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.

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.

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.

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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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This three ingredient recipe was one I made for Christmas, but since there are so many white chocolate fans, I thought I would feature it again for Valentine’s Day. It’s so easy, quick and delicious. It also can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. I used Nestle semisweet morsels, and it worked great! Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy!

 

Dried Cherry and Pistachio Bark

Feel free to double or triple this recipe.

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 1 minute

Yield: 11/2 pound

Ingredients

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

1 cup pistachio nuts, shells removed and toasted

1 cup dried cherries or cranberries

Preparation

1. Place white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, covered with wax paper on HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Add pistachios and cherries, stirring well. Spread on large baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

2. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Break bark into pieces. Store in a tightly sealed container in refrigerator up to 1 month. Pack in decorative boxes or tins lined with wax tissue paper or colored cellophane for gift giving.

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Chocolate lava cakes are one of my favorite desserts, and I worked hard to develop a simple way to prepare them. With just a few ingredients and not much effort, these come out fabulous and are perfect for Valentine’s Day! I made them for television yesterday on WBRC Fox 6 in Birmingham, Alabama, and they were an instant hit. To prepare for television, I made over 20, which was fun for my kids and my son’s friend, Sergei, to watch and taste. See the link below for the television video.

 

http://www.myfoxal.com/myfox/pages/InsideFox/Detail?contentId=8348712&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=5.2.1

 

Easy Chocolate Lava Cakes

Dark chocolate may be substituted for semisweet in this recipe. These can be made at least a day ahead least one day ahead. Pour the mixture Pour the mixture into ramekins, cover and refrigerate. Be sure to bring to room temperature 30 minutes before baking. I also had a couple of baked and prepared ones left over, and I left them in the ramekins and reheated them in the microwave for 15 seconds, and they worked great!

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate or 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels (I used Ghirardelli for both)

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup confectioners sugar

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly grease 4 (8-ounce) ramekins (custard cups or souffle dishes). Place on a baking sheet.

2. Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwaveable bowl on High 30 seconds or until butter is melted. Whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in vanilla and confectioners sugar until well blended. Whisk in eggs and yolk. Stir in flour and pour batter evenly into prepared custard cups.

2. Bake 13 minutes or until sides are firm but centers are soft. Let stand 10 minutes. Carefully loosen edges with a knife. Invert cakes onto serving plates and sift powdered sugar over the top. Serve immediately.