Ultimate Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cookies

The Ultimate Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cookies: Rich, fudgy, brownie-like chocolate cookies stuffed with melty peanut butter cups!

The ultimate peanut butter cup brownie cookies–rich, fudgy, brownie-like chocolate cookies stuffed with melty peanut butter cups. These cookies are the ultimate treat, and they will disappear in seconds anywhere you bring them.

The Ultimate Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cookies: Rich, fudgy, brownie-like chocolate cookies stuffed with melty peanut butter cups!

So..I bake a lot. I’m sure you’re surprised by this. I bake a lot for the blog, and because I have a sweet tooth the size of Texas. In terms of things I love to eat it goes something like: dessert, goat cheese, dessert, sweet potatoes, dessert, carbs, dessert. Oh, and cilantro! For a long time I wondered WHY IS THE RICE AT CHIPOTLE SO GOOD? The answer? Cilantro. WHY CAN I NEVER GET ENOUGH MEXICAN FOOD? Cilantro. Don’t worry, there’s not cilantro in these cookies. That’s too much, even for me.

The Ultimate Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cookies: Rich, fudgy, brownie-like chocolate cookies stuffed with melty peanut butter cups!

Anyway, since there are cookies in and out (gotta get them out, always get them out!) of my house pretty much 24/7, it’s not too often that Steve and I freak out and literally lose our shit over a cookie. In fact, normally I’m on pins and needles awaiting some huge amazed response about how he can’t believe the amazing-ness of my cookies, and how Betty Crocker should pretty much hang it up, because my cookies trump ALL OTHER COOKIES. Then he normally says something along the lines of “Yup. Pretty good.”

The Ultimate Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cookies: Rich, fudgy, brownie-like chocolate cookies stuffed with melty peanut butter cups!

Most of the time, we each eat a cookie or two, then we send them off to work/the bike shop/my mom’s house/pretty much anywhere to avoid temptation. But these cookies? Well, let’s just say neither of us quite had the willpower to send them off, and I’m pretty sure I ate something like 3 in one day because I couldn’t stop. They were that good.

The Ultimate Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cookies: Rich, fudgy, brownie-like chocolate cookies stuffed with melty peanut butter cups!

In fact, as I was scrolling through my photos deciding which cookie to post (because we’ll be lucky if any non-cookie makes the cut until New Years ;) ), as soon as I got to these I exclaimed “YES!!! MY FAVORITES!!” Well, I didn’t realize they were my favorites, but now that I think about it, it seems pretty obvious. I’m in deep love/obsession/transfixed magic with the chocolate brownie cookie, and these are stuffed with every kind of Reese’s peanut butter cup imaginable. I bought the variety pack, and the combo of milk, dark and white chocolate is absolutely to die for.

The Ultimate Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cookies: Rich, fudgy, brownie-like chocolate cookies stuffed with melty peanut butter cups!

So what are you waiting for? Get on into your kitchen and make yourself some cookies!

Ultimate Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cookies
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Ari Ziskin
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 dozen
The ultimate peanut butter cup brownie cookies–rich, fudgy, brownie-like chocolate cookies stuffed with melty peanut butter cups. These cookies are the ultimate treat, and they will disappear in seconds anywhere you bring them.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup [url href=”http://arismenu.com/gluten-free-baking-blend” target=”_blank”]gluten-free baking blend[/url] (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons apple butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups mini Reese’s cups, quartered*
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking blend, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together chocolate, egg, vanilla, apple butter, and sugars until well combined, then slowly beat in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in peanut butter cups. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Do not chill for too long or chocolate will re-harden and dough will become stuck to your bowl.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Use a small cookie scoop to transfer dough to prepared cookie sheets. Use a small piece of parchment paper sprayed with nonstick spray to lightly press down dough balls to flatten slightly (they don’t spread when they bake, so if you don’t flatten them, you will end up with round cookies).
  4. Bake for minutes until just set, about 9-11 minutes Let stand for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for one week (these cookies stay pretty darn soft and gooey for days!).
Notes
*I used a variety of dark, white and milk chocolate mini Reese’s, which is what I’d recommend. Measure mini cups before quartering.

 

Vanilla Bean Honey Roasted Peanut Butter

Vanilla Bean Honey Roasted Peanut Butter--only 2 ingredients, healthy and made in 5 minutes!

Simple, easy, sweet & delicious homemade peanut butter with just two ingredients! You’re just 5 minutes away from sweet, creamy and drippy peanut butter that is absolutely unforgettable.

Vanilla Bean Honey Roasted Peanut Butter--only 2 ingredients, healthy and made in 5 minutes!.jpg

Can I tell you something embarrassing? This morning I was leaving the pool after my swim, and I unlocked my car and I literally sat at this car wondering why it wouldn’t unlock for a good minute. Then I looked around and was like “Waiiiiiit, I didn’t park over here….”

Vanilla Bean Honey Roasted Peanut Butter--only 2 ingredients, healthy and made in 5 minutes!

This happens way more often than I’d like to admit. I usually am a “beat of my own drum” type, and I don’t like to have the same things as everyone else, so I’m not used to the fact that everyone and their mother has the same car as me. I love my cute little Elantra, but I’m not quite used seeing doubles everywhere I go.

Vanilla Bean Honey Roasted Peanut Butter--only 2 ingredients, healthy and made in 5 minutes!

So that was my morning. I swam, I tried to steal a car, I came home and took pictures of cookies, and now here I am. Avoiding packing. Talking to you. Speaking of packing, I still haven’t officially unpacked from Seattle, so I can probably just keep that suitcase, right???

Vanilla Bean Honey Roasted Peanut Butter--only 2 ingredients, healthy and made in 5 minutes!

Friday morning I’m heading to Blend!!! I’ve been dying to go after reading the recaps for the last two years, and I cannot wait to be reunited with this girl and also see/meet some of my favorites. Also, I’m pretty quick to jump into anything that gets me the heck out of Phoenix right now. Did I mention it’s already 110? Ew.

Vanilla Bean Honey Roasted Peanut Butter--only 2 ingredients, healthy and made in 5 minutes!

And clearly when it’s 110, I cannot be bothered to turn on the oven or my stove, so I make peanut butter. But not just any peanut butter. Like, the best peanut butter of my life kind of peanut butter. I was kind of obsessed with honey roasted peanut butter as it is, but add the seeds of an entire vanilla bean? Ummm, YES PLEASE. Smooth, creamy, drippy, sweet and totally dreamy; you will make this peanut butter again and again!

Vanilla Bean Honey Roasted Peanut Butter

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: approximately 1 1/2 cups

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon

Vanilla Bean Honey Roasted Peanut Butter

Simple, easy, sweet & delicious homemade peanut butter with just two ingredients! You're just 5 minutes away from sweet, creamy and drippy peanut butter that is absolutely unforgettable.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz honey roasted peanuts (or feel free to swap honey roasted almonds, macadamia nuts, etc.)
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • pinch sea salt, optional

Instructions

  1. Place peanuts and seeds from vanilla bean in your food processor. Blend until a smooth and creamy butter forms, about 5 minutes, stopping and scraping the sides of the food processor as necessary. Taste and add salt if necessary. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for 2-3 weeks.
http://arismenu.com/vanilla-bean-honey-roasted-peanut-butter/

Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

Soft and chewy peanut butter cookies stuffed with melty dark chocolate and covered with powdered sugar–just like an inside out buckeye! Vegan, gluten-free, and seriously addicting.

Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

You know it’s Christmas time when I post cookies 3 days in a row. Okay, that’s a lie. I always post cookies. I love cookies. Everyone has their “thing”, their go-to dessert, that one thing they feel like they do significantly better than all other baking. Mine is totally cookies. In fact, I mess up brownies more times than I get them right, and I constantly have to remake cupcakes because I under bake them (because that works with cookies…not so much with cakes…).

Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

For part of my segment for Health2Fit (read more about the whole experience here), Natalie asked me to bring in some health(ier) cookies so she could demonstrate some creative ways to package them for swaps. That was awesome for me since I love to bake things, and then I totally fail at packaging in any sort of attractive manner. They were a huge hit at the studio, and everyone said they wouldn’t have been able to tell that they were lightened up, vegan & gluten-free!

Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

I’ve made these with both white whole wheat flour, and then more recently with my gluten-free baking blend. The only adjustment for the gluten-free version included baking time. They cooked about 1-2 minutes quicker than the original. In fact, the first batch I second guessed myself, left them in too long, and ended up with overly chewy (not the good kind of chewy), flat cookies. I was worried that they wouldn’t work, but the next batch, I took out as soon as they set, and they were awesome! Not quiiiite as puffy as these, but certainly not flat, and the taste was identical.

Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

Oh, and I guess maybe we should discuss what buckeyes actually are? Because I had no idea until the last year when I saw them floating around the blog world. It’s kind of like a Reese’s cup crossed with a truffle. They are little balls of peanut butter mixed with powdered sugar covered (mostly) with chocolate, but leaving one little “eye” remaining, So these cookies are…the opposite! Dark chocolate in the middle, with the peanut butter and powdered sugar on the outside. I love melty dark chocolate in the center of my cookies, and I am a peanut butter fanatic. The powdered sugar is that perfect extra touch that makes these cookies the first to go at parties or cookie swaps!

Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Inside Out Buckeye Cookies

Soft and chewy peanut butter cookies stuffed with melty dark chocolate and covered with powdered sugar--just like an inside out buckeye! Vegan, gluten-free, and seriously addicting.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free baking blend or white whole wheat flour*
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 oz good quality dark chocolate, in small squares or roughly chopped
  • approx 1/2 cup powdered sugar for rolling ( + more for dusting)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and corn starch. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the apple butter, peanut butter, sugars, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in dry ingredients until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Pour powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll dough into 1" balls then press a square of dark chocolate inside. Re-roll dough around chocolate. Make sure no chocolate is showing. Add more dough if necessary. Roll in powdered sugar, then transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake until edges are just set, about 8-10 minutes. Do not over bake. Cool completely on cookie sheet. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

*Gluten-free cookies will bake 1-2 minutes faster than if you use white whole wheat flour. Check gf cookies at 7 minutes, and wheat cookies may be in for closer to 11 depending on your oven.

http://arismenu.com/buckeye-cookies/

PS: Don’t forget to check out the segment this Saturday (12/14) @ 11am AZ time. Local channel 7, cable 13.

Peanut Butter Cup Macarons

Peanut Butter Cup Macarons #glutenfree

Before we jump in to these macarons, I have been meaning to tell you guys that my amazing, wonderful and talented friend Kammie just published her first e-cookbook! It’s filled with healthy single serving recipes breakfasts, snacks and desserts. It’s really great, with tons of great, simple recipes, and some really smart healthy substitutions. And even better, she is offering you guys a discount through the month of October! You can receive 25% off by using the code BLOG25. I highly recommend checking it out and showing her some love!

Peanut Butter Cup Macarons #glutenfreeOkay, so I have been dying to put one of those egg white pictures on my blog for a very long time. Meringue (OMG I spelled it right on the first try–who am I??) is just so…prettttty. Macarons are notoriously challenging, fussy, and easy to mess up. I have a bad history with recipes like that, and to be honest, I usually don’t like any recipe that I can’t save if I make a mistake, but these really weren’t that hard, and I’m here to tell you that if I can make them, anyone can!

Peanut Butter Cup Macarons #glutenfree

Trust me, my macarons are not perfect. They don’t have perfectly flat tops, and they don’t all look exactly the same. I toyed with whether or not I should post them for months, but I decided that in the end, food comes down to tastes and textures, and on those accounts, these babies hit it out of the park. So I bring you some imperfection, to inspire you to make macarons, and be fabulously imperfect all the time. It’s so much more fun.

Peanut Butter Cup Macarons #glutenfree

I started out with an incredibly helpful tutorial on Oh Sweet Day. I knew I didn’t want to use any food colorings in my recipe (I’m sure it will happen one day, but it’s just not really my thing), and I knew I wanted a chocolate cookie, because, well…duh. Anyway, I followed her recipe almost exactly, just swapping out some cocoa powder for some of the almond flour. I made them twice to make sure there was no fluke, and sure enough it worked like a charm! I added a creamy peanut butter filling to make it taste like a Reese’s cup, and voila! Challenging dessert success!

Peanut Butter Cup Macarons

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 12 macarons

Serving Size: 1 macaron

Peanut Butter Cup Macarons

Chocolate macarons with a creamy peanut butter filling

Ingredients

    For the macarons:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • For the peanut butter filling:
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 6 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (if needed)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In your food processor, combine powdered sugar, almond flour and unsweetened cocoa powder. Process until very fine. Sift mixture into a large bowl. You may need to reprocess any large chunks that can't make it through the sifter.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat egg whites using the whisk on medium speed until light and frothy. Reduce speed to low and slowly add sugar. Increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Be patient, it will take a few minutes. They should look like the top photo when you take the whisk out.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to egg whites and gently fold together using a spatula. Once ingredients are combined, fold for just an other few turns of the wrist--this is where you need to be very careful! Under-mix and you will have pointy shells, under-mix and you will have a soupy mess. You want the batter to just barely stream off the spatula when you remove it. I err on the side of caution and smooth out points later if they arise.
  5. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2" round tip. Carefully pipe mixture into circles about 1 1/2" in size. If tops are pointy, you may run your finger under water and gently smooth them. Let them stand for 30 minutes until tops are glossy and smooth to the touch.
  6. Bake until just set, about 10-12 minutes.Place baking sheets on wire racks and allow to cool completely.
  7. To make filling, beat peanut butter, powdered sugar, and coconut oil together in a medium mixing bowl or stand mixer until combined. If needed, add almond milk and beat until combined.
  8. Gently remove macarons from baking sheet and place a small spoonful of filling on one macaron. Top with a second macaron. Repeat with the rest of the batch. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.
http://arismenu.com/peanut-butter-cup-macarons/

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake #vegan #glutenfree

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake #vegan #glutenfree

I know, I know….It’s September and we’re supposed to be talking about crockpots, pumpkin, and cinnamon. And this weekend, I can’t even complain about the temperatures here. We’ve had highs in the 90s, and yesterday we even got rain! I mean,  being rained on for a good 3 hours of my bike ride was not ideal, but I will never complain about rain in this city!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake #vegan #glutenfree

And honestly, I don’t care if it’s 100 degrees or 50, I still always want ice cream. My friends think I’m crazy when I crave fro-yo in the winter, but it just is, and always will be, my favorite dessert. Cookies are a close second.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake #vegan #glutenfree

The other day, my little sister (in-law–ps I hate the term “in-law”) was over after just having her braces tightened and was having trouble chewing on any solid food. I am of strong belief that any mouth or throat pain means ice cream is a necessity. If you’re going to be miserable, there should at least be ice cream.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake #vegan #glutenfree

I decided to use up the last of my chocolate fro-yo, throw in a banana, and of course I had to add in peanut butter. I tasted a sip, and it was dangerously good. I knew I wanted to remake it at least a tiny bit healthier for myself, so I put some extra ripe bananas in the freezer for a day when I would need a little pick-me-up.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake #vegan #glutenfree

I love milkshakes because they literally require 3 minutes of your time (and then an other 30 as you stress out trying to photograph them before they turn into a melty puddle of mess), and they are a total comfort dessert for me! I ended up using a combination of chocolate peanut butter and chocolate chips to get the chocolate flavor in there, and the blended up chips added just the right amount of texture.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 3 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake

This chocolate peanut butter banana milkshake is ridiculously simple and comes together in minutes.

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 2 tbsp chocolate peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • whipped cream or whipped coconut cream and sprinkles for serving, optional

Instructions

  1. Combine bananas, peanut butter, chocolate chips, vanilla and 1/2 cup of your almond milk in a high-quality blender. Blend until smooth (you will likely need to stop and stir--it will be very thick). Slowly, add more milk until milkshake has reached your desired consistency. Serve immediately. Top with whipped cream/whipped coconut cream and sprinkles if desired.
http://arismenu.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-banana-shake/

Thai Chicken Kabobs

Thai Chicken Kabobs

Thai Chicken Kabobs

Is there anything more fun than food on a stick? I mean, sure, eating it can be tricky and you run the risk of stabbing your husband while playing swords with your food (because that’s a totally normal and acceptable thing to do, yes?), but really, how many foods can you make into a sword anyway?

Thai Chicken Kabobs

I’ve actually never made kabobs before this one, and let me tell you, I am in love. I loved having my chicken on my veggies all on one stick. I loved how fun they were to eat and dip in the peanut sauce, and I also loved how food on a stick meant there were next to no dishes to clean up. Seriously, I hate cleaning almost as much as I love cooking.

Thai Chicken Kabobs

The chicken marinates in the peanut sauce to soak up all that delicious Thai peanut flavor, then gets grilled up with your veggies and dunked in lots more peanut-y deliciousness as you eat. You end up eating a lot less of the calorie-dense peanut sauce than if you were to eat traditional Pad Thai. Not to mention getting rid of the noodles and adding a bunch of veggies gives you all the flavors of classic Pad Thai with a fraction of the calories, and sticking it all on kabob skewers to grill up gives them an awesome summery touch!

Thai Chicken Kabobs

They are topped off with fresh cilantro (my favorite food–I don’t care if you say it’s an “herb”, it’s still my favorite) and drizzles with sriracha for an extra spicy kick. Of course, those are option if you’re one of those weirdos who doesn’t like spicy food, or worse, you have that genetic “mutation” where you don’t like cilantro. Have you heard about that? Apparently it’s a genetic thing where to some people it tastes like soap. So glad I pulled the long straw on that one. ;)

Thai Chicken Kabobs

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 9 kabobs

Serving Size: 3 kabobs

Thai Chicken Kabobs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha + extra for drizzling
  • approx 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1" chunks
  • approx 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into 1" chunks
  • fresh cilantro, optional

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter, lime juice, coconut aminos, sriracha and 1/4 cup water. Remove half the mixture (eyeball it), cover and set aside.
  2. Add 1/4 cup water to remaining mixture. Whisk to combine. Continue to slowly add water until it has reached the consistency of a marinade. I used about 1/4-1/3 cup. Place chicken and marinade in a large freezer bag or medium tupperware and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour (alternately, feel free to do this step up to 24 hours ahead of time).
  3. If using wooden skewers, soak skewers for 30 minutes before cooking (if you use metal, this is not necessary). Alternately place chicken, bell pepper, onion, and snap peas onto your skewers (you will most likely have room for about 2 of each) close together, but not crowding.
  4. Grill on medium-high heat until chicken is cooked throughout, about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and drizzle with srirach. Serve immediately with remaining peanut dipping sauce.

Notes

You may wish to heat the peanut sauce before serving. It can get quite thick while it sits, so microwaving for about 15 seconds and adding a tablespoon of water should get it back to your ideal consistency.

http://arismenu.com/thai-chicken-kabobs/

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

You.guys. I just…I’m not even sure I can talk about these little gems.

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

I guess that is why we take so many pictures? Because there is no way I could explain in words how out-of-this-world this dessert is.

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

First of all, peanut butter and jelly is my probably favorite combination. Well, peanut butter and chocolate miiiight give it a run for it’s money, but I am totally that person that will go to a restaurant and order a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Especially if it includes words like “roasted” or other fancy adjectives. I’m a sucker for fancy adjectives.

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

I made these for Steve’s birthday. I think I’ve mentioned that his birthday dessert from last year is my very favorite dessert I’ve ever made. It’s also one of the most popular recipes on this li’l ol’ blog. Well, these cheesecake cups give those vanilla bean cookie butter cup cupcakes a run for their money!

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

You guys are going to love these babies. Creamy peanut butter cheesecake stuffed with raspberry (or whatever flavor you love most) jam on top of my very favorite go-to graham cracker crust. It just doesn’t get much better.

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 12 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

Peanut butter and jelly meets cheesecake in these perfect, single serving cups.

Ingredients

    For the graham cracker crust:
  • 1 cup old fashioned graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • For the cheesecake:
  • 1 lb reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used PB&Co white chocolate wonderful)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • approx 6 tbsp low sugar raspberry jam (or jam or your choosing)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a standard muffin tin with nonstick spray. Set. Aside.
  2. To make the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs and coconut oil in a medium bowl. Place approx 1 tablespoon of crust into each muffin tin. Press down with your fingers or a shot glass. Bake until set, about 7-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
  3. To make the cheesecake, beat cream cheese, peanut butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl or stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until combined. Beat in almond milk and vanilla.
  4. Evenly divide half the cheesecake batter (eyeball it) between your 12 muffin tins. Top with approx 1/2 tbsp of jam, then divide remaining cheesecake batter.
  5. Bake until lightly browned and just set, about 15-20 minutes. Turn the oven off and crack the door. Allow cheesecakes to sit in opened oven for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate until fully chilled, about 3-4 hours. Store covered in refrigerator for up to one week.

Notes

Inspired by Gimme Some Oven

If you'd like, you can top the cheesecake cups with extra jam just before serving.

http://arismenu.com/pbj-cheesecake-cups/

Buckeye Brownies

Buckeye Brownies via arismenu.com

Buckeye Brownies via arismenu.com

My favorite (and best) cooking inspiration has always been making things for the people I love. Especially birthdays. Birthdays are my favorite thing in the world, and nothing brings me more happiness than making the perfect treat to show my love.

Buckeye Brownies via arismenu.com

In fact, to date my favorite recipe I’ve ever made was for Steve’s birthday last year. I have to tell you, though–these give them a run for their money!

buckeyebrownies-10Buckeye Brownies via arismenu.com

When I saw this post on Brown Eyed Baker a couple of months ago, I immediately sent it to Nicole–the idea is genius, the photos are absolutely gorgeous, and I wanted to jump through my screen and lick every crumb.

Buckeye Brownies via arismenu.com

So when I was deciding what to make Nicole for her birthday this year, I knew exactly where I wanted to start. Of course, I changed a few things to make these a little less indulgent, but they still tasted rich and decadent. The brownie layer is the fudgiest brownie I have ever tasted, and the peanut butter tastes like the inside of a Reese’s cup, and then that perfectly glossy glaze? I diiiieeee.

Buckeye Brownies via arismenu.com

The good thing about cooking for your BBF (best blog friend–I know, we’re totally, like tweens) is they don’t mind that you cut into their birthday dessert to photograph it, and maybe sneak a tiny bite so that you can make sure it’s perfect before you give it to them. ;) Thanks for taking one for the team blog, Nicole!

Buckeye Brownies via arismenu.com

Buckeye Brownies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 32

Serving Size: 1 brownie

Buckeye Brownies

Rich and fudgy brownies topped with creamy sweetened peanut butter, followed by a chocolate peanut butter glaze--these brownies are to-die-for!

Ingredients

    For the brownies:
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • dash
  • salt
  • For the peanut butter layer:
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2-3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • For the chocolate peanut butter glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

Instructions

  1. To make the brownies, preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, espresso powder and water. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until combined. Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat in vanilla and sugar. Stir in flour and salt until combined. Do not overmix.
  3. Transfer batter to prepared baking dish. Bake set and until a toothpick inserted a couple of inches from the edge comes out with a few crumbs, about 30 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
  4. To make the peanut butter layer, beat together peanut butter, coconut oil and powdered sugar until smooth. Add milk 1 tbsp at a time until you reach a smooth, spreadable texture. Spread evenly onto cooled brownies.
  5. To make the glaze, place chocolate and peanut butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 20 second increments, stirring between each, until melted. Spread glaze evenly over peanut butter layer. Cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then serve. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baked

http://arismenu.com/buckeye-brownies/

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com I’m sorry. I know my title is so long. Ridiculously long. I promise I tried to change it, but I just needed to tell you all of those things about these cookies. They are too important to leave out.

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com

 

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but my best friend from high school is having a baby!! She’s due in less than a month, and it’s so strange. I’ve seen a lot of people have kids, but never someone my age and close to me. It’s like we’re becoming adults, and I can’t even handle it.

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com

I’ve also never been so excited for someone to have a baby. There are no two people in the entire universe that could make more amazing parents than Lisa and Sam. Whenever I need to talk something through, Lisa is one of the first people I call, and she is always so loving, supportive, and filled with amazing, insightful advice. It has been so amazing to watch her meet the perfect man who loves her like crazy, and watch them build their life together.

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending her baby shower. I’ve never been so excited for one of those things! I got totally emotional picking out her gifts. I came *this close* to making her black & white cookies, but I ended up deciding to try something new…like always. ;)

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com

I just lightly adapted one of my favorite cookie recipes which was originally adapted by one of my very favorite bloggers, and I now might have a new favorite cookie. These cookies are not for those who love a mild taste, or feel luke warm about chocolate. Oh no, these are rich, bold, decadent, and insanely dark. They have the kind of intense chocolate flavor that satisfies you with just one cookie.

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.comI mean, don’t get me wrong…You will want to eat 3 or 4, but one really does the trick. I always find dark chocolate to be more satisfying than milk chocolate. Sometimes I prefer a milk chocolate taste, but it always leaves me craving more, where as dark chocolate satisfies my sweet tooth. Anyone else? Am I just a total freak?

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com

I originally wanted to make my own peanut butter chips. Natural, no sweetener, “healthy”. But then I got impatient, and I didn’t chill the peanut butter nearly long enough, and as I stirred it in, it just started swirling around. I was totally bummed for a hot second, then decided to just go with it. I ended up LOVING the peanut butter swirl! So pretty, so peanut buttery, so right. One of those happy accidents.

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com

Add a little bite with so coarse sea salt on top, and you’ve got the makings of a perfect cookie. All sorts of things happening, but all working perfectly together.

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 1 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies

Rich, decadent brownie cookies swirled with peanut butter and topped with sea salt. Vegan and whole grain.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter, slightly melted
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • dash salt
  • 4 oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tbsp apple butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • Sea salt for topping

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour peanut butter on in a thin layer. Transfer to the freezer to chill for 1 hour.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, corn starch and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together chocolate, vanilla, apple butter, and sugars until well combined,Add almond milk, then slowly beat in dry ingredients until just combined.
  4. Remove chilled peanut butter from parchment paper (it should be solid, but bendable. Gently, fold peanut butter and chocolate chips into batter. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Use a small cookie scoop to transfer dough to prepared cookie sheets. Add a small pinch of sea salt to each cookie. Press down dough balls to flatten slightly (they don’t spread when they bake, so if you don’t flatten them, you will end up with round cookies).
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes until just set. Do not over bake. They will continue to cook themselves as they sit. Let the cookies stand on the pan until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container for one week (these cookies stay pretty darn soft and gooey for days!).
http://arismenu.com/salted-triple-chocolate-peanut-butter-swirled-brownie-cookies/

Take 5 Cookies {HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LISA!!!!!}

take5cookies-668

Take 5 Cookies.jpg

Today is a very special day!! It’s my amazing, wonderful friend Lisa’s birthday! I’ve known Lisa since my sophomore year of college, which doesn’t seem like that long ago, but when I do the math, I realize that it was almost 9 years ago. Yikes. I’m old. But it’s okay because Lisa is older.

Take 5 Cookies

I will never forget when I went away to college (I stayed local at community college before transferring to Idaho), I had a hard time being away from friends and family on my birthday, and Lisa always sent me the BEST care packages! This year, I wanted to make her feel extra special, so I sent her a care package that *hopefully* will arrive today with these cookies, and a flashcard timeline of our friendship. Complete with stick figure humans and dogs.

Take 5 Cookies

I may or may not have cried for about half of the time it took to put this together. I also cry picking out cards for all occasions. What can I say? We all know I’m an emotional human. Anyway, Lisa’s favorite candy bar is a Take 5. I’d never had one when I met her, but she introduced me, and I was instantly hooked. I haven’t had one in years and years (except for a couple pieces in the cookies I saved for “taste testing”), but I remember loving the combination of creamy chocolate, sweet caramel, peanuts, peanut butter and salty pretzels. It is everything amazing in the world of candy all mixed into one bar!

Take 5 Cookies

I knew I wanted a peanut butter cookie base to partner with the Take 5 candy bars, so I went with my favorite peanut butter cookie base, and used White Chocolate Wonderful because Lisa loves it as much as I do. Then, I added white chocolate chips because I knew I wanted a little extra add in.

Take 5 Cookies

The result? They were everything I hoped they would be, and the perfect way to send lots of love to one of my favorite people in my life.

Take 5 Cookies

 

Take 5 Cookies

yield 1 1/2 dozen

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 oz light cream cheese
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 full size Take 5 candy bars, chopped
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 large cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer), beat together cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugars until combined. Beat in egg, then vanilla. Gently, fold in chopped Take 5 bars and white chocolate chips. I ended up just using my hands to get everything combined.
  4. Roll dough into balls just over 1″ and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake until edges are golden and cookies are just set, about 12-15 minutes. Do not over bake.
  5. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store completely cooled cookies in a tupperware with the lid sitting on top, but not sealed–these will get mushy if they are in a completely airtight container–for up to one week.

 

Pretzel M&M Peanut Butter Cookies

Pretzel M&M Peanut Butter Cookies

Pretzel M&M Peanut Butter Cookies

Remember my pretzel m&m obsession? It actually started over the summer. You see, I’d been wanting to try them ever since I heard they were a real thing. But I figured trying, and inevitably falling in love with a new type of candy was probably a horrible decision. Then my friend Kara had some in her freezer (yes, they are delicious frozen), and I caved.

Pretzel M&M Peanut Butter Cookies

She lurred me in by telling me they had less calories than other varieties. That pretzel takes up all of this room, and has less calories than chocolate. Well, okay then…that makes it a healthy candy, right?

Pretzel M&M Peanut Butter Cookies

Ever since, I can’t get them out of my mind. Sweet chocolate, salty pretzel with a candy crunch? What’s not to love?? Well, obviously the only way to make them better is to put them into a cookie. A peanut butter cookie to be exact.

Pretzel M&M Peanut Butter Cookies

The first time I made these was for book club and although I liked them enough to bring them, they weren’t perfect yet. I knew I didn’t want to share them with you guys until I was 100% in love with them, so I tried again, and this time I added chocolate chips, took out a little flour, and didn’t chill the dough. I think the rice krispies soaked up too much liquid when I chilled it the first go around, and they lost their crunch.

Pretzel M&M Peanut Butter Cookies

I am SO glad I gave them a second try! They ended up with the most perfect cookie texture–you know, crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. The extra chocolate worked like a charm, and the cereal was crunchy, and added that little bit of extra texture I was craving. They were a huge hit, and Steve even said he had a new favorite cookie! :)

 

Pretzel M&M Peanut Butter Cookies

yield 1 1/2 dozen

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 oz light cream cheese
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used White Chocolate Wonderful)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup crispy brown rice cereal (or just regular rice krispies if you have them on hand)
  • 1 cup pretzel m&ms
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 large cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer), beat together cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugars until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla followed by flour mixture. Gently, fold in rice cereal, m&ms and chocolate chips. I ended up just using my hands to get everything combined.
  4. Roll dough into balls just over 1″ and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake until edges are golden and cookies are just set, about 12-15 minutes. Do not over bake.
  5. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store completely cooled cookies in a tupperware with the lid sitting on top, but not sealed–these will get mushy if they are in a completely airtight container–for up to one week.

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

This was the last thing I made in 2012, and let me tell you, it was a heck of a way to end out the year!Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

 

You see, our New Years Eve was realllll exciting. I had stopped drinking for taper (or I had said I was, then had a glass of champagne, then went to a wedding 2 weeks later, and well, ya know…), and we were all exhausted from the holidays. We went to a friends house, watched Looper (Matt’s choice) which I didn’t like at all, then watched Burlesque (my choice) which never gets old if you ask me.

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

 

I’m not sure which part of my evening was better: these cookies, or Cher’s You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me. It’s a really tough choice, so I will say the best part of my evening was eating my weight in these cookies while watching Cher sing her heart out during her 11 o clock number.

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

 

Fresh out of ideas from my overkill holiday baking, I hit up my girl Sally’s site for some inspiration. I knew I was craving something with chocolate and peanut butter, and I had some peanut butter chips I’d been wanting to use, so I looked for a base chocolate cookie recipe.

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

 

I wasn’t surprised that Sally’s cookies delivered (her recipes are amaaaaazing), but I was pretty blown away by just how amazing these cookies were! They had the perfect flakey brownie top, and the middle was rich and gooey like a perfect batch of brownies, but in my favorite baked good. Can you tell cookies are my favorite thing to make? I think my recipe page speaks for itself. ;)

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

 

The peanut butter chips add the perfect touch, and we all know that chocolate and peanut butter is the best combination since pb&j. Steve also said more than a few times that these were “the best cookies I’ve ever made”, and since we all know how many cookies I make, you know these are a must try!

 

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

yield 2 dozen 

adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

  • 1/2 cup gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 4 oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tbsp apple butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking blend, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together chocolate, egg, vanilla, apple butter, and sugars until well combined, then slowly beat in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in peanut butter chips. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Use a small cookie scoop to transfer dough to prepared cookie sheets. Use a small piece of parchment paper sprayed with nonstick spray to lightly press down dough balls to flatten slightly (they don’t spread when they bake, so if you don’t flatten them, you will end up with round cookies).
  4. Bake for 10 minutes until just set. Let stand for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for one week (these cookies stay pretty darn soft and gooey for days!).