Batter Bowl. Stir melted butter, milk, egg and almond extract into dry ingredients, mixing until well combined.

2.  Spray Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan with nonstick cooking spray. Fill prepared muffin cups using Medium Scoop (1 scoop per muffin cup). Press approximately 1/2 teaspoon raspberry preserves into top of muffin batter. Gently fold batter over most of preserves.

3.  Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown or Cake Tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Carefully remove from pan; serve warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with powdered sugar using Flour/Sugar Shaker, if desired.

Banana-Apricot Bread from Real Simple

I love to make quick bread, which in food terms, means “bread that is quick to make because it requires no kneading or rising time”. And whether you have 3 kids or not, time is everything. Using dried apricots and bananas creates a wonderful flavor combination. You can also add red or golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries and flaked coconut if you wish. I like it how it is below, and it’s perfect to have on hand for the weekend (except for the fact that it goes so fast). Please share with me some of your favorite quick bread recipes when you get some open time. Thanks, Alison

 

Apricot-Banana Bread

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

3  cups all-purpose flour

1  cup  granulated sugar

2  teaspoons baking powder

1  teaspoon baking soda

1  teaspoon ground cinnamon

4  tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1  cup chopped dried apricots

1/2  cup chopped pecans (optional)

2  large, very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

1  cup nonfat buttermilk

2  eggs, beaten

Preparation

1. Heat oven to 350º F. Lightly coat a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan with vegetable cooking spray. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like coarse crumbs. Mix in apricots and pecans, if desired. Stir in the bananas, buttermilk, and eggs until well blended. Pour into pan.

2. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack.

Healthy Organic Trail Mix

February 18, 2009

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When I am on the go (which is all of the time), I like a quick healthy snack. This trail mix is perfect because it has the combination of a sweet and salty crunch made with some of my favorite ingredients. Today, I am taping 4 different cooking segments for a new local NBC show, “Daytime Alabama”. I can’t begin to explain what it’s like to prepare for 4 different cooking shows (I thought 1 show was difficult). Don’t get me wrong, it’s really fun. I would like to give thanks to my friend Alacia who helped me prepare for these television segments. 

 

Organic Trail Mix

Prep: 5 minutes

Yield:  6 cups

Ingredients

21/2 cups Oatmeal Squares

2 cups granola

1 cup peanut-butter filled pretzels

2 (10-ounce) package Harvest blend trail mix (I used Back to Nature)

1 (5.2-ounce) dried strawberries

1 (5.2-ounce) dried blueberries

1 (8.3-ounce) yogurt covered raisins

Preparation

1. Combine all ingredients in a airtight container and store at room temperature.

Fans of Ingredients, Inc.

February 15, 2009

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Who would have thought it? http://www.ingredientsinc.net has a fan club on facebook! I really appreciate it, and I am amazed that in just a few weeks over 420 people have joined from all over the U.S, Australia and the Phillipines! I have been receiving so many phone calls and emails from friends and new friends about my blog.


It’s really funny. I started the blog because I had so many recipes in my files that I developed over the past 10 years, and I thought, why not share them with others? I’m also in the kitchen all of the time cooking for 3 kids, and I thought I could help others in a hurry get healthy food on the table fast. And, I hoped working on the blog would increase my photography skills, prop styling skills, food styling and writing skills. I just never imagined that I would have such a great response and that I would, or could, have created 9 television tapes in 2 months because of it. I have to admit…it’s hard work and very time-consuming. Ask any of my family members….I hope I can continue to create great content and to get the great response that you have given me.


Thanks again to the “fans”, and if you’re on facebook, I hope you will take a moment to join the club on facebook and subscribe to receive daily e-mails in the upper right hand side on my blog.  Please continue to pass the blog along to your friends and family members. Best, Alison

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It’s amazing to have all the great response from friends and fans of my blog. I really appreciate it, and I am so glad that so many kids, high schoolers and college students who have tried my recipes. Today, I thank Jackson, a 12-year-old friend of my son’s, who took time to write a comment on my blog. With that in mind, I decided to share a breakfast treat and snack that’s very popular at my home with my 3 children. With only 170 calories and 4 grams of fat, you won’t feel guilty eating homemade blueberry muffins. These are super easy to make, and the touch of oats, buttermilk and cinnamon give them a wonderful flavor and texture without adding any oil.  

 

Low-Fat Blueberry Muffins

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Yield: 15 servings

Ingredients

1/4  cup regular oats

2  tablespoons brown sugar

1  teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

1/4  cup  butter, softened

1  cup  granulated sugar

1/2  cup  egg substitute

1  teaspoon  vanilla extract

2  cups all-purpose flour

1  teaspoon  baking soda

1/2  teaspoon  baking powder

1/2  teaspoon  salt

1 1/4  cups  fat-free buttermilk

1  cup  fresh blueberries

Vegetable cooking spray

Preparation

1. Stir together oats, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; set aside.

2. Beat butter and granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg substitute, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla.

3. Combine all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, ending with flour mixture. Gently stir in blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin pans coated with cooking spray, filling two-thirds full. Sprinkle evenly with oat mixture.

4. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are golden. Cool muffins in pans 5 minutes; remove from pans, and cool on wire racks.