PB2 Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Pancakes.

This weekend was packed with fun sleepovers (two to be exact), barn bash at church, 20 kids over for a s’mores & Halloween scary party that my teenager hosted and a field hockey tournament. Phew!  It was a lot of fun but when we have sleepovers… I always make fun, decadent pancakes for the kids.  This weekend was no exception!

Ingredients:

1 1/2  cups + 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur’s brand)
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of PB2 dried peanut butter
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/4 cup of almond or regular cow’s milk
1/2 stick of butter or butter substitute, melted
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1/4 or 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (this is up to you)

Directions:

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, PB2, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In your stand mixer or a larger bowl, whisk the milk, butter, eggs and vanilla extract.  Then slowly add the dry mixture to the wet and whisk.  Finally, mix in the chocolate chips.

Over a medium flame, place a pat of butter to melt in your skillet.  When fully melted, ladle some batter into the pan.  When it starts to bubble through (about 1-2 minutes) flip.

Topping ideas:  Chocolate chip Chobani yogurt, Chobani vanilla yogurt or syrup.

— Knead to Cook

Peanut Butter Banana Chobani Chocolate Chip Bread.

I was so happy to finally find my favorite chocolate chips at my local grocery store.  They’ve been sold out for about 3 months and after faithfully checking, every time I walk in the store, I was elated!  9 bags were on the shelf and I purchased 8.  Happy dance shall commence!  So I wanted to make something fun, different and tasty with them.  What better to go with chocolate than peanut butter?  It’s like a warm peanut butter cup in bread form.  Yum!

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of butter, softened (I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of peanut or any other nut butter you prefer
1/2 cup of vanilla Chobani yogurt
2 ripe bananas
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 Chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  I made this recipe for mini loaf pans.  Whatever you use – spray with nonstick baking spray and set aside.

In your stand mixer, blend sugar and butter until fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  In a separate bowl whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.   Add to the butter mixture.  Then add the peanut butter, Chobani, bananas and cinnamon.  Blend well and scrape the sides down and mix again.  Mix the chocolate chips by hand.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool completely and slice and enjoy!

 

— Knead to Cook

Almond and Pear Tart.

 

Today is my 16th wedding anniversary.  I won’t lie, my husband is the most wonderful, calm, loving and hysterical man I know.  He makes me a better person, hands down.  I thought I would whip up a lovely dinner to share with our family before we leave on our weekend getaway.  This was my dessert idea.  He loves fruit, is allergic to chocolate and I had some pears that were getting overly ripe.  This tart turned out beautifully.  I topped it with my caramel that I made a few days ago and I’m drooling already.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of raw almonds
1/2 cup of white sugar
Turbinado sugar or regular sugar for dusting
1/3 cup of all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur’s)
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons of butter, melted
2 eggs
1/4 cup of almond milk (vanilla flavored)
3 large pears, cored and peeled
Lemon juice
1 teaspoon of almond extract

Directions:

Spray your tart pan with the removable bottom with baking/flour spray and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, blender or Vitamix, combine almonds and sugar together and blend until it resembles flour.  Add the flour and salt and blend again.  To a smaller bowl, add butter, milk and eggs.  Whisk and then pour into the flour mixture.  Blend again.

Thinly slice your pears and drizzle a bit of lemon juice over top to prevent browning.

Pour the mixture into your prepared pan.   Lay the pears over the top of the mixture in a fan pattern.  Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet and then into the oven.  Bake for 45-50 minutes or until lightly golden.  Remove and let cool.  Optional:  top with caramel sauce.

— Knead to Cook

Caramel & Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups.

This week I made a fresh batch of caramel to satisfy my youngest daughter’s request for caramel apples.  I had some sitting in the fridge and thought it would be fun to do some caramel cups with it and then made some peanut butter cups for good measure.  These are super easy to make and everyone will just light up when they see them!

Ingredients:

1 bag (10 ounces) of Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate or semi sweet (depending on your preference)
1 teaspoon of canola oil
Mini cupcake papers (for your mini cupcake pan) OR use regular sized cupcake papers/cupcake/muffin pan
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/4 cup of confectioners sugar
Caramel (fresh or store bought)  Click here for my caramel recipe.
Sea Salt

Directions:

Okay your first step is to place your liners in your muffin tin.  Once all of the liners are in (this makes about 20 mini sized).  Set aside.

Heat your peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Remove and add the powdered sugar.  This will firm up the peanut butter and make it a bit harder (more of a Reese’s cup pb texture).  Set this aside.

Melt your chocolate however you prefer.  I place a saucepan about 1/4 way filled with water that you place over a medium flame.  Over top of the saucepan I place a heat-safe bowl creating a double-boiler.  Once the water boils, I reduce the flame to low.  Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl you are melting the chocolate in.  Place the chocolate in the bowl and stir until melted.  Add the oil.

Spoon about a tablespoon of chocolate into the bottom of each cup.  Then take a spoon and smear the chocolate up the sides (not all the way) all around the paper liner.  This will create a nice side so that you don’t see the filling once the cups are done.  Then spoon a tiny amount (1/2 tsp or so)  of your caramel or your peanut butter mixture.  Fill each cup.  Then top each one with additional chocolate.  I topped the caramel cups with a dash of sea salt (optional).   Refrigerate or freeze for about 30 minutes or until firmed up.  Remove the paper liners and enjoy!  Store in a tupperware container.

— Knead to Cook

Healthier Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Pumpkin Spice Glaze.

Today is the first full day of fall and the weather has turned crisp, sunny and beautiful.  It is my absolute favorite.  I couldn’t think of a better way to wake up my family to get ready for church than with this aroma filling the house.  The dough is very easy to work with and is perfect for the cooks that have been apprehensive to make cinnamon rolls.  Lower in fat so it doesn’t impact all of your gym/fitness efforts.  Packed with flavor… you won’t miss the fat!
Buns:

2 1/4 teaspoons of dry active yeast
1/4 cup warm water (not hot or boiling)
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 cup low-fat milk (1% or 2%)
1/4 c I can’t believe it’s not butter, melted (you can use regular butter as well)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cooking spray
3 tablespoon of granulated sugar
3 tablespoon of brown sugar
2 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoon chilled I can’t believe it’s not butter or regular butter, cut into small pieces

Glaze:
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1.5 tablespoon hot water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

Preparation:

To prepare the buns, dissolve yeast in warm water in your Kitchenaid stand mixer or large bowl.  Let this proof for 5 minutes.  If the yeast doesn’t get foamy, throw out and start over.  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour, pumpkin, and next 5 ingredients (pumpkin through nutmeg); beat with your mixer, paddle attached at medium speed until smooth.  Then change the paddle for your dough hook and add the additional cup of flour.  Knead until smooth and elastic.  This dough will be sticky, be forewarned.  (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can knead the dough on a flat surface adding the additional flour slowly.)

Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place free from drafts, for 45 minutes.  I always place my dough to rise in my microwave.  After the 45 minutes has passed, check to make sure the dough has risen, it can be tacky still… you are ready to go.  Another way to test if dough is ready is to take a pinch of the dough.  If it feels like an earlobe (when pinching it) it is ready.

Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or use two knives to cut it in.

Punch dough down and roll it into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture to cover.  Make sure you reach each end, not leaving any surface without the mixture. Roll up the rectangle tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Cut roll into 1-inch slices. Place slices in a baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray.  At this point you can refrigerate overnight or bake right away.

Preheat oven to 375°.  Bake the rolls at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

To prepare the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon water, vanilla extract and pumpkin spice mix in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over buns. Serve warm.

 

 

— Knead to Cook

Cake Batter Chocolate Frozen Bananas.

Okay that title is a mouthful and so are these!  I whipped up a batch for my kids and they were gone faster than a speeding bullet!  Ha!  So easy.  So much fun.  The perfect way to welcome your kids home from a long day at school.   Guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face :)

Ingredients:

12 ounces of chocolate (you can do white, milk or dark)
2 tablespoons of Funfetti cake batter (powder)
Vegetable oil
2 whole bananas, peeled and halved
4 popsicle sticks
Sprinkles

Directions:

Pull out a platter or large plate and cover with parchment or foil.  Set aside.

Over a double boiler, melt your chocolate of choice.  Slowly start to stir the chocolate until melted.  Add the cake batter powder and mix.  At this point, add a small amount of the oil. This will loosen the chocolate up and make it easier for covering the bananas.  Add tiny amounts until you get to the right consistency.  I probably used about a tablespoon or a bit less.

Take your sticks and insert them cautiously into the larger end of the banana.  Then take a spoon and pour the chocolate over the banana.  Coat with sprinkles and set on a parchment lined plate and freeze.  Serve right out of the freezer, nice and cold.

Then step back!  :)

 

— Knead to Cook

Raw cookie dough wrapped in dark chocolate.

I love raw cookie dough.  I know, I know, it’s really bad to eat with the raw egg.  But the fact of the matter is this, I’m 40 years old, have been eating it my entire life and have never gotten sick.  Now, sharing recipes online is of course, a different animal. I can’t tell you to eat raw eggs but this little sweet delight… yes, you won’t miss the egg at all.  Made a batch and they are all pretty much gone already.  Perfect after school snack… oh-so-good!

Ingredients:

2/3 cup of salted cashews
2/3 cup of raw almonds
2/3 cup of oats (I used quick cooking but regular are fine)
1/2 tsp of cinnamon, ground
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/4 tsp of sea salt
1/4 cup of honey or agave
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of chia seeds
1/4 cup or more or dark chocolate chips
1 cup of dark chocolate chips, melted

Directions:

Add the first 6 ingredients into your food processor.  Blend until finely ground.  Add the honey or agave (whichever you are using), vanilla and chia.  Blend.  Scrape down the sides.  Then add the chocolate chips.  Blend and scoop out into little balls.

You can use little popsicle sticks or not, but dip the balls into the chocolate and cover completely.  I placed on parchment paper and repeated.  Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to set and then serve.  Oh my goodness these are so good!

 

— Knead to Cook

Dark Cherry, Almond & Amaretto Tart.

 

 

 

This creamy, dreamy tart is the perfect embodiment of all things wonderful.  Creamy custard. Marcona Spanish almond crust and smooth Italian Amaretto. If you need a dessert that will wow you family, friends or acquaintances – this is the dessert of choice.  I can’t say anymore… I need to go and eat this piece I photographed.

Ingredients:

8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted & cooled to room temperature
3/4 cup of sugar
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of Marcona almonds (or blanced almonds)
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons of heavy cream
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon of Amaretto
1 pound dark cherries, pitted and washed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray your 9 inch tart pan (with removable bottom) with non stick baking spray.

Combine butter, sugar, salt and vanilla extract along with 2 tablespoons of ground almonds in a medium mixing bowl.  Add 1 1/4 cup of the all purpose flour.  Blend well.  Add the dough to the tartlet pan and press it down and up the sides of the pan to form an even crust.  Prick the crust with a fork all over.  Bake in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until very lightly golden brown.

In your mixing bowl, combine the cream, egg and Amaretto.  Add in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of ground almonds.  Take the remaining almond flour and sprinkle it atop of the tart crust.  Then evenly distribute the cherries throughout the crust.  Pour the custard over the top of the cherries.  The custard will self-level and fill in all of the areas.  Then bake for 40-42 minutes until set.  Remove and let cool for at least one hour.  Once the pan is easily held, drop the bottom & tart (removing the side ring), place on a platter and let cool.

 

— Knead to Cook

Cake batter dip.

I always make this super fun dip for my kid’s birthdays or for fun parties.  The kids, and adults, LOVE it.  It’s very simple.  Relatively low cal and is protein packed thanks to the Chobani yogurt inside.  Give this one a try… you will be so thankful you did.

Ingredients:

1 package of Funfetti or vanilla cake batter mix (box variety)
2 cups of vanilla Chobani yogurt (non fat)
1 1/2 cups of non fat Cool Whip (or any other whipped cream freshly made or store-bought)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of rainbow sprinkles

Directions:

In your stand mixer, paddle attached, blend all of the ingredients.  Place in a tupperware container, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Serve with graham crackers.  Enjoy!

— Knead to Cook

Challah French Toast.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of heavy cream
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Directions:

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.  Slice the Challah (either homemade or purchased) into 1.5 inch slices.  Dredge each slice, on both sides, into the egg mixture.  Let it soak in for about 20 seconds on each side.   In the meantime, get a large sauté pan warmed up with a pat of butter.  Once melted, add the slices of Challah.  Cook on each side until golden brown.  Serve & enjoy!!

— Knead to Cook