Saturday, July 31, 2010

PB Day 27 - For the Curtain Climbers

Today is Saturday. AKA Cleaning Day. Yuck.

My husband was cleaning the cabinet and noticed that we had 4 different kinds of cereal in the boxes, each of which was about 1/4 full. We dumped them into a container...
Husband: How did we get so much cereal?

Me: It was on sale and I mistakenly thought they would eat it.

So I decided that some cereal treats are in order.

Dude, I haven't made these since I was 9. My mother made them in a heart shaped pan for all my teachers at Valentine's day. She put red hots in them. It was 1979, don't judge.

3 tbsp butter, 1 7oz container of marshmallow creme.

Microwave it.
Action shot of my lovely assistant Joey. Amy, you're not getting any better that camera.

I decided to throw in some hazelnut spread with the peanut butter...doesn't that sound good?

I'm pretty sure if you spread the hazelnut spread on a tire, I would eat it.

After the marshmallow creme and butter are melted, stir in 1/4 cup each of peanut butter and hazelnut spread.
Then stir in 6 cups of cereal. I just mixed it in the pan.

You have to keep stirring to coat every piece...
Ugh, this looks good.
If I made this again, I would 1/2 again the 1.5 the recipe...Whatever, it needs more gooey. My husband agreed (talking with his mouthful).

Peanut Butter Hazelnut Cereal Bars
Adapted from a recipe found at

3 tbsp butter or margarine
1 70z container marshmallow cream (you can use 1 10oz pkg of large marshmallows or 4 cups of miniature marshmallows)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup hazelnut spread
6 cups cereal

Melt butter and marshmallow creme in microwave for 3 minutes, stirring after 2. Mix in peanut butter and hazelnut spread, stir until smooth. Mix in cereal, stirring to coat. Press into greased 9x13 pan, cool. Cut into squares.

The recipe says "best if served the same day". Hey, I got no trouble with that!

Friday, July 30, 2010

PB Day 26 - The Famous Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Amy, you're early today!

Yeah, stuff to do. Make hay while the sun shines, right?

You're making hay?!?

Nah, Dude. It's a...well, it's just a country expression about wasting time. I''ve got ice cream, cakes, cookies, cakes, cakes, cookies, a long list, gotta get moving.

And you had time to make something for us?

Sure I did! Actually, it's one of those 2 Birds with the 1 Stone thing...

I messed around with my grandmother's thumbprint cookies and came up with these. They're a Peanut Butter and Jelly cookie.

They've turned my cousins into addicts. My PLAN IS WORKING!!!! Now I just need to hook some others and I'll have a little cookie empire.

Here's how I make them.

This is what happens when you take butter, sugar, vanilla and flour and mix it together:
Then scoop it out onto a baking sheet. There's my old stand-by cookie scoop...

Now you press an indentation in the dough with your thumb...

Hence the name: thumbprint cookies.

Yeah, Amy. We got that.

This recipe makes 24 cookies. Every time. Never fails me. Always 24.
I took a mustard bottle (yes, OCD-ers, it has a ketchup lid) and filled it with grape jelly. I cut a little of the end off, and then fill the indentation with jelly.
If you don't have a mustard bottle with a ketchup lid, you can just spoon a small amount of jelly into the cookie indentation.

Now. We. Bake.
375, 15 minutes or so... I just would like to point out that I burnt my thumb taking these out.Does Blogspot have Worker's Comp?

While they're cooling, take about 1/2 cup of peanut butter and add about 2 tbsp of veg oil.

Melt it in the microwave...about 15 seconds...until the peanut butter is runny
Lay the cookies on foil or wax paper and drizzle the peanut butter over the thumbprint cookies...
Looks fun, right? It's my favorite part.

Let them cool, the peanut butter will solidify so you can stack them.

Ugh, my friend John wants 24, so I can't eat any...

But I can put them on a plate and pretend, right?

Now you know how I make these. Do you think Rachael Ray would make these her "Snack of the Day?"

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

1 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup grape jelly (approximate)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375. Cream butter and sugar, add vanilla. Mix in flour until a soft dough forms. Scoop the dough onto a baking sheet. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the middle of each dough ball. Fill the indentation with a small amount of grape jelly.
Bake 13-15 minutes. Place on wax paper or foil to cool.
Melt the peanut butter and vegetable oil together in the microwave, about 15 seconds. Drizzle the peanut butter mixture over the cooled cookies. Allow to set.

And eat them. Or give them to your best friend. Or your cousins. Or Rachael Ray. Just please tell Rachael Ray where you got the recipe, okay?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

PB Day 25 - Don't call me Cream Puff.

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..." --EB Browning

I'm pretty sure that Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote this after eating a cream puff.

Because there are things in this world that are better than cream puffs...but not many.

I've made real cream puffs before and yes, they are all that and a bag of potato chips. Cream puffs are really easy, and certainly don't require any special ingredients...butter, eggs, flour, sugar and something awesome for the filling.

The recipe I'm about share with you is NOT an authentic cream puff recipe. It's sort of Cream Puff's Evil Twin Skippy. (Get it? SKIPPY!!!)

Yeah, Amy. We got it. Good one.

I found the recipe on a blog called Cheeky Kitchen...and immediately bookmarked it. It's easy, it's fun...and it's yu-hu-hu-hu-mmy.

Start with 2 cups of water and 1 stick of butter...
Melt butter and then bring to a boil...
When you get to the boil, take a package of Peanut Butter Cookie mix...

Dump the whole thing in and stir until smooth...
The dough will begin to clean the sides of the saucepan...

Add eggs 1 at a time...
Mix until smooth. Repeat x4
Yeah, your arms totally get a workout.
Plop the dough onto a baking sheet...
I did a heaping tablespoon, then another heaping tablespoon on top of that...

Bake at 425 for 5 minutes, then lower temperature to 325 and bake another 12 minutes...

Then the puff up like this:
Take them out, split them open and let the steam come out.

The Cheeky Kitchen version says to open them up and pull out the doughy part. Then they instruct to bake again to dry out the insides.

Because I'm feeling all James Dean today, I didn't do that, I just filled them with whipped cream:

Neat, huh? Chocolate mousse would be good here....Or a drizzle of honey...

Ok, and I had to do this:
Oh, Amy...why did you do that?
Because I'm Amy. That's why.

So make some...they're yummy.
And follow Cheeky Kitchen's recipe found here. It's easier to read, and her other stuff is fun to read as well....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

PB Day 24 - Bread Me, Baby...Part Deux

I started training for a 5K run today...

It's an easy can find the training schedule here. "Run" is a very strong word for me. Quick walk. Or trot. Or...well, I have to do it under the cover of darkness because I don't want anyone to see me.

So, to celebrate the first day, I decided I needed rewarded with comfort food.

And what's more comfort foody than bread pudding? Nothing, that's what. Well, maybe Mac and cheese with meatloaf.

So let's make bread pudding. And 'bout we use what's left from yesterday's peanut butter bread...!

3 cups Milk (I used evaporated and half and half), 4 eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 bag of white chocolate chips, and the peanut butter bread loaf (well, most of it), torn into small pieces.
Heat the milk and sugar...not to steam, just get it hot...
Take off the heat, add white chips and vanilla...
Whisk the 4 eggs, then temper with the hot milk...
Dump the bread into a greased baking dish...

Pour the custard over the peanut butter bread...
Kinda smoosh it a needs to be absorbed by the bread.
350 for...about 25 minutes it looks like this...
Amy? Where's the sauce?

Yeah, I know.
It needs sauce. I've discovered two different camps on bread pudding sauce.
Camp 1: Sauce is poured over the top. Just out of the oven. No exceptions. Everyone gets an equal amount.
Camp 2: Sauce is served warm on the side. People can add as much as they like. If at all.
Camp 3: No sauce. The rich custard should be enough.
I belong to Camp 2...but today, I'm I just put some chocolate syrup on it.

Yeah, it's awesome.

You make some. I'll even throw in a vanilla sauce recipe for ya.

Peanut Butter White Chocolate Bread Pudding
Adapted from a recipe found at

For the pudding:
3 cups milk (any combination of evaporated, half and half, milk, heavy cream)
3/4 cup sugar
6 oz white chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs

preheat oven to 350. Heat milk and sugar to hot, add white chips and whisk to melt. Beat eggs, temper with hot milk, add the tempered eggs to the milk and whisk to combine.

Tear bread loaf into bite sized pieces. Place bread in a greased baking dish, pour the custard over the bread. Push the bread to allow the custard to soak in.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla sauce.
Vanilla sauce:

1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix together all sauce ingredients except vanilla. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken and comes to a full boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Serve over bread pudding. Or on the side. Or skip the vanilla sauce completely and drizzle on some chocolate syrup.

And enjoy it. It's comfort food - get comfortable!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

PB Day 23 - Bread me, Baby

I think the Adkin's Diet is some kind of cruel fraternity hazing project gone awry. My dear friend Jim described Adkin's like this: "If it's white and it tastes good, you have to spit it out."

There's absolutely no way on the face of human earth that I can stay low-carb for more than a day.
I am a carb-y kinda gal. It's just a sad fact: I love potatoes, sugar, flour, rice, pasta...and of course I love bread.

Homemade bread is sort of the holy grail of food when I was growing up. When someone made homemade yeast bread for a family dinner, it was such a big deal. It was warm, and a big glop of butter melting on it...well, thinking about that just made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
So let's make some peanut butter bread.

This recipe comes from Jif's website. I mean, if you want the goods, you go straight to the top, right?

There's two super-awesome things about this recipe: Just a few ingredients, and just a few dirty dishes.

This is a bowl full of our good friends: flour, sugar, baking powder...
Mix those together, then cut in 3/4 cup of peanut butter...

Would you look? I killed another peanut butter container.

Heyyyy, Amy! That's not JIF!!!!
Yeah, shhhh...keep it down. The Peter Pan Crunchy was on sale...don't tell JIF, ok?

I cut it in the same way I make pie crust...until it's nice and crumbly:

Then take 1 cup of milk and drop an egg in it...

Beat together and pour into the flour mixture all at once..

Wasn't quick enough on the camera to get an action shot.

Then take a bread loaf pan...line it and spray it.

Amy, what in the crap is that paper? Do I need that or are you just showing off your awesome bakery accessories again?

Chill, dude. You don't need the liners. Just spray the loaf pan.

Let's hit the oven...350 for 50 - 60 minutes...

And then it becomes this:

A wonderful, high-carb, high-fat, low healthy loaf of bread.

Oh, Carb Heaven! I'm here. Get the gates open wide so I can get in.

Peanut Butter Bread
Adapted from a recipe from Jif

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)
1 egg
1 cup milk.

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder. Cut in peanut butter with a fork. Beat the egg in the milk, dump into the flour mixture all at once. Pour into a greased or lined bread loaf pan, bake for 50-60 minutes.

Serve warm. Seriously, dude. Warm with butter. Let it make the hair on the back of YOUR neck stand up.

Yanno what? I think I'm going to make a ham sandwich with this right now.

What are you going to do with the rest of it? Let me guess...banana fried sandwiches or something, right?

Well, you'll just have to tune in tomorrow to find out.

Monday, July 26, 2010

PB Day 22 - Is there a Pie in the house?

I'm obsessed with bowls.

Not like cereal bowls, but like bowls made out of food.
Like this post from Bakerella, who details how to make chocolate balloon bowls, which seem to be just this side of incredibly awesome.

I'm also kind of obssessed with all things little.

I don't know why, I usually make everything big. Recently, though, I've been appreciating the little things in life.

And last night I started thinking about little pies. Can I make a little bitty peanut butter pie?

Well, duh.

Start with a cream cheese pastry: 4 oz cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter...Cream together, then add 1 cup flour...Mix that and you get this awesome dough:
Separate the dough into 24 pieces and put into a mini muffin pan...

Press the dough up the sides of the cavities...making like a little cup
And repeat. Here's the part that takes forever in Amy's world...

Bake this at 350...
Meanwhile, let's mix 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 4 oz cream cheese...
Add a little (1/4 cup?) milk to thin it out...

And put it in a pastry bag.

Amy, I don't have a pastry bag. I'm not a hot-shot bakery chick. Are you trying to make me feel inferior?

Heck, no! Just use a zip bag and push it into the corner.
I baked these about 12 minutes. I got to yakity-yakking on the phone with my mother-in-law...they're just lightly browned...
Some puffed up a little, I just pushed the cup shape back down with a spoon...
And filled with the peanut butter filling...
Then I scrounged the fridge and found some whipping cream and maraschino cherries...

And some chocolate kisses...
And put them on a platter...what is this? Are we going somewhere?

Negative, Ghost Rider. We're staying home.

And I'm sitting these on the table next to my chair while I watch a Project Runway Marathon.

So don't bother me. Me and my peanut butter pie bites need some alone time.

And go make your own.

Peanut Butter Pie Bites

For the crust:
4oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 cup flour.

Cream the butter and cream cheese. Add flour, mix until combined. Separate the dough into 24 pieces, place pieces in a mini muffin pan. Press the dough into and up the sides of each muffin cavity. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove and allow to cool.

For the filling:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 oz cream cheese

Meanwhile, mix together peanut butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese. Add milk to thin. Place filling into a zip bag or pastry bag, snip the end.

Fill each of the pastry cups with filling. Top with whipping cream, and desired toppings such as peanut butter cups, chocolate drops, cherries, etc.

Eat them.
Eat them now.

Maybe I'll go try those chocolate balloon cups next...