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John’s Cookbook – Page 10 – Golden Grahams S’mores Bars

13 Jun

Golden Grahams S’mores Bars
(Recipe Courtesy of Just So Tasty)

Ingredients
5 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
5 tablespoons butter , or margarine
1/4 cup corn syrup*
7 cups Golden Grahams
1 cup mini marshmallows

Instructions
1. Butter/grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
2. Add 5 cups marshmallows, milk chocolate, butter, and corn syrup to a large sauce pan.
3. Melt the mixture together over low heat while gently stirring with a rubber spatula.
4. Once melted remove from the heat and immediately stir in the cereal and remaining cup of marshmallows. It will be very sticky.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and flatten down using the back of your spatula (lightly greasing the spatula can help).
6. Allow to harden at room temperature for 60 minutes before cutting into squares.

Recipe Notes
*If you don’t have corn syrup use 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of water instead.

**Store bars in an airtight container at room temperature. I don’t recommend storing them in the fridge because they can get too hard.

As you can see, John loved making these (and eating them!). No-bake recipes are not only perfect for little ones to help with, but they are also awesome on a hot summer day when you don’t want to turn on the oven!

This recipe in particular is perfect for when your child has been BEGGING you for a fire to roast marshmallows and make s’mores – but the dang weather just won’t cooperate (rain for days ugh!)

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Brookies – A Perfect Marriage Of Two Amazing Desserts

30 May

The other day I was just dying for some cookies. But, I was also really in the mood for a brownie – dilemma, right? WRONG – enter – the BROOKIE. If you have never heard of it before, the brookie is a brownie/cookie bar that basically gives you the best of both worlds (both the cookie and brownie worlds that is!)

So I set to baking right away:

To-Die-For-Brookies
(Recipe courtesy of Debbie Net)
Ingredients
Brownie Layer:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

Cookie Layer:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla exract
1 egg
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
-Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

Brownie Layer:
-In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, and 1/8 tsp salt; set aside.
-In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 cup white sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract; stir mixture until it is well combined. Add 2 eggs and beat well. Stir in the cocoa powder until it is well combined. Add the flour mixture, stirring well until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan.

Cookie Layer:
-In a medium bowl, whisk together 1-1/4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt; set aside.
-In a large bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, the light brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; continue beating until mixture is creamy. Add 1 egg; beat about 2 more minutes until the mixture is light and creamy.
-Gradually stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until the dough is combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts. Carefully spread the cookie dough over the brownie layer in the baking pan.
-Bake in the preheated oven, about 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the brookies comes out clean. Cool completely; cut into bars.

I love recipes where I have everything in my pantry already, and luckily this one fit the bill! I threw them together and in no time I was enjoying these warm from the oven!

They turned out great, the only thing I wish is that the brownie flavor came out a little more, it sort of gets overpowered by the cookie portion, but otherwise these were great!

WARNING! Serious PB Lovers Only: Chocolate Peanut Butter Poke Cake

7 May

I have been wanting to make this one for a WHILE – but I knew that it wasn’t something I could just randomly make for my husband & me – it looked insanely intense – so I waited until we had an occasion to bring a dessert to. Luckily, our friend recently celebrated his birthday, so I decided to whip this up to celebrate!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Poke Cake
(Recipe Courtesy of Delish)

INGREDIENTS
FOR THE CAKE
1 box devil’s food cake, plus ingredients called for on box
2 c. peanut butter, melted
1 c. chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
1 c. Reese’s Pieces
FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING
1 c. peanut butter
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS
Bake cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9″-x-13″ pan with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray. Prepare cake batter according to package instructions and pour into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cake cool completely.
Using the back of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over cake. Pour melted peanut butter over the entire cake, filling the holes. Set aside.
Make frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together peanut butter and butter. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in cream to loosen frosting, if needed.
Spread frosting all over the top of the cake. Top with chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Reese’s Pieces.

As I had predicted, this cake was INTENSE – the peanut butter both in the cake and on top in the frosting is super rich, and the chocolate cake flavor almost gets lost alongside all the PB-ness (which – for me is no issue, I don’t really care for chocolate cake by itself, but if you’re looking to have that choco-y flavor, it’s really not there in this one)

That being said, OF COURSE I loved it, and so did my husband, son and our friends – the fluffy frosting against the toppings and cake is a great blend of textures, and while it may be intense, it’s also tasty!

I HIGHLY recommend you have some milk on hand when you go to tackle this bad boy – trust me, it’s the perfect compliment!

John’s Cookbook – Page 5 – S’mores Dip

19 Mar

The snow is melting, the sun is shining, and Spring is here! It may not feel like it for sure yet, but warmer weather is on its way, and I for one can’t wait to get out there and enjoy it. Admittedly, I am NOT much of an outdoor girl AT ALL – BUT – when you have kids that have been cooped up inside for the past several years (months really – but feels like years), you gotta embrace the wonder that is the great outdoors

One of the best things about warmer weather is having campfires and roasting marshmallows for S’mores. It may not be S’more weather yet – but it is S’more dip weather (which – is really anytime!)

S’more’s Dip
(Recipe Courtesy of Wine & Glue)

Ingredients
8 oz cream cheese room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup fudge sauce
7 1/2 oz marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla

graham cracker sticks for dipping
mini chocolate chips/marshmallow bits for topping

Instructions
In a large bowl, blend together with a handheld mixer: the cream cheese, powdered sugar, fudge sauce, marshmallow creme and vanilla until smooth

Transfer to a serving bowl, top with mini chocolate chips and marshmallow bits and serve with graham crackers

John’s favorite part? Anything marshmallow related – he loved the fluff, and the tiny little marshmallows blew his mind!

He looks oddly like the Joker while “taste-testing” the ingredients

DIPPPPPPPPPP – so good!

As with most dips – this wasn’t exactly hard to make, and I love the idea of a dippable S’more!

It was enjoyed by all, big and small – and while it was great, it just made me want a REAL s’more even more! Still – a worthy winter time substitute, and I personally enjoyed it right off the spoon (no graham crackers needed!)

John’s Cookbook – Page 4 – Chocolate PB Crescent Rolls

12 Mar

For this week’s page out of John’s Cookbook, he picked something simple (which I appreciate), that also managed to incorporate Chocolate and Peanut Butter (which EVERYONE appreciates!)

Chocolate PB Crescent Rolls
(Recipe Courtesy of Stockpiling Moms)

Ingredients
1 pkg of Crescent Rolls
8 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
¼ cup Mini Chocolate Chips

Instructions
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Roll out Crescent Rolls to form 8 triangles.
-Spread 1 Tbsp. of Peanut Butter on each triangle.
-Sprinkle Mini Chocolate Chips amongst triangles.
-Roll up Crescent Rolls and press ends together.
-Place on 13X9 baking sheet and cook for 10 mins.
-Let cool and enjoy.

Prep work (with some help from Dad and Auntie)

Before and After oven glamour shots

John loved them so much he ate 2! 

Crescent Rolls are such a great base for a lot of things – like the Crescent Roll Cinnamon Rolls John helped make a few weeks ago, and of course Crescent dogs (crescent roll/hot dog/cheese) are a favorite at our house, and now these dessert rolls, and of course they are great by themselves alongside Thanksgiving Dinner, too!

While there was nothing special about these taste-wise (they tasted exactly like you would think – a crescent roll stuffed with Peanut butter and chocolate), they were really easy for him to do basically by himself, and they can really be customized with add-ins too – jelly, mini marshmallows, nuts, other flavors of chocolate chips, raisins/craisins – you can use whatever you have on hand to whip these up – and they are pretty tasty (especially warm out of the oven!)

John’s Cookbook – Page 3 – Reese’s Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies

7 Mar

I have been LOVING having my little sous chef in the kitchen with me – he has been helping me bake since he was a wee little 1 year old, and I am really enjoying having him help pick and “reading” the recipes with me.

This week, he picked cookies – because who doesn’t love cookies? I think he saw that there were Reese’s involved and that had him hooked, and I don’t blame him – there’s a reason I had saved this recipe for Reese’s Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies, and I couldn’t WAIT to try them:

Reese’s Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies
(Recipe Courtesy of Inside BruCrew Life)

Ingredients
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 – 3.4 box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups halved Reese’s mini peanut butter cups, divided
1 cup mini Reese’s Pieces, divided

Instructions
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Beat the butter until creamy. Add the peanut butter and sugars and beat again.
-Add the eggs, honey, and vanilla and beat until mixed in.
-Stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and pudding mix. Slowly add to the butter mixture until everything is mixed in.
-Stir in the chocolate chips, 1 cup peanut butter cups, and 3/4 cup Reese’s Pieces gently.
-Use a 2 Tablespoon cookie scoop to make 36 dough balls. Press the remaining candy into the tops of the dough balls.
-Place the dough balls on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Let rest on the hot cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then gently move to a piece of parchment paper.
-Let the cookies cool completely before storing in a tightly sealed container.

He’s ready to bake!

Loves doing the mixer all by himself – and he has gotten pretty good at it, too

Wet and dry ingredients – ready to be mixed together

These got the John seal of approval for sure!

These are some serious cookies – they remind me a bit of these other pudding cookies I made – the best soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies, which are also large, dense & intense!

They were easy to make, and the only change I made to the recipe was I didn’t save some of the candy to put on the top before baking – I just mixed it all in – and they turned out plenty pretty (at least – I think so!)

I actually am not a big fan of peanut butter based cookies, but these didn’t overpower with the PB flavor (I think the pudding helped offset it!) and the chunks of chocolate chips/Reese’s in every bite were awesome. Would make again, for sure – these are perfect for all you peanut butter lovers out there!

John’s Cookbook – Page 1 – Crescent Roll Cinnamon Rolls

27 Feb

As you all know, I have been having my little sous chef help me out in the kitchen for quite some time now – since he was about 1 (he’s 4 now!). He really enjoys helping measure, stir, and create recipes – so I thought it was about time he took the lead a bit more.

He expressed interest in making “Crescent Roll Cinnamon Rolls” – which I wasn’t even sure was a thing, but turns out, it is! So I printed the recipe in extra large font, and put it in his very own binder, titled “John’s Cookbook” – and each week I will add a kid-friendly recipe for he and I to make together

Crescent Roll Cinnamon Rolls
(Recipe Courtesy of The Two Bite Club)

INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 package crescent roll dough or crescent roll sheet
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat the inside of a 7-inch x 5-inch baking dish with some of the melted butter.

2. Unroll the crescent dough. (If using crescent rolls, pinch seams to seal.) Brush the dough with 1 teaspoon of the melted butter, leaving a 1/4-inch border with no butter.

3. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the dough leaving a 1/4 inch border with no sugar. Drizzle with the remaining melted butter.

4. Roll the dough (starting with the long end) into a tight log. Cut into 8 equal pieces and carefully place into the baking dish cut side up. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, combine the room temperature butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. Beat in the orange juice, vanilla, and powdered sugar until combined. Spread onto the cinnamon rolls when they come out of the oven, serving any leftover glaze on the side.

He really enjoyed taking the lead on this – and the finished product was pretty good! It’s an easy shortcut to making cinnamon rolls without all the kneading/rising of a yest dough, and they got two thumbs up from John, too!