Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookies {with Chocolate Chips}

IMG_20140412_141704746_HDR

 

I am spending my Saturday in Peoria, visiting a friend (plus her new baby) and touring my old college campus.  I am willing to guess that much has changed in the 10 plus years since I graduated and I can’t wait to check it out!

 

IMG_1402

 

Even though I’m gone, I am rounding out the week with another awesome recipe…this time for dessert!

 

IMG_1403 IMG_1405

IMG_1406 IMG_1408

IMG_1413 IMG_1417

 

I was still in the mood for cookies, and so cookies I baked!  With my lovely kitchen assistant of course : )

 

IMG_1410

 

Actually, he wasn’t much help at all, but my cookies still turned out super soft and delicious!

 

IMG_1466

 

This recipe is a Pinterest find and I added in some chocolate chips for taste and texture (which I highly recommend!).

 

IMG_1468

 

These cookies were a huge hit with my coworkers who loved the mild cheesecake addition to your typical peanut butter cookie!

 

IMG_1476

 

Happy Saturday!!!!

 

This week in recipe awesomeness…

Grilled Romaine

Steel Cut Overnight Oats

Strawberry, Kiwi, and Kale Juice

Crockpot Green Chicken Curry

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookies

From Pixie Dust Kitchen

 

Ingredients

8 oz Cream Cheese, at room temperature

¾ C Creamy Peanut butter

¾ C Brown sugar

¼ C granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 C all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 generous cup of chocolate chips (optional but recommended)

 

Directions

Cream cream cheese peanut butter, sugars, and vanilla. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing until combined.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt, and soda. Mix into wet ingredients until just combined.

Let chill in fridge for 1 hour or up to two days.

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Scoop 2 tbs size balls onto cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. (Even if the middles look overdone, they will continue to cook and set up as they cool.) Let cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling wrack.

Cookies will keep for 2 weeks. Store in an airtight container.

You HAVE to Make a Decision

After weeks of thinking, pinning, and planning, I seriously waited until the very last minute to decide what cookies I wanted to bake.  I’m not typically an indecisive person, but I think after my second week back at full time work, my brain was a bit fried.  When I finally made a list, it was way too long to be accomplished in one day, but it’s good to dream big…right?  The good news is that I kept it simple.

 

IMG_20131214_091020355

 

Saturday morning was a white out!  The perfect kind of day to not change out of your pajamas and begin baking cookies immediately.  However, I didn’t have all of my ingredients.   At first, I considered ditching the cookie baking entirely and squeezing some fresh oranges for mimosas!  Followed by a movie marathon (I’m thinking Love Actually).

 

IMG_0550

 

But I knew I had a long list of cookies to attack.  A quick peak out the front door revealed that the roads were not yet plowed.  I decided it wasn’t worth it to slip and slide along the roads, so I checked my cookie list to see if there was anything I could make this morning.  Luckily, I keep the basics stocked.  I pulled out butter for later and found a recipe that used melted butter to begin.

 

IMG_0554

 

I found an easy and healthy one.  This cookie recipe was in my binder and I think it came from a magazine (a google search revealed that it is indeed from Cooking Light).  It’s super simple and includes mostly ingredients from your pantry.  I will share it with you this morning in case you are snowed in and looking to warm up your home with some baking.

 

IMG_0569

 

Baking was slightly challenging with this adorable face popping up near my bowl, in the sink, and next to the butter.

 

IMG_0565

 

But these cookies came out perfectly!  And I love that they are shaped differently than your typical round cookies.

 

 IMG_0593

 

Since these cookies were super quick and since I still didn’t have soft butter, I decided I would turn my bananas into banana bread.

 

IMG_0570

 

By the time my bread was ready, the BOY was awake and the streets better plowed.  I convinced him to help me brush off his car, so that I could venture out into the world.  I needed to go to the grocery store and figured since I was heading out, I might as well throw in a yoga class.

 

IMG_0587

 

The BOY was nice enough to pull my bread out of the oven for me and when I returned home after yoga and the store, I sliced it right up.

 

IMG_0590

 

This peanut butter bread is one of the best I’ve EVER had!  The flavor is incredible with crunchy ends, and the inside moist and delicious!

Even though I’m not officially snowed it, I’m planning on pretending like it and baking up a storm today!

And in case you’re planning on doing the same, here are two awesome recipes to start with.  Decisions…Decisions…

 

 

How do you like to spend a Snowy Saturday?

 

 

Granola Cookie Wedges

From Cooking Light April 2013

 

Ingredients

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 large egg white

2.25 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1/4 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips

Cooking spray

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir until well combined. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour, oats, nuts, and chocolate chips to sugar mixture; stir until just combined.

Scrape the dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate coated with cooking spray, and spread to edges using a spatula. Bake at 350° for 13 minutes or until set. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Cut into 8 wedges.

 

 

Peanut Butter and Banana

Whole Wheat Quick Bread

From Cookin’ Canuck

 

Ingredients

4 medium ripe bananas, well mashed

1/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter

3 tbsp canola oil

1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar

1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp (packed) brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

3 tbsp ground flax seed (flax meal)

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, with a hand mixer), combine the mashed bananas, Greek yogurt, peanut butter and canola oil. Mix on medium speed until combined.

Add the granulated and brown sugars, and mix again until combined.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, ground flax seed, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture to the banana mixture. Beat until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly with a rubber spatula.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 1 hour. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Serve.

 

Note: I was going through the motions adding in my ingredients and was about to stir in my flour mixture when I realized I used the white flour that was out and not whole wheat flour.  Oops!

Breakfast from the Blogs

We had nothing for breakfast this morning!  Always so sad! 

However, there is a Law and Order Marathon on TNT.  Always so happy!

This is where blog reading really comes in handy.  When you think you have no food or ideas for breakfast, you stumble upon an easy recipe for Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal over at Cookie Dough Katzen.

 

IMG_2469

 

A few minutes later and some homemade peanut butter plus this unique flavored jam…

 

IMG_2470

 

And Breakfast is served!

 

IMG_2474

 

I will definitely keep this recipe handy for future breakfasts! There are always oats in the house!

 

IMG_2473

 

I also stumbled upon this mouth watering recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Baked Oatmeal that when I have more time, I can’t wait to make!!!

 

 

What’s the best breakfast you’ve found on a blog?

 

Here are a few other tasty ways to start your day….

Apple Eggie Cups

Overnight Oats in a Jar

Caramel Apple Granola

Tina’s OMG! Pancakes

Strawberry Banana Muffins

Baked Eggs in Avocado with Bacon & Toast

 

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Oats

From Cookie Dough Katzen

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup oats

3/4 cup water

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1-2 Tbsp peanut butter

1 Tbsp jelly

 

Directions

-Combine oats and water in a microwave safe bowl.  Stir in vanilla and cinnamon.

-Microwave for 2 minutes.

-Stir in peanut butter and jelly and enjoy warm!

Nutella Puppy Chow

Hello Friends!  I’m back from the woods and had the best weekend relaxing and soaking up some nature!

 

IMG_2062

Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin 6/08/13

 

Although I know that ya’ll are excited to hear about my camping trip, I’m sure you have also been looking forward to this recipe after I’ve been teasing you with it all week!

 

IMAG2657

 

I made two attempts at Nutella Puppy Chow last weekend.  Both turned out addictingly good, but this recipe had a little bit of a stronger Nutella flavor.  Bonus!

 

IMAG2661 IMAG2663

IMAG2664 IMAG2665

 

Puppy Chow is always a crowd favorite, and this recipe won’t disappoint!

 

IMAG2667

 

I recommend my favorite freezer storage method to keep things fresh and because I love that first chilled bite!

 

IMAG2668

 

But be warned…no matter where you store it, this Puppy Chow won’t last long!

 

IMAG2669

 

Do you like Puppy Chow?

What is your favorite variation?

 

 

Nutella Puppy Chow

 

Ingredients

6 cups Chex cereal

1/2 cup PB

1/2 cup Nutella

4 tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla

2-3 cups powdered sugar

 

Directions

Pour Chex cereal into large bowl.

In a separate microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter, Nutella, and butter.  Microwave for ~2 minutes in 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.  Do not overheat.  Stir in vanilla.

Pour Nutella mixture over Chex using a spatula to spread evenly over cereal.  Stir in powered sugar 1 cup at a time until well coated.

Store in airtight container.

Five For Friday V

1. I am so excited for this weekend’s camping trip!  After a raiding my parent’s house and a trip to Costco, I needed help unloading my car with all of our supplies.

 

IMAG2696

 

2. My new summer schedule officially begins on Monday.  This week was a busy but easy transition.  One day I even got to eat my lunch outside at Starbucks, which was such a huge treat for the girl who never gets to leave the office during the day!

 

IMAG2687

 

3. I have been having a tough time sleeping this week.  This seems to happen around life changes (ie when I was moving back from Memphis).  However, last night I think I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow and although up earlier than I would have liked this morning, I finally felt well rested. 

 

 

4.  I am in charge of breakfast for the camping trip.  I am bringing eggs and spinach and made Paleo Banana-Walnut Bread that I can’t wait to dig into and Date Bars.

 

IMAG2707

 

 

5.  After two trials last weekend, I created an awesome Nutella Puppy Chow.  It’s doesn’t have the strongest Nutella flavor, but the combo of peanut butter and Nutella is addicting. However, I need to go finish packing, so the recipe will just have to wait!

 

IMAG2667

 

 

Hope you have a great weekend! I will be enjoying my first

Friday off camping in Wisconsin with these girls!

Back on the Bike and Blondies

On national running day, I should probably be sharing stories of a fantastic morning run, but Wednesdays is typically my day off.  If you’re looking for a running post, this one about my running history is one of my faves!  Instead…I am going with biking and a blondie recipe.  A fair second choice, I promise : )

 

IMG_1944

 

Yesterday morning, I was up and back on my road bike for the second time this year.  Typically I swim on Tuesdays, but I have been getting into the pool a lot (for me anyways), and I am fairly certain that the lake will be freezing and I will panic and no amount of practice can help at this point.

 

IMAG2694

 

I know…not my usual positive attitude, but considering yesterday morning’s bike wear, it’s fairly realistic to think that this is going to be my coldest triathlon yet!

 

IMAG2695

 

My ride on the other hand gave me the pre race confidence boost that I needed.  I rode 15 miles around the path in an hour.  I felt much more confident on my bike and had less wrist discomfort.  Plus, I felt super speedy on my road bike even with a head wind.  The only bad news is that my bike computer is broken (or needs a new battery), so I need to fix that stat!

 

After my bike ride, it was off to work for Treat Day…

 

IMG_1963

 

Like I mentioned with these brownies, I decided on recipes based on what I had in the house.  In the pantry, I found a bag of Reese’s peanut butter chips just waiting to be used!  Or eaten by the BOY…

 

IMG_1972

 

Peanut butter blondies with peanut butter chips sounded perfect!

 

IMG_1965 IMG_1967

 

This recipe make a thick peanut butter dough enhanced by the creamy chips.

 

IMG_1969

 

I baked the blondies as recommended.  Then pulled them out, sprinkled them with chocolate chips, and returned them to the oven for 3 minutes. 

 

IMG_1973

 

When they came back out, I used a spatula to spread out the chocolate chips for a gooey chocolate frosted layer.

 

IMG_1986

 

Yea…I said it…the only thing better than peanut butter blondies is peanut butter blondies covered in chocolate!

 

IMG_1989

 

Yum!  The perfect dessert for after your daily bike ride or run!

Or to take to the office where they disappeared within minutes!

 

 

Ya’ll gave me some awesome brownie recipes, so I have to ask…

What is your favorite blondie recipe?  Did you run today???

 

 

Peanut Butter Blondies

From About.com

 

Ingredients

6 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup peanut butter morsels

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

 

Directions

Grease and flour an 8- or9- inch square baking pan. Heat oven to 350°.

In a mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat melted butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter until smooth and creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Slowly beat in flour, soda, and baking powder. Stir in peanut butter chips.

Spread/pat evenly in the baking pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until set.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with chocolate chips, and return to the oven for 3 more minutes.

Using a spatula, spread the chocolate over the blondies until covered.

Let cool or eat warm and gooey!

Store in an airtight container or freeze.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars {+ Bonus Recipe}

March Madness provides plenty of time for afternoon blogging!

And Baking!

 

IMG_1665

 

Do you have recipes that you make once and then forget all about?  And then a few years later you recognize that you have all of the ingredients and can’t figure out why you’ve waited so long to make said recipe again?

 

IMG_1670

 

Somehow I ended up with two unopened bags of Reese’s peanut butter chips and immediately Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars came to mind.  I hunted down the recipe which was saved on my computer.  Although I haven’t made these in years, I knew exactly where it was.

 

IMG_1666

 

These bars are really easy but taste WAY more elegant.  The dough requires that you blend cold butter into the flour mixture.  I recently saw on a blog that this can be done in the food processor.  So I gave it a try and it worked magically!  Within a few seconds, my butter was blended perfectly.  Transfer the flour mixture into a bowl and stir in one egg to form your dough.

 

IMG_1667

 

Place half of the dough on the bottom of a greased pan.  Then layer with jelly, peanut butter chips, and more dough.

 

IMG_1672 IMG_1675

IMG_1680 IMG_1681

 

The dough bakes up puffy and soft with warm oozing jelly!

 

IMG_1694

 

You definitely need to let these cool before digging in.  But not completely if you are looking forward to the warm peanut butter chips and dripping jelly.

 

IMG_1710

 

These bars are a true crowd pleaser!  Who doesn’t love the combination of peanut butter and jelly?

 

IMG_1704

 

I’ll tell you this…the BOY can’t keep his hands off them!!!

 

IMG_1714

 

My favorite way to store AND eat these bars is straight from the freezer.  When they are chilled, the peanut butter chips are crisp and the jelly still juicy!  My mouth is watering just thinking about these bars waiting for me in the freezer!

 

IMG_1713

 

I warned you that I had another recipe to share!  When I was reading through blogs this week, I found this cookie bar recipe on Fearless Homemaker.

 

IMG_1698

 

Since I had a fraction of a bag of mini M&M’s hanging in the pantry, I knew I had to make these too!

 

IMG_1700

 

Since I didn’t have a full bag of candies, I used some chocolate chips as well.  One can never have too much chocolate in cookie bars!

 

IMG_1716

 

Typically M&M’s are safe in our house because I’m just not a huge fan, but these M&M Cookie Bars are so soft, chewy, and delightful, they were not safe at all!

 

IMG_1718

 

If you’re looking for something fun to make for an upcoming holiday, use the bright Easter colored candies!  The pastels will brighten up these cool spring days!

 

IMG_1719

 

 

More Bars for Your Sweet Tooth

Triple Chip Blondies

Magic Cookie Bars

Pumpkin Blondies

S’mores Bars

Slutty Brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Peanut Butter M&M Blondies

Oat N’ Toffee Grahams

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

 

 

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Makes 16 bars

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter or margarine
1 egg, beaten
1 cup grape jelly
1 2/3 cup (or 1 bag) peanut butter chips

 

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Set aside.
Stir together flour, sugar, and baking powder.  Cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles course crumbs. Stir in beaten egg until blended.  Reserve half of the mixture and press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Stir jelly slightly; spread evenly over the crust.  Sprinkle 1 cup of peanut butter chips over the jelly.  Stir the remaining peanut butter chips (around 2/3 cup) into the reserved crumb mixture.  Sprinkle it evenly over the top of the peanut butter chips.
Bake for 25-30 min or until lightly browned.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  Cut into bars.

Note: These taste incredible frozen straight from the freezer!

 

 

Bonus Recipe!!!

 

M&M Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Adapted from Fearless Homemaker

Note: The recipe as written below is half of the original recipe

 

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1/4 cup white sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 12oz bag M&M’s, divided or 1 cup M&M’s and 1/2 cup chocolate chips

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position.Grease an 8×8 inch pan and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter + sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.  Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined; do not overmix.

Fold in 1/4 cup of mini M&M’s and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (or 1/2 cup of M&M’s).  Turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula. Sprinkle the remaining M&M’s on top and press in slightly.

Bake 25-30 minutes, until the top of the bars is light golden brown, slightly firm to the touch, and edges start pulling away from sides of pan. Cool completely before cutting.