Nutty Peanut Butter Brownies

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Last week, I took one of my favorite brownie recipes from Sally’s Baking Addiction and threw in a bunch of nuts and mini peanut butter cups… The results were ah-mazing! This is my new favorite brownie recipe! They’re nutty, chewy, and peanut buttery… What more could you want from a brownie?

Nutty Peanut Butter Brownies

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

8 ounces coarsely chopped quality semi-sweet chocolate (I got mine from Trader Joe’s but Sally also recommends Baker’s or Ghirardelli)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (This needs to be precise.)

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup mini peanut butter cups (I got mine from Trader Joe’s, they’re tiny and come unwrapped.)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chopped chocolate on medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes.

2. Pour chocolate mixture into a large mixing bowl and allow to slightly cool for about 10 minutes.

3. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Line a 9×9 square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving overhang on all sides. Set aside.

5. Whisk both sugars into the cooled chocolate mixture.

6. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition.

7. Mix in the vanilla.

8. Gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder and salt.

9. Once combined, fold in the peanut butter cups and walnuts.

10. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the edges of the pan. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out with only a few moist crumbs when the brownies are done.

11. Allow the brownies to cool completely. Once cooled, lift the foil out of the pan and cut into squares.

12. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or freeze for up to two months! Enjoy 🙂

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Behold, the perfect topping for my Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

INGREDIENTS:

1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 tablespoons sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla extract.

2. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

3. Frost away!!

4. Top with chocolate chips or sprinkles, if desired.

Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Red Velvet is one of the most popular choices for cakes and cupcakes and I put my own little spin on this delicious recipe! Everything is better with a little extra chocolate, don’t you think? 🙂

Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

red food coloring, add drops until you’ve reached your desired color

1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill cupcake pans with paper liners.

2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

5. Mix in sour cream, milk, food coloring and vanilla.

6. Stir in flour mixture until fully blended. Do not overbeat.

7. Fold in chocolate chips.

8. Spoon batter into pan, each cup should be 2/3 full.

9. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcakes comes out clean.

10. Cool completely before frosting.

11. Frost with your favorite icing. I used vanilla cream cheese frosting (recipe to come) and topped with mini chocolate chips for decoration.

7. Spoon in batter

 

An Autumn Apple Crisp

apple crisp

This is one of my favorite desserts for Fall. It’s simple, delicious, and tastes amazing paired with vanilla ice cream!

Apple Crisp

INGREDIENTS:

10 cups of apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 10-12 apples)

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick butter, melted

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Peel, core and slice the apples.

3. In a small bowl, mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon of flour and ground cinnamon together. Sprinkle evenly over the apples.

4. Place the apples in a 9×13 inch pan.

5. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter.

6. Crumble evenly over the apples.

7. Bake for about 40 minutes.

8. Serve hot out of the oven!

 

Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookie Bars

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I found this recipe yesterday on one of my favorite baking blogs, Sally’s Baking Addiction, and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to make it. These chocolate chip cookie bars are perfect for Fall with their peppermint-stuffed core. Whip up a batch of these for the perfect after school snack 🙂 Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookie Bars

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

11 ounce bag York Peppermint Patties

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spray an 11×7 baking pan with nonstick spray or line with aluminum foil and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

4. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until well combined.

5. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

6. Add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet ingredients.

7. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand until fully combined. Do not overmix.

8. Split the cookie dough into two even balls. Press down 1/2 of the cookie dough into prepared baking pan.

9. Place unwrapped peppermint patties over the bottom dough layer.

10. Press the remaining half of the cookie dough evenly over the peppermint patties.

11.Bake for 35 minutes or until baked through and the edges are brown.

12. Allow the cookie bars to cool completely before cutting into squares.

(Bars store well in an airtight container for up to 7 days.)

**Recipe originally found here: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/10/28/peppermint-patty-chocolate-chip-cookie-bars-2/

 

 

Milk Chocolate M&M Cupcakes

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Cupcakes and candy are always a good combination. These are my new favorite cupcakes, the frosting is just soo good. Crush up some M&M’s and you have yourself a new frosting staple.

Milk Chocolate Cupcakes

CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup hot water

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

1 cup butter, room temperature

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup M&M candies, blended to a coarse dust

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

3. Cream butter and sugar together, beating until light and fluffy (1-2 minutes). Add in egg and vanilla, mix until smooth.

4. In a microwave or over a double boiler melt the milk chocolate.

5. Stir the chocolate into the butter mixture.

6. Add the flour mixture and sour cream in alternating increments, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir until combined.

7. Slowly add in hot water and stir until smooth.

8. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake 15 minutes until tops are set and spring back to the touch.

9. Cool completely on a wire rack.

10. In a blender or food processor crush M&M candies until they are a coarse dust.

11. In a bowl, beat butter until smooth. Slowly add in confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

12. Mix in crushed M&Ms and beat until evenly incorporated.

13. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes. Enjoy!

**Recipe originally found here: http://cookiesandcups.com/mm-cupcakes/