Sunday, February 24, 2013

Peanut Butter Smores Bars

This is a dessert I’ve made a few times- and now it is often requested! Store bought cookie mix helps make this dessert super easy. Eating smores just got a whole lot cleaner and there’s no need to wait for a campfire to indulge!

1 bag store bought dry peanut butter cookie mix PLUS ingredients listed to make cookies (bag states it makes approx.. 36 cookies and uses 1 egg and 1/3 cup of vegetable oil. Note- you cookie mix may be different!!)
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
½ bag of mini marshmallows (about 2 cups)
6 graham crackers, crushed
2 tbs water

-Follow directions on the cookie mix and make the cookie dough (combine dry mix with egg and oil, or whatever your bag calls for)
-Add in crushed graham crackers and water as you stir cookie ingredients together.
-Line a 9x13 greased baking dish with parchment paper.
-Take 1/3 of dough mixture and press on the bottom of the dish.
-Cover layer of cookie dough with chocolate chips, lightly pressing the chips into the dough.
-Add the marshmallows atop the chocolate chips.
-Take the remaining 2/3 of dough and break into small crumbles on top of the marshmallows.
-Place in the over at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until the dough and marshmallows get toasty brown.
-Remove from oven and let cool completely.
-Slide a sharp knife around the edges of the bars to ensure it isn’t sticking to the side of the dish.
-Use the ends of the parchment paper to help lift out the bars.
-On a large cutting board cut the cookies into squares and enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from

-You can use large marshmallows or marshmallow fluff instead of minis. Just make sure the marshmallow layer is no more than about ¾” thick.
-You can also use chocolate bars in place of the chips.
-This gets sticky! Definitely invest in the parchment paper or these may not come out so pretty and square!
-I use store bought cookie dough but you can certainly make homemade too.
-You can also use chocolate chip cookie or sugar cookie mix instead of peanut butter cookie mix.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

BBQ Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts (aka Rumaki)

This is one of the best appetizers ever! It makes an appearance at nearly all of our family gatherings. The sweet and salty mix of the barbecue and bacon are the perfect match for the crunchy water chestnut. This makes plenty, but beware- they go fast!

2 cans water chestnuts (whole, not sliced!)
1 package of bacon
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs ketchup
1/4 cup water

-Drain the water chestnuts.
-Slice bacon into thirds (so each piece of bacon is now about 3" long)
-Wrap bacon around water chestnut and secure with a toothpick.
-Continue until all chestnuts are wrapped.
-Grease a large casserole dish (you will probably need more than 1 dish to fit them all!) and place chestnuts so they do not touch.
-Cook in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, until bacon just starts to crisp up.
-Remove from oven. Drain/wipe out grease from casserole dish[es].
-Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl.
-Dip each chestnut into the BBQ mixture and place back in casserole dish.
-Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes until bacon looks cooked through and BBQ starts to brown.
-Best served at room temperature.

-Mix up your BBQ sauce mixture! Add in some honey mustard, soy sauce, hot sauce and/or balsamic vinegar.
-If the bacon is SUPER fatty, I do try and cut some of the fat off. HOWEVER- you do need some fat left on or these come out very dry!
-Make ahead (sorta): once chestnuts are wrapped and secured with toothpicks, place in a large ziplock bag and in the fridge for up to a day in advance. Then, a few hours before you're ready to eat them, proceed with the cooking and dipping.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Looking for an AWSOME healthy and sweet treat? This one's for you then. These muffins will curb your hunger as well as satisfy a sweet tooth. They're low carb, full of fruit, and dairy and gluten free!

2 1/2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 egg whites
1 cup smashed raspberries
1/2 cup chocolate chips    

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.

-Make oat flour: Place oatmeal into blender or food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes until oatmeal resembles flour. You may need to stop blender and stir oats a couple of times to ensure that all oats have been blended.
-Place the oat flour in a medium bowl. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
-In a separate large bowl, beat mashed bananas, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs for 1-2 minutes until the consistency is smooth and creamy.
-Slowly add in flour mixture and mix until just combined.
-Gently fold in raspberries and chocolate chips.
-Pour about 1/3 cup batter into prepared muffin pans and bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
-Cool 10-15 minutes, then remove from pan and place on wire rack to finish cooling.

Recipe adapted from

-You can use cupcake liners instead of spraying the pans.
-Try the recipe with strawberries instead of raspberries- yum!
-The original recipe called for dark chocolate chips, use whatever chocolate you'd like or have on hand. White chocolate would be tasty too.
-Add walnuts or pecans for added protein.