Browsing Tag

peanut butter

Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes

May 26, 2011

After talking in my last recipe post about my commitment to sharing more healthy recipes and inspiration from my daily life in food, I know what you must be thinking.

Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes? Well, that hardly qualifies as a healthy breakfast. But let me explain.

For a while now, pancakes have gotten a bad reputation for being unhealthy and full of empty calories. But with a little tweaking, they can actually be a great way to start your day. What may look unhealthy on the outside is filled with good-for-you ingredients like whole wheat flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, protein powder and low-fat milk. And topping your pancakes with peanut butter or Greek yogurt instead of syrup saves loads of calories and grams of added sugar.

Since Joey requests pancakes on a regular basis, I loved the idea of mixing the dry ingredients ahead of time and storing them in the pantry for a hassle-free breakfast in the morning when I’m short on time or just feeling a little lazy.

Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes

Dry Ingredients
*1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup whole wheat flour
*1/4 cup protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
*1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional, or you could substitute 1 teaspoon stevia)
*1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

Wet Ingredients
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 cup low-fat milk
*1 large egg, lightly beaten

*Natural peanut butter and/or Greek yogurt

*In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a second bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined, leaving a few lumps to keep the pancakes light and fluffy.
*Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pancake batter, a 1/4 cup at a time, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, flipping when bubbles form on the surface of the pancake.
*Top pancakes with a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter or Greek yogurt. And if you’re feeling bold, go with both.

Rough nutrition info: Each 1/4 cup pancake is about 185 calories, without the peanut butter. Although I like to eat two pancakes with a tablespoon of peanut butter when I’m eating these babies for breakfast. 

Peanut Butter Granola

April 1, 2011

Happy (almost) weekend, everyone! I don’t know about you, but I sure am ready for a few days to relax with Joey and Nut. Joey has business in Des Moines on Monday morning so he will be staying with me a little longer than usual, and it means we get to have a Sunday night together. I’m ridiculously excited. 

I thought it was also high time for me to share what I’ve been eating for breakfast the last couple weeks. Last week, after seeing Jenna’s post about granola, I was compelled to make some of my own. Of course, I decided to forgo using a recipe and just stick with equal parts butter, oil and honey. I realize that Granola is typically made with regular rolled oats, but I made this granola with a combination of regular rolled oats and the quick-cooking variety. It would be great if I could say it was for creativity’s sake, but truthfully, I ran out of rolled oats.

The good news? Quick-cooking oats made a fabulous substitute. Although I wouldn’t recommend using 100% quick-cooking oats, the mix worked out well. And you know me, if you put peanut butter on something I’ll follow you around and love you forever. I’ve been enjoying my granola served with an ice-cold glass of 2% milk and chopped walnuts.

P.S. – How cute are these two?

Peanut Butter Granola

*1 2/3 cup rolled oats
*1 2/3 cup instant oats
*1/3 cup peanut butter
*1/3 cup vegetable oil
*1/3 cup honey
*Serve with milk (I vote for 2%) and chopped walnuts

*Preheat oven to 275°F. In a large bowl, combine the oats. In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, vegetable oil and honey. Stir until well combined.
*Pour peanut butter mixture over oats and stir until oats are evenly coated. Spread evenly onto baking sheet. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until lightly golden and toasted, stirring once halfway through baking. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Happy Cooking!


Fluffer-Nutter Bars

March 10, 2011

It has come to my knowledge that there is something called a fluffernutter sandwich. I had heard of such a sandwich before, but was never quite sure if it really existed or if it was just an urban myth. Most certainly no such sandwich was part of my childhood, but then again, I didn’t eat my first peanut butter and jelly sandwich until I was in 7th grade. I was a strange kid.

So to satisfy my curiosity, I got to digging around on the internet. And, of course, Wikipedia came to the rescue with this answer:

“A fluffernutter sandwich is a sandwich made with peanut butter and marshmallow creme. It’s name comes from the popular Marshmallow Fluff brand of marshmallow creme. It is particularly popular in the Northeastern United States and has been proposed as the state sandwich of Massachusetts.”

Who knew? Personally, marshmallow creme was a phenomenon I knew very little about first-hand. And although I love peanut butter, this sandwich sounded a lot more like a dessert to me than a viable lunch or dinner option.

Fluffernutter sandwiches may have zero appeal to me, but rolling all that sweet goodness into one gooey, caramel bar sounded like a very good idea. I based the bars off a recipe for Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars from the most recent issue of Bon Appétit. The base is very similar to a blondie. A blondie that is filled with a marshmallow center, which is surprisingly delicious. I might go so far to say that these are one of the best desserts on the entire site. But I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Fluffer-Nutter Bars
Adapted from Bon Appetit, March 2011, Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
*3/4 cup packed brown sugar
*1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
*2 large eggs
*1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
*1 cup mini marshmallows
*1/4 cup chopped walnuts

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
*In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Set aside. In a second bowl, beat together the peanut butter, brown sugar and butter until well-combined. Whisk in the eggs, one by one, followed by the kosher salt.
*Reserve 1/2 cup of the dough. Transfer the remaining dough to the lined baking pan and press into the bottom of the pan and 1-inch up the sides. Sprinkle the marshmallows atop the dough in pan, spreading in an even layer.
*With reserved 1/2 cup of dough, stir in the walnuts. With your fingers, drop the dough mixture atop the marshmallow layer in grape-sized pieces. (This doesn’t have to be a completely even layer. You should still be able to see some of the marshmallows.)
*Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown and marshmallows are puffed. The bars may not seem done because of the marshmallow layer, but that is no cause to worry.
*Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars. Makes 9 Bars

Happy Baking!


Candy Pumpkin Peanut Butter Kisses

November 1, 2010

It’s official. The Sunday night blues have set in yet again. Typically I consider myself a happy, positive person, but it’s tough to find the joy in Sunday nights sometimes. After a wonderful weekend with two of my favorite people in the whole world I now find myself cleaning up my apartment and getting ready for the week ahead with my mom traveling home in one direction, and Joey heading home in the opposite direction.

Lately, what Joey and I have been craving more than anything is a sense of place, normalcy and tradition. We marvel at what it would be like to spend a Sunday night together, to have a tradition like eating popcorn and watching movies, or even just being together in the same room preparing for the week ahead. Until then, I’ll take whatever little bits of normal we can get. For now, that comes in the form of me packing him a sandwich for the drive home and baking something sweet for snacking on. Something like these Candy Pumpkin Peanut Butter Kisses.

Last week when I posted about Halloween and Butterfinger candy bars, a number of people commented about their passionate love for candy pumpkins. Can I get an amen? These cookies have been made in your honor, to let you know you’re not alone in your obsession. And just because Halloween is over does not mean we need to retire these little objects of desire just yet.  I, for one, have stocked up on enough candy pumpkins to last for at least a month.

Chances are, you’ve had the more traditional version of these cookies made with Hershey’s Kisses in the center. I’ve never really been a big fan of these cookies, but the addition of candy pumpkins in the center makes all the difference in the world. Peanut butter and chocolate can go ahead and make room for the peanut butter candy pumpkin combo any day in my apartment.

Candy Pumpkin Peanut Butter Kisses
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
(Printable Recipe)

*1/2 cup butter, softened
*1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
*1/2 cup sugar
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. vanilla extract
*1 tsp. baking powder
*1/4 tsp. baking soda
*1 large egg
*2 Tbsp. milk
*1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
*1/4 cup sugar
*Candy Pumpkins

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
*With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add in the sugars and beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until creamy and fluffy. Add in the salt, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda, and egg. Beat until well combined.
*Add in the milk and the flour and beat until just combined. Roll rounded teaspoons of the cookie dough in the sugar. Place on baking sheet, about 1 inch apart, and bake for 12 minutes.
*Remove cookies from oven and immediately place a candy pumpkin in the center of each cookie. Cool on baking sheets for about 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely.

Happy Baking!


Peanut Butter Spice Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

September 13, 2010

One of these Mondays I’m going to be able to post about my relaxing, leisurely weekend where I got lots of sleep, painted my toenails, caught up on laundry and read all my untouched magazines cover-to-cover. But that day is not today. I’ll spare you the details only to say it was a crazy, whirlwind of a weekend and I’m still scratching my head wondering where Saturday went.

In addition to traveling eight hours in the car on Saturday to see J’s little brother play football, it was a weekend spent celebrating J’s 23rd birthday! He might not have seen the reason to cause a fuss, but I most certainly did. I’m a big believer in the concept of ‘birthday weekends’ and was intent on making the entire three days a celebration of the man I love.

There were birthday cupcakes on Friday night when he arrived and a birthday dinner in Minneapolis with family on Saturday night after the game; there was also a man making balloon animals at the restaurant who catered to my request that he make J an birthday balloon hat to wear during dinner. And when his actual birthday arrived on Sunday, I put candles in both his chocolate chip pancakes and his sandwich at lunch. Like I said, birthdays are a big deal around here. 

Since J isn’t a huge fan of overly-sweet desserts, I passed on most of my original ideas and decided to go with a simple spiced cupcake topped with a small dollop of peanut butter buttercream. Had this been my own birthday celebration there would have been a whole lot more buttercream involved. Thankfully, the birthday boy is generous and let me steal the buttercream off another cupcake to make up the difference.

Happy birthday, J!

Peanut Butter Spice Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream
(Printable Recipe)

*1 stick butter, softened
*1 cup sugar
*1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
*1 tsp. ground cinnamon
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. vanilla extract
*2 large eggs
*3/4 cup self-rising flour
*1/2 cup buttermilk 
*2/3 cup all-purpose flour

*1 stick butter, softened
*1/2 cup peanut butter
*1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
*1-3 Tbsp. milk (start with 1 and add more if you want a thinner consistency)

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
*With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add in the sugar and peanut butter and beat until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract until combined.
*Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Reduce speed to low and beat in the self-rising flour until just combined, followed by the milk, then the all-purpose flour, being sure not to over beat and only mixing until ingredients are just combined.
*Spoon batter into prepared cupcake liners, filling 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
*Meanwhile, prepare the buttercream. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter together until creamy. Add in the powdered sugar, a 1/2 cup at a time, followed by the milk, beating until smooth and creamy.
*Pipe or spread buttercream atop the cupcakes. Candles optional. 🙂

Happy Baking!