Nutter Butter Balls

This is another recipe off of Pinterest.  I know, I have a problem.  But it was an easy way to find a lot of recipes that Scott was interested in.  Not surprisingly, we are going with peanut butter and chocolate, again, this week.

What you Need:

1 1lb package Nutter Butter Cookies, crushed

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

12 oz chocolate chips, melted

And Here’s What You Do:

Crush the entire package of cookies.  Combine with the cream cheese.  Roll into small balls, then dip into the melted chocolate.

What I Did:

I really love getting recipes off of Pinterest.  But, I am noticing a trend among the recipes.  They either make assumptions that everyone reading the recipe is a mind-reader and knows exactly what the recipe author means, or the recipe writers are extremely lazy.  The above was all the direction that the recipe had.  The ingredients actually stated “One package nutter butters, one package cream cheese, one package of chocolate chips”.  Not terribly precise…so, common sense had to kick in.  Nutter Butters are normally sold in the 1lb package in grocery stores, and chocolate chips are usually sold in 12 oz package (although, we did buy a 7 pound package the last time we were at Sam’s) so that is what I used.  12 oz, not 7 pounds…

I also noticed a serious lack of tips on how to get the ingredients combined.  So, here’s how I did it:  I used my food processor to get the cookies down to a near-crumb consistency.  Due to my food processor being pretty small, I had to crush the cookies in batches, emptying out the bowl every so often.  Once crushed, there was no way I could fit the crumbs back in the processor, so out came my hand mixer.  Gosh, I love that thing…  I cut up the cream cheese into cubes and mixed.  And mixed.  And mixed some more until the mixture looked a bit like big Grape Nuts.

Out came the teaspoon-sized measuring spoon, and the formation of the peanut-cream cheese balls began.

There were 63 on that tray…but Scott ate one.  You should come out with between 60-70 with this recipe.

Since they were pretty soft, I stuck them in the fridge for about an hour (you can stick them in the freezer, too.  However, my freezer is pretty small, so I opted for the fridge).  And then the dipping in the melted chocolate.  I continued with my lazy streak from last week and did not melt chocolate over a double boiler.  I used the microwave again.

I don’t recommend that if you have never done it!  Chocolate melts at a very low temperature, and I’ve scorched enough chocolate to tell you that it is very easy to overheat it!

Anyway, halfway through the pan, I stuck them back in the fridge.  At this point, I was already up to melting 8 oz of chocolate, so I think this recipe will be for more like 16 oz of chocolate chips.  And I wasn’t caring for how they were turning out when I was using my fingers to dip them in the chocolate.  So, after experimenting with toothpicks (and losing one of them to the hazards of getting speared, then the chocolate becoming tainted with bits of peanut butter.  Grrr…) I came up with a method of tossing the Nutter Butter and cream cheese concoction into the chocolate, using a spoon to swirl it about, then poking it with a tooth pick to stick it back on the cookie sheet.

I think they turned out rather well.  They certainly don’t look like they were made in a factory…

Reaction:

Scott says that he would like them a bit sweeter, even though they are good.  Maybe next time (if there is a next time.  These things were pretty time consuming.), I will add creamy peanut butter and perhaps some powdered sugar.  And maybe milk chocolate instead of the semi-sweet chips.

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Yet another experiment from Pinterest.  I swear that it gets more addicting as the days go by!!  I’ve heard that some people have troubles with recipes that they find there, but I find that this isn’t the case.  At least not so far…

Here’s What You Need:

1 (18.25) package plain yellow cake mix

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup coconut (optional…my sister did not like the texture of it in there)

And Here’s What You Do:

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) Combine cake mix, melted butter, peanut butter, and eggs in a large bowl using a mixer or spoon. Press this into a 9X13 pan reserving 1 1/2 cup of the mixture to crumble on top.
3) In a small pot, melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and coconut.
4) Spread chocolate mixture over the mixture pressed in the pan and then crumble the 1 1/2 cups of reserved cake mixture on top evenly.
5) Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
What I Did:
Be proud, because I following the instructions to the letter!
Okay, I melted the chocolate in the microwave instead of in the small pot.  But, having had lots of experience melting chocolate, I feel that I can do it successfully in the microwave.  My best advice?  Low and slow.  Put the chips in a bowl and only put them in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring them after every time.  Once they get melty enough to still have some form, but are starting to be smooth, don’t put them back in the microwave.  Just keep stirring until they melt completely.
Anyway…
Reaction:
I think I should have baked them a little more.  They were a little…soft…when I cut them up.  The flavor is very good, and they definitely got the thumbs up from the bosses.
Until next time,
Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Pumpkin Muffins – Fall is Here!

Okay, so fall is sorta here.  In Florida, fall means the evenings are mostly nice, and you won’t feel like you need a shower the minute you step outside.  I sometimes miss the week of fall weather that I used to have in Alaska…

Maybe I just need to move.

Anyway, the arrival of fall kicks off the season of my favorite flavors – pumpkin, spice, caramel, peppermint, cranberry etc.  I love pumpkin in pretty much anything, and I’ve seen this recipe kicked around a few times in Weight Watchers cookbooks, in Hungry Girl emails, and I decided it was time to give them a try.

Here’s What You Need:

1 18.25 oz yellow cake mix

1 15 oz can of pumpkin

And Here’s What You Do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix ingredients together (hand mixer will do, or a spoon and elbow grease).  Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.  Divide the batter equally amongst the 12 liners.  Bake 20-25 minutes.
What I Did:

Not one to just stick with one idea, I decided to make three (yes, three) different versions of this recipe.  I bought yellow, chocolate, and spice cake mixes (Oh, and for those of you who read my post about the chocolate toffee cookies a few weeks ago, yes, they do make cake mixes that big.  But Walmart does not carry them.  Publix does.)  and three cans of pumpkin.

Mix, mix, mix…

I also bought myself a cookie scoop.  It looks like a small ice cream scoop, but it’s bigger than a melon baller.  It’s awesome. As you can see by the picture, It makes lovely round balls of batter.

It also makes for more uniform portions.  It’s my new best friend!

Anyway, these little beauties came out of the oven and filled our humble abode with the delightful smells of fall.  We dug into them (because we have to test for quality!) and immediately fell in love!  I think the best part is that they are pretty much GUILT FREE!!!  No eggs, no oil, and you can make them gluten free because I saw gluten free cake mixes (how seriously cool is that?)

Scott allowed me to take some to work.  I think I took 24 to work with me.   They were gone in 30 minutes.
Reaction:

Three people at work told me today that they too had made the muffins over the weekend, and marveled at how easy they are to make.  Yayy!!!  I love hearing people trying out recipes that I’ve shared with them!!!

I will definitely hang on to this recipe.  It’s crazy easy, and you can’t really mess it up, unless you burn them, and that’s not great.  Burned pumpkin is not a fantastic smell.

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Chocolate Cake in a Mug!

Because sometimes, you don’t want an entire cake…just a little.

Scott had gone to work.  Empire Strikes Back was on (my favorite of the Star Wars movies).  It was a Friday night.  I wanted chocolate, and I’ve started to become addicted to Pinterest.

Damn you, Pinterest.

 

What You Need:

4 tablespoons flour

4 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa powder

3 tablespoons skim milk

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 egg

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

 

And Here’s What You Do:

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and pour the batter into a normal-sized coffee mug.


Now, here is where it gets tricky… The consistency of the cake should be cakey AND gooey. To get this consistency, it will take anywhere from 50 seconds to 1 minute and 15 seconds. It all depends on your microwave  Start with 50 seconds, then check the consistency. If it is too gooey for your taste, then cook it another 10 seconds.


Also, be sure to have your spoon and a side of ice cream and/or whipped cream ready to go as soon as it’s done! It continues to cook in the mug after it’s done, so it tends to get dry as it sits. No good…

What I did:

I used 2% milk to start.  I don’t think it changed it at all.  I started with the 50 seconds, and then kept adding 10 seconds until it reached the point of looking like a fresh piece of chocolate cake.

Reaction:

I’ve made a recipe like this before, having it turn out pretty much the same as it did this time.  I liked it when it was nice and gooey and warm right out of the microwave.  As it cooled, it got a little on the dry side, until I reached the bottom, which was oddly gooey and still kinda warm.  I didn’t finish it because it made a sizable amount.  I could definitely see sharing it with another person and serving it with ice cream (this could also help to cut the sweetness.  It gets a little intense.)

I need to make this for Scott (since I heard about it all weekend that I didn’t make one for him).