Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

A match made in heaven? I think so.

Seriously, throw a peanut butter cup in anything and it becomes just a bit better.  It’s your basic chocolate chip cookie recipe and store-bought Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (honestly, if you’re super lazy you can buy packaged or refrigerated cookie dough and I doubt anyone would  notice..or care for that matter)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (you’ll need about 20 of them)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Combine all ingredients to make the cookie dough (besides the Reese’s). Mix well until fully incorporated.
  3. Take a tablespoon of the dough and roll it into a ball.  Place the Reese’s on top and press into the dough.  Then take another tablespoon of dough and cover the exposed side of the Reese’s.
  4. Make sure all parts of the peanut butter cup is covered with dough. Place on baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 7 minutes
  6. Let it cook and…enjoy!
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Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Espresso Cream Frosting

Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in a in a Nespresso taste testing hosted by Zagat with the special guest host Padma Lakshmi from Top Chef! We tried three different espresso flavors and Padma pointed out their culinary compliments and distinct features.

As one of the participants in the testing, I got an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING Nespresso machine that I’m now completely obsessed with.  No lie, I use it every..single..day.  I’ve made everything from lattes to cappuccinos and, naturally, I’m now incorporating it into my baking.

Pound cake is one of my personal favorites and I think using brown sugar instead of regular white sugar really compliments the espresso flavors in the cake and frosting.  Like I said, I’m kind of obsessed with my Nespresso machine so you may see a lot of  “espresso-themed” desserts coming your way.  Get excited.

*Useless Note: This one smelled EXTRA amazing while it was baking so…enjoy 🙂

Ingredients: 

For Cake:

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (2.5 sticks) butter, softened
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tablespoon brewed espresso (I used the Indriya blend with my Nespresso machine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For Icing:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 teaspoons brewed espresso (I used the Indriya blend with my Nespresso machine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan
  3. Beat together sugar and butter until creamy
  4. Beat in eggs, espresso and vanilla
  5. Gradually add in flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until fully incorporated.
  6. Pour into baking pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  7. Let the cake cool completely before removing from pan.

For Frosting:

  1. Melt butter over medium heat, add sugar
  2. Add in milk.  Mix until smooth.  Bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. In a mixer, combine liquid mixture with powdered sugar, vanilla and espresso.
  5. Keep mixing until light and fluffy.
  6. Cover cake with frosting.

Food & Wine…

Two of the best words in the English language..FOOD & WINE.

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A few months ago I went to an event hosted by David Venable from QVC and posted about the awesome apple green KitchenAid Mixer!

Well..I’m happy to be reporting back about another event that David is hosting..the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen!  David will be broadcasting live from Aspen and showcasing some of his favorite summer recipes. He’ll also be showcasing new products from KitchenAid, Le Creuset, and Capresso so I’ll definitely be watching to load up for all the cooking I have planned for the summer 🙂

Check it out on QVC on Sunday, June 17 at Noon (ET)

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Black Bean Brownies

Bikini season is here and in full effect.

These black bean brownies are full of protein, gluten-free and a great substitute for real brownies. I like this recipe because they’re really moist and pureeing the beans in the food processor makes them much more “brownie like.”

Enjoy these and flaunt that hot beach body all summer long 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups canned black beans (a little over 1 can)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.
  3. In a food processor, combine the beans and eggs. Puree until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the bean/egg purée with the rest of the ingredients. Mix until smooth.
  5. Pour into the baking pan.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  7. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

Baked Oatmeal (…with Strawberries, Bananas & Chocolate Chips)

How often are things THIS pretty, THIS delicious and THIS healthy?!?

Say hello to my new favorite breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnut pieces (optional)
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 cups almond milk (you can use regular milk as well if you’d like)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 banana, cut into 1/2 inch slices

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Spray a 10-1/2 by 7 inch baking dish with non-stick spray
  3. In a bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, walnuts, half the strawberries and half the chocolate
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, egg, butter and vanilla
  5. Put the oat mixture in the baking dish
  6. Arrange the remaining strawberries, chocolate chips and the sliced banana on top
  7. Pour the milk mixture over.  Using a fork, gently poke at the oats to make sure the milk mixture is fully incorporated into the oats
  8. Bake for 35 minutes
  9. Dig in! Oh..and it’s super yummy if you eat it while it’s still warm 🙂

Recipe Index

Cookies

Cakes

Muffins

Bars

Pies

Savory Baking

Breads

Other

Ambrosia Fruit Salad

Okay, well this clearly isn’t baked but I just had to dedicate a post to it.

This is a LOVE it or HATE it kind of dessert…I happen to LOVE it.

It reminds me of something that housewives in the 50’s would make for summer block parties.  Almost all the ingredients are canned (crushed pineapple, fruit cocktail) or processed somehow (marshmallows, Jell-O, Cool Whip) but I’m not one of those food purists so it’s fine by me.

Have any of you ever had Ambrosia salad before? Please tell me I’m not alone on this one…

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8 ounce) containers of frozen whipped topping, thawed ( I use Fat Free Cool Whip)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 (30 ounce) can of fruit cocktail, drained (in light syrup)
  • 1 (30 ounce) can of crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 package sugar-free pistachio pudding

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together in a big bowl
  2. Refrigerate for at least an hour
  3. Enjoy 🙂

Baked Egg in Ham Cups

Aren’t these just precious!

These are perfect for brunch because they’re adorable, delicious and so easy to make.

I kept it pretty basic by just adding some mozzarella cheese but you could really spice these up with whatever you’d like…salsa? spinach?, tomato?…go crazy.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of ham (get a thicker cut)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray
  3. Line each muffin tin with a slice of ham (make sure there are no gaps)
  4. Put mozzarella cheese in each tin
  5. Crack egg into each tin
  6. Put a dash of salt and pepper over each
  7. Bake for 22-25 minutes

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

It’s finally warm outside! Yahoooooo!

Let’s celebrate with some Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  It’s amazing and moist and just so, so pretty.

Here’s to enjoying the warm weather and having a great bikini body this season…uhhh wait a second…

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 9 slices pineapple (canned pineapple in juice is best)
  • 9 maraschino cherries without stems
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350F
  2. Melt butter and pour into a 9-inch square baking pan.
  3. Evenly spread brown sugar over the melted butter.
  4. Arrange pineapple slices over butter/sugar mixture. Put a cherry in the center of each pineapple hole.
  5. Combine and mix the remaining ingredients.  Beat with an electric mixer at medium/high speed for 2 minutes.
  6. Pour batter over pineapples.
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Immediately place a heat proof serving plate on top of the baking pan (see picture)…then turn plate and pan over.
  9. Leave the pan over the cake for 10 minutes to let the brown sugar and pineapple juices soak into the cake.
  10. Remove the pan and ENJOY 🙂

Peanut Butter Monster Cookies

These are pretty much just everything I love (peanut butter, chocolate chips and marshmallow) smashed into one awesome little cookie. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky both work)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • A dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cream peanut butter and sugar until completely mixed
  3. Mix in egg, baking soda, vanilla, salt.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips and marshmallows.
  5. Bake for 7 minutes
  6. Let cool completely (at least 30 minutes) so the marshmallow pieces can harden.
  7. Enjoy!

*Makes around 14 cookies