Tag Archives: peanut butter

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookie Bars

18 Jul

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Are you a TV or a movie person? And what does that say about who you really are? (I’m getting deep today, folks.)

I, myself, am a TV person. Ask any of my friends or family, and they’ll tell you this immediately. It’s not that I don’t like movies, but they just end so fast. Yeah, yeah, there’s the whole story arc and it all ties up neatly, but I want MORE, and that’s where TV really pulls through. Episode after episode keeps me quite content.

I have a wide range of TV tastes, too. I don’t limit myself to one genre. I like award-winning, thought-provoking series as much as the next critic, but I also love me some trashy reality TV (not too terribly trashy, mind you).

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookie Bars

When someone asks me what TV shows I watch, I clam up. This seemingly harmless question actually feels quite revealing. What will they think of me now that they know? Will they like me more or dismiss me altogether? Hence, the clamming.

Anyone else find themselves in this predicament?

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Now, what does this Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookie Bars recipe say about me? It says, I like peanut butter. I like cheesecake. I like cookies. I like over-the-top combinations. I’m OK with this recipe saying all that. More than OK, actually. They’re legit, over-the-top cookie bars. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Stir together cookie dough.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Press half of the cookie dough into the pan, and cover with cheesecake layer.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Press small pieces of remaining cookie dough lightly onto cheesecake layer.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Keep pressing cookie dough on until cheesecake layer is completely covered.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookie Bars

The final product!


Take 5 Cookies

18 Apr

Take 5 Cookies

When I told my mom I was making these cookies, she most likely felt a twinge of jealous-happiness. Happy that I was making these but jealous that should could not gobble them up with me.

Take 5 Cookies

If you’ve ever had a Take 5 candy bar before, then you’ll know what I’m talking about. The candy bar itself has a combination of peanuts, caramel, pretzels, peanut butter, and milk chocolate. The sweet and salty combination is to die for. I have a hard time controlling myself when it comes to this candy bar, so I limit that impulse by not buying the candy at all.

Take 5 Cookies

All that limiting impulse stuff goes out the window when your grandma sends you a big bag of Take 5 candy after visiting Hershey’s Chocolate World. Can you be tortured by your favorite candy? I’d say so.

So the battle began. At first, I just let the bright red bag of candy sit on my counter unopened. Then I decided to snip off a corner and just eat one a few. After a few days of this cycle, I knew I’d have to be more productive about this.

So what should I do with all that peanut buttery, pretzely, chocolately goodness? Make cookies out of it, of course!

Take 5 Cookies

Turns out, candy in cookies is all the rage these days. I started with a simple, chocolate chip cookie base, to which I added a few dollops of peanut butter for good measure.

Then, of course, I chopped up the Take 5 candy bars and added that deliciousness in.

Take 5 Cookies

Hope you enjoy this creation as much as I did!

Take 5 Cookies


No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz Cracker Cookies

20 Mar

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz Cracker Cookies

As I may have mentioned before, we have two long-haired cats. They’re adorable, cuddly, and (mostly) sweet putter tats. But they’re long-haired. Which is basically a nightmare to vacuum/clean/keep from looking mangy. Their long hair also makes them look about 10 pounds heavier than they really are, which in cat-weight is pretty darn hefty looking.

Over the past few months, we’ve toyed with the idea of getting them shaved. I know, I know. It will make them look like weird, little rats, but the benefit of no hair is enticing. But before we could make a final decision on this, the hubs thought he could double as a barber and decided to start chopping their hair off with some scissors. Needless to say, they now have wildly uneven coats of hair. Can’t decide which is preferable: shaved rat cats or Homemade Hairstyles by Hubs.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz Cracker Cookies

Here’s a recipe that doesn’t involve scissors or cats. In fact, it’s so easy that it doesn’t even involve your stove. That’s right, a no-bake beauty with only three ingredients.

I am forever indebted to Tess for introducing me to these devilishly easy “cookies.” They’re the perfect combination of salty and sweet, and who can resist the peanut butter/chocolate combo? (No one in their right mind, that’s who.)

I list measurements in the recipe, but feel free to adapt to however many you want or need at the moment. These are simple, and I’d venture to say a definite staple for your recipe box.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz Cracker CookiesThe cast of characters.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz Cracker CookiesStep 1 = a no-brainer.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz Cracker Cookies

Make cute cracker sandwiches.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz Cracker CookiesDip cracker sandwiches in melted chocolate and top with chopped peanuts for fanciness or leave them plain and smooth.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz Cracker Cookies

Let the chocolate harden up for at least 20 minutes or else you may notice an embarrassing chocolate stain on your face a few hours later when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz Cracker Cookies


Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie

13 Feb

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie

When’s the last time you got in trouble? I don’t think about getting in trouble much because, hey, I’m an adult, and adults don’t get in trouble, right? Wrong.

Last week while visiting San Francisco, I rode the famous cable cars. I sat on the outside seat so I could get a good look at the city as we drove by and so I could occasionally stand up and hang off the side of the car just like in the movies. While I was sitting down, I casually slung my arm over the back of the wooden seat. The cable car conductor/driver/operator was not having that. He yelled at me to move my arm and waggled his finger at me like I was a naughty kid. I’m pretty sure I was blushing out of embarrassment. But did I learn my lesson? A few minutes later, without thinking, my arm was right back around the back of the seat in a comfortable position. This time, I didn’t get a verbal warning. The conductor swatted my arm off the seat. He actually hit me! I was less embarrassed and more baffled. I just got smacked by a stranger. It was bizarre and weird and a little funny. Mostly bizarre, though.

I prefer not to get in trouble.

If you don’t want to get in trouble this Valentine’s day, try making a delicious homemade breakfast for your loved ones. How about the easiest one there is? I don’t know too many people who turn their noses up to smoothies.

Ever since my husband watched a few documentaries on obesity and unhealthy living, he’s finally come to the conclusion that vegetables are good for you. (Shocking!) Smoothies are a great place to hide healthy veggies. Your kids (and/or spouse) will think it’s a dessert-like snack, but it’s also sneakily good for them. I promise you can’t taste the green veggies at all in this recipe. It tastes like a pure treat!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie

Load all ingredients in your blender.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie

The greens will take up a lot of room…do not fear!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie

Blend until completely smooth.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie

Serve immediately and drink with a straw (duh!).  (more…)

Peanut Butter Cup S’mores Blondies

16 Jan

Well, I’m not much for resolutions. In fact, the only resolution I’ve decided on thus far is to eat McDonald’s once a week. You might be surprised and disgusted to hear this, but I’ll explain my reasoning. First of all, I love McDonald’s. I’m unabashed about that. One time I went on a first date to McDonald’s and I was pumped. Secondly, I used to go to McDonald’s a TON a few years ago. I’d go a few times a week, usually to consume a hot fudge sundae with peanuts (only ONE DOLLAR, PEOPLE) or a cheeseburger and french fries (their french fries really are a league of their own) or a delicious breakfast sandy (“sandy” = cute word for sandwich). Looking back, I realized those were the good ol’ days.

I sincerely hope to get some impassioned responses to my one and only resolution. (Adrianne, you are disgusting or You are going to die a young death feeding your body that crap or Me tooooo, McDonald’s is AMAZE!!)

I realize many of you may feel McDonald’s is extremely unhealthy. So here’s a really healthy dessert option to balance out life. (Not! I FREAKING LOVE DELICIOUS FOOD.)

Peanut Butter Cup S'mores Blondies

I first had a variation of these PB cup s’mores bars over Thanksgiving, thanks to a sweet coworker. They are seriously addictive and the most pleasant combination of flavors in your mouth. When I started searching for a recipe to base these off of, though, the only recipes I found called for 16 PB cups. 16!! I only had 3 in my cupboard, so I made do with my own little recipe.

The result? Better than OK. Much better. Probably what makes these so great is the browned butter and brown sugar combo. The blondie base is truly delicious, and it makes the bars have a buttery, almost-caramel flavor. To recap: butter caramel flavor + peanut butter cups + marshmallow + milk chocolate + graham cracker = heaven.  Enjoy these addictive little treats.

Peanut Butter Cup S'mores Blondies

Stir up your blondie dough.

Peanut Butter Cup S'mores Blondies

Press 2/3 of the dough into pan and cover with peanut butter cups and milk chocolate chips.

Peanut Butter Cup S'mores Blondies

Add your marshmallow layer, then top with remaining 1/3 blondie dough. (This will not be an exact science.)

Peanut Butter Cup S'mores Blondies

Bake for 15 minutes, then top with graham cracker crumbles and continue baking another 5-7 minutes. Cool until set, then dig in!


Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookie Dough Thumbprint Cookies

24 Oct

I am hopeless when it comes to directions. Forget about offering me tips like, “Go north on Main Street.” I’ll counter back with, “How am I supposed to know which way is north?” Come on, people! It’s hard for some of us.

It’s not hard for all of you, though, is it? Some people just have an aura of good-directionness around them.

Take my husband, for example.

The first time we went to NYC on our own, we were just two college kids taking an adventurous trip for the weekend. Naturally, I was terrified. And just as naturally, my pre-husband (pre-marriage, FYI) was in complete control.

We left Grand Central Station, my pre-husband assertively navigating up the right streets and down others and me lugging my roller-bag suitcase behind me, half-walking, half-running, and panting all the while. I was sure we were lost. I wanted a taxi with my whole heart, but for some reason, a taxi was not an option. We walked 10 or 50 blocks, depending on who you ask.

And then, out of nowhere, we were at our destination. This was a small miracle to me, the hopeless direction girl. But pre-husband never batted an eye. (Aura of good-directionness, I tell you.)

Today’s destination is not nearly as navigationally challenging as that trip to NYC; it’s just to some cookies. So come on, no reason not to make these.

I first made these cookies approximately one month ago. Then I made them again two weeks later. And then I made them two days ago (and put the last batch in 30 minutes ago). Yes, folks, they are that good.

These cookies are special because they’re not your run-of-the-mill thumbprint peanut butter cookies with a unwrapped, waxy chocolate kiss lazily thrown on top. (But don’t get me wrong, those lazy kiss ones are great, too!) The chocolate cookie dough topping is what takes these over the edge. They are rich and chocolatey and peanut-buttery. The ultimate trifecta in my book.

Cream your butters and sugars together. You know the drill.

Add the rest of your ingredients to complete the dough.

Shape the dough into tablespoon-sized balls, roll into sugar, and make a thumbprint impression with your thumb.

Bake at for 10-12 minutes until golden on the edges.

Before the cookies cool (and before you take them off the sheet), deepen the thumbprint with the back of a spoon.

While the cookies are cooling, start on your chocolate cookie dough topping. (Eggless, of course!)

It should look like this at the end. Smooth, chocolatey, and oh-so-perfect as a topping for the peanut butter cookies!

You know what comes next: you put it all together and admire your handiwork. Then you eat your handiwork. (more…)

Big Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

5 Jun

When I was a kid, I got in trouble for putting my feet up on my chair at the kitchen table. Everyone corrected me for it. It’s like all the adults in my life had it in for me just because of this one little habit. Here’s how it normally went.

Begin scene.

Mother/Father/Grandparent: “Adrianne.” (Serious tone.)
Me: “What?” (Innocently.)
Mother/Father/Grandparent: “Put your feet down when you’re sitting at the table. You cannot sit like that when you’re grown up.” (Sternly.)
Me: Slowly put feet down like a proper lady. Thirty seconds pass. Slowly put feet back up like a comfortable, hunched-over little monkey.

Repeat scene.

That was a habit that I just couldn’t seem to break. One of the first ways I celebrated my freedom when I lived on my own was putting my feet up on my chair in the comfort of my own apartment. No one corrected or reprimanded me or told me I was acting like a child. It was awesome.

I also ate too many cookies as a child. That’s not a habit I’m willing to break as a grown-up, either. Children sometimes have it right.

Here’s a recipe for one of my favorite cookies since I was a kid. These chocolate cookies are huge, chewy, and full of peanut butter chips. Because they’re so big, no need to feel guilty for eating too many. You’ll probably start feeling full after one.

Cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla, beating well after each addition.

Add the dry mixture to the creamed one, mixing gently by hand until combined.

Add in those peanut butter chips.

Form dough balls the size of golf balls.

Bake 16-18 minutes until puffed and cracked on top.

A close-up…mmmmm. (more…)

Peanut Butter Cookies

26 May

When I was in seventh grade, I had to take a sewing class and a cooking class. The idea was to get kids back to the basics. The sewing class was probably the hardest class of my life. My hands are not meant to sew. They just aren’t. We made the most challenging things, too—like pillowcases. OK, so I know what you’re thinking. A pillowcase? Are you serious? That’s just two pieces of fabric sewn together. Well listen Mister Judgey Pants, it might be simple if you didn’t have to sew the pieces together. But apparently you do.

If you needed help, classmates were allowed to assist. I took “assist” to a whole new level when we moved from pillowcases and onto duffel bags. I convinced a nimble-handed girl to practice and assist on mine until it was finished.

Those were stressful days.

So let’s go back to the basics. (No, not the sewing basics, because those basic skills were never actually acquired.) This recipe hails from my seventh grade cooking class. It truly is easy enough for twelve- and thirteen-year-old kids (not like cursed pillowcases).

Did I mention this recipe has three ingredients? Yup, just THREE. If that isn’t incentive enough for you to grab a bowl and start mixing, I don’t know what is.

Start by getting out your list of ingredients. All three of ’em.

Mix the sugar and peanut butter. It will be nice and crumbly.

Add the egg and mix again. Your dough will be very shiny. Form into little balls.

Next make those cute little crosshatch marks.

Bake for 10 minutes, then eat, eat, eat!