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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Coming up with five ingredient recipes can be really challenging as a Recipe Developer, especially when it comes to desserts. I love warm desserts such as cobblers and crisps. A crisp is a dessert of fruit that is topped with a crumbly pastry mixture, usually oats, brown sugar and butter. Using low-fat granola is a great way to cut down on the amount of ingredients. This recipe is very simple, low-fat, great for kids, and it works well in individual baking dishes, such as this clover for St. Patrick’s Day. 

 

Pear-Cranberry Crisp

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

4 very ripe pears such as Bartlett, Anjou, or Seckel pears, peeled, cored, and chopped  

1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries

1/21 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup low-fat granola (I used Udi’s original)

Preparation

1. Saute pears over medium heat in a large saute pan coated with cooking spray  7 to 9 minutes or until slightly softened; stir in cinnamon.

2. Transfer to a lightly greased 11/2-quart baking dish. Stir in cranberries and honey, stirring well.  Bake at 375F 20 to 25 minutes. Top with granola and cook 5 to 10 minutes more or until granola is lightly browned.

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.

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A friend of mine requested more side dish options, so here’s one that’s hard to beat. If you love spinach dip, spinach casserole, or spinach period, you will love this low-fat, simple side dish prepared in muffin cups. The most difficult part of this recipe is draining the spinach, and anyone can do that. And, if you’re trying to eat low-carb or are on Weight Watchers, this recipe is really great for you. Serve these for a breakfast, brunch or with steak, pork, chicken or fish for a comforting side dish that tastes as good as it looks.

 

Crustless Spinach Tarts

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Yield:  6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

1 (16-ounce) package frozen spinach

3 egg whites

11/2 cups (12-ounce) 2% cottage cheese

1 cup low-fat finely shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup shredded or freshly grated Parmesan 

Preparation

1. Cook spinach in microwave; drain well. 

2. In a separate bowl, combine egg whites and next 2 ingredients; stir in spinach. Pour mixture into lightly greased muffin pans. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over tops. Bake at 400F for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned.