Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

As is fairly well documented by this coconut cake (which happens to be the cake I made for Easter last year) and this strawberry pie (one of two pies I made for Father’s Day), when my family gathers for holidays or special occasions, I typically bring the dessert.

 This Easter was no different.

 When I first approached my mom about bringing a dessert for Easter dinner this year, I had no clue what I wanted to make.  I typically enjoy making cakes, but as I searched through some of my favorite recipe sites and blogs, finding several cakes that looked great and very Easter-appropriate, I ultimately discovered that I had a taste for something different this year.

I kept coming back to this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie.

But every time I considered it I thought, “Peanut butter pie doesn’t seem very Easter-y. And who makes pie on Easter anyways?  The flavors aren’t right.  And it’s too rich.  My parents are NOT going to think this is a good idea.”

But I still wanted it.

So on the Thursday before Easter, I called my mom to see if she might possibly be sorta interested in peanut butter pie for dessert. And much to my surprise, our conversation went something like this:

 Me: So I’ve been thinking about Sunday. Could I maybe make peanut butter pie for dessert…?

Mom: Em! I just told your Dad that I had a craving for peanut butter pie! That sounds perfect!

Me: Really?  Weird.  Are you sure? I mean, peanut butter pie doesn’t seem like a very Easter-worthy dessert?

Mom: Why not? We think of Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs around Easter.

Me: Good point. Peanut butter pie it is.

So, peanut butter pie it was…

Ingredients for Crust:

25 whole oreos

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Ingredients for Filling:

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 package (8oz.) softened cream cheese

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 package (80z.) cool whip, thawed

Instructions:

  1. For the crust, crush oreos until fine (a food processor is preferable for this process…if you don’t have one, go search in your parents garage and they may have one they’re not using!). Pour melted butter over crumbs and stir with fork to combine. Press into pie pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes (just until set). Cool completely.
  2. For the filling, beat the peanut butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Then add the cool whip and beat until smooth.
  3. Pour filling into crust and chill for at least an hour (longer is better…overnight is perfect).

(I have no idea what happened here…ha! Enjoy!)

Big Soft Sugar Cookie Cakes

Any post that begins with a title like that and a picture of rainbow sprinkles can NOT be bad, right?

 

Especially when it’s followed by an announcement like this:

 

Sunday (March 13th) marked this here blog’s first anniversary!

 

In honor of the occasion, I celebrated by making a batch of these amazing sugar cookies that I used to make all. the. time. in college, but for some reason haven’t made in over four years.

And then in good slacker blogger fashion, I promptly got busy with life and failed to post about either the blog’s milestone or the cookie recipe.

But.

I can assure you that the recipe for these cookies was worth the “belated anniversary post” wait.

When I made these cookies in college and took them into work, one of my managers tried to convince me to go into the cookie-making business and sell them at the mall (maybe I missed my calling. . .), and when I made them on Sunday, B may have used the words “fluffy clouds” to describe their goodness.

Because, yes, they really are that good!

 

Ingredients:

1 cup butter

2 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 can vanilla frosting (I use whipped white frosting)

Rainbow sprinkles

 

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar, then beat in eggs and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Stir into the sugar mixture alternately with the milk.
  3. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets (space at least 3 inches apart so cookies have plenty of room to spread).
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until light brown.
  5. Remove from cookies sheets to cool on wire racks.
  6. When completely cool, frost the cookies and decorate with rainbow sprinkles.

 

 

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for being a part of this first-year-of-blogging adventure!!

Ginger Cookies

This last week between Christmas and New Year’s has been filled with [what seems like] a whole lot of nothingnessin a good way.

Sure, I celebrated Christmas with and spent plenty time with family, enjoyed a few inches of snow (on Christmas night no less…which is a big deal here in the south), caught up on several items at work, put the Christmas decorations away, cleaned the house from top to bottom, and welcomed the New Year in a wonderfully relaxed way, but really…nothingness.

But before the nothingness began, and before I let a cold get the best of me (seriously, it felt like I slept more in three days than I did the entire month of December…), I made these ginger cookies on Christmas Eve.

I’m a member of the choir at church, and each year, we sing at the Christmas Eve services and have a time of food and fellowship with each other in between services (this year, it happened to be in between the second and third services).  Altos and basses were asked to bring something “sweet” and sopranos and tenors were asked to bring something “salty”, so as an alto, I thought these cookies from my all-time favorite “Christmas Cookies” cookbook (which I was SOO excited to actually find at my parents’ house this year after thinking it was gone forever!) would be a great contribution to the sweet side.

Although they are in a Christmas cookbook, I tend to think these cookies are great all winter (maybe even all year…) long!  The recipe in the book indicates a yield of 7 dozen, but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten more than 3-4 dozen.  Apparently I prefer larger cookies…

Ingredients:

¾ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

¼ cup molasses

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Additional sugar

 

Instructions: 

  1. Cream shortening, and then gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add egg and molasses, and beat well.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon in a separate bowl, then add to creamed mixture.  Mix well.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in additional sugar.
  4. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes (even if they don’t look quite done, it’s best to remove them at 8 minutes…you don’t want to over-bake them).
  6.  Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes, and then remove them to wire racks to cool completely.

 

Happy New Year!

{Guest Baker} Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

 

I haven’t had much time for baking recently.  And even when I have made time for baking over the last several weeks, it’s been for a specific purpose and squeezed into a too-tight schedule, so taking pictures of the product (much less the process) has not been a top priority.

But my roommate, B, has been on a Christmas cookie baking spree this week, so I thought it would be fun to share one of my favorite recipes from the week.

Chocolate sandwich cookies filled with peppermint icing.

 

Oh. Yum. 

Seriously.  I have eaten WAY too many of these cookies, but they are SOOO good! 

And who ever said cookies didn’t make for a balanced and nutritious breakfast anyway…?

As much as I really do love to bake, I think I could get used to this way of baking…B mixes the dough, rolls out the cookies, watches the clock, and I just “assist” while sampling and taking photos.

Lest you think otherwise, though, I wasn’t a completely useless assistant.  I made the final decision regarding the appropriate shade of red for the icing…an important part of the process if I do say so myself!

Ingredients:

2 boxes Devil’s Food cake mix

4 eggs slightly beaten

2/3 cup oil

8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened

½ cup butter, softened

3-4 cups powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

Peppermint extract to taste

Red food coloring (optional)

 

Instructions:

  1. Beat cake mixes, eggs, and oil. Batter will be stiff.
  2. Roll dough into balls (or use a cookie dough scoop) and place on ungreased baking sheets (parchment paper on the cookie sheets is optional).
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes (do NOT over-bake).
  4. Immediately after cookies are removed from oven, flatten lightly with spatula, and move to wire cooling rack.
  5. In another bowl, beat cream cheese and butter.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and mix until smooth.  Add peppermint extract to desired minty-ness.  Feel free to add red food coloring to desired shade of red at this point as well.  Or not.
  6. Spread icing onto bottom of one cookie and top with another cookie.

 

These cookies are soooo good (and even better when made by your roommate while you “assist” in the kitchen…just sayin’)!

Enjoy!

Macaroons (aka: The Missing Post)

Remember this letter from exactly two months ago?  The one where I promised five posts that would be coming “soon and very soon”?

Well, as some of you may have noticed (or not…which is totally understandable…it has been two months), I have delivered on four of those five posts to date.  But whatever happened to the coconut macaroons?  The ones that I labeled as the “easiest/fastest dessert ever”?

 

Epic fail.  That’s what happened.

Okay, I suppose “epic” may be a bit harsh.  But seriously, my recent batch of these ridiculously simple treats just didn’t turn out as well as I would have hoped.  Oh, they tasted alright, but the texture was a little off, and the color was not the crisp-white-with-a-few-appropriate-spots-of-toasted-coconut that had resulted from my first successful batch a month earlier. 

But after a midnight brainstorming session with B (my roommate) in which we were both recounting our coconut recipe woes, I feel fairly confident that we uncovered a plausible explanation for the fail(s). 

The reason I attempted this recipe for macaroons in the first place was to use leftover coconut (from another recipe) that had been stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks.  But for this most recent attempt, I opened a brand new bag of coconut that had been stored in the pantry. 

So, it seems that the coconut stored in the fridge (which was probably significantly lacking in moisture compared to its fresh counterpart), may have worked a little better for this particular purpose. 

I intend to make the recipe again to test our theory, but for now, here’s the recipe that I have now used with a 50/50 success rate:

 

Coconut Macaroons

(as adapted from the Baker’s brand coconut bag)

Ingredients:

1 14oz pkg. coconut

2/3 cup sugar

6 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Instructions:

  1. Mix first four ingredients, then stir in egg whites and vanilla extract until well blended.
  2. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.
  4. Cool completely on wire racks.