Tag Archives: peanut butter

I’m Alive!

Is anybody out there? I have been MIA for almost the whole summer and let me say, I am not proud of it! Time has just flown by and while my precious blog was always in the back of mind and on my to-do list, nothing ever seemed to come to fruition.

To give you the whirlwind quick recap of my summer so far, we moved from our cozy downtown apartment to a house in the suburbs at the end of June. We had 2 family moves (in addition to our own) to help out with in June, which left us frantically throwing our belongings into boxes and setting everything up for the new house before time ran out.

After our move, we took two weeks off to receive furniture and aIMG_0056ppliance deliveries, have everything installed, and to unpack and settle in. I don’t even know where the time went between then and now, it all feels like an insanely exciting and unbelievable blur. Finally the dust is starting to settle, (well, not really since we literally live in the middle of a dusty construction site) and we are beginning to get back to our normal routine. There is one minor difference though my friends, I now have a BEAUTIFUL kitchen to play with.

I have made a few things in my new kitchen, mostly for birthdays or celebrations, but in the rush of everything, most of it has gone un-photographed.

We hosted our housewarming party this past weekend and it was really our first test of preparing food for a large group of people. We had a lot of fun and are IMG_0247.JPG (2)very lucky to be surrounded by great friends and family. One thing that stood out at the party for me was these Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes. The peanut butter-chocolate flavour combo is always a winner, and let’s just say, I wasn’t complaining when there were a few of these babies leftover after the party! I used my favourite chocolate cake recipe adapted for mini cupcakes and I whipped up a peanut butter frosting which was TO DIE FOR. It is very rich and creamy, but light and fluffy at the same time. I will not look any further, this is my peanut butter frosting recipe forever. I have already hinted that a cake slathered in this frosting would be my birthday dream….mmm. I promise I will be back with a REAL recipe soon! I am working on delicious things 🙂

Peanut Butter Frosting

From Ina GartenIMG_0249

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Combine first five ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium low speed until creamy. Add the heavy cream and beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Makes enough to frost about 24 mini cupcakes

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Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies

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Ok..so it’s no shocker that I adore peanut butter. I eat it pretty much every day in some form or another..I can’t get enough of it!

So you can imagine my despair when our peanut butter stocks were depleted for almost one whole week…my body was in denial..severe peanutty deprivation had set in.

I finally picked up a jar of pb on the weekend and the only cure I could imagine for my peanut butter denial was…..peanut butter cookies! It’s shocking, (especially to me!) but I don’t make peanut buttery desserts very often. Don’t get me wrong, I drool over peanut butter filled treats on Pinterest every day, but actually cranking one out in the kitchen doesn’t happen often. As I have mentioned before, I live with someone who could leave a plate of cookies or brownies and a jar of peanut butter untouched for a week. This is unfathomable to me…I would probably slather the peanut butter ON the cookies AND brownies and eat them all in one day. I may have a sickness.

I knew that I wouldn’t be getting much help eating these cookies around here. Sure I could share them with friends or coworkers, but really..let’s be honest…I don’t want to share my peanut butter cookies. At least not in my state of peanIMG_1618ut butter deprivation. To ensure that I didn’t spend two days binging on dozens of cookies, I made a small batch (only 1 tray -12 cookies) and health-ified them slightly by using whole wheat flour and natural peanut butter.

I am hesitant to say this, but they may just be the best peanut butter cookies EVERRR. They are very rich and peanutty, which is exactly what I want in a peanut butter cookie. I am not interested in cookies with a slight hint of peanut taste, if it’s a peanut butter cookie, it better taste like one! These are taken up a notch with the addition of salted peanuts AND peanut butter chips. You could leave them out, but I personally like the extra dimensions and textures that they add. Next time I might try this recipe with all whole wheat flour as it was honestly undetectable in this recipe.

I can’t think of much better than a peanut butter cookie dipped in a glass of cold milk….mmmm. I can’t believe I went so long without doing any peanut butter baking! What was I thinking?!

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from Cookie Madness

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flourIMG_1598
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup +2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 1/8 cup peanut butter (natural will give you a richer peanut flavour)
  • 1/2 egg (I know this is wasteful….but you can always double the recipe to make a full batch! To get half an egg just beat the egg slightly and only use half!)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup salted peanuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine flours, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine.

In a large bowl, cream butter with sugars and beat on medium for about 1 minute until creamy. Add peanut butter, egg and vanilla and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.

Stir in flour mixture by hand until just combined. Stir in peanuts and peanut butter chips.

Form dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and flatten slightly with a fork.

Bake until golden, 12-15 minutes.

Makes 1 dozen cookies

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Sweet and Salty Granola Bars

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I hope everyone is surviving after that frigidly cold weekend we just experienced. Maybe you all didn’t feel it, but I definitely felt it in Ottawa and I was not too impressed that I had to drag my winter coat out of the closet this weekend. If there’s one thing that puts Toronto above Ottawa, it’s the weather! It’s so freakin’ cold in Ottawa! It’s not even natural sometimes! Thank god summer is on the way…I am already dreaming about patios, beaches, swimming, hot dogs, ice cream, and SUN! Remember when you were a kid and summer seemed to last f0r-ev-err. All you had to do was wake up, find your friends and run around outside all day everyday eating popsicles and filling up your little paper bag with 5 cent candies at the convenience store. Do they still sell 5 cent candies at the convenience store? I may have to check this out one day soon.

Anyways, this treat can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike! I am very interested in finding ways to reduce the amount of processed food that I buy at the groIMG_1516cery store. While we don’t buy granola bars all the time, they are good to have on hand for a quick snack when time is short. I am obsessed with these chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels found at the bulk barn, so this recipe really caught my eye. The peanut butter-pretzel combo is almost magic.

I changed the recipe only slightly from the original  only to use what I had on hand. I used Cheerios instead of the puffed rice, and canola oil instead of the butter. I also used salted peanuts to increase the salty factor a bit. I think the recipe is pretty forgiving, so use what you have on hand, keeping the liquid to dry ratios as they are.

These are really really good, and my intentions of keeping them on hand for emergency snacks didn’t work so well once I tasted them. But, at least I can feel relieved because I know EXACTLY what went into these granola bars, and I can be confident that I’m not ingesting anything weird with a long chemically-sounding name.

Sweet and Salty Granola Bars

Slightly Adapted from How Sweet EatsIMG_1521

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup Cheerios cereal
  • 1/2 cup salted pretzels, crushed
  • 1/8 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (I used the natural kind)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I used the mini ones)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine oats, Cheerios, pretzels, flaxseed, brown sugar and flour. Stir to combine.

Add peanut butter and mix well with a spoon to incorporate (You will have to stir it for a few minutes, and it will begin to resemble a ‘dough’. Everything should be fully combined).

Combine canola oil with vanilla, and add to dough. Add honey and stir to fully moisten and combine everything. Stir in chocolate chips.

Press dough into a greased 8×8 baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting or it will be crumbly!

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Peanut Butter Protein Bars

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It’s peanut butter jelly time, peanut butter jelly time! Peanut butta, jellllay! I don’t know why this song comes into my head whenever I think about peanut butter (which is more often than you might want to know..hehe), but it is pretty catchy. I only have one question, what the heck is peanut butter jelly with a baseball bat? I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, but if you need a little refresher, watch the video again. Try not to get the song stuck in your head!

This comes from the era of other great web videos like this one. Watch out for that snake! Remember when such simple things like these were the joys of the internet? I remember waiting for my computer to dial up to the internet so I could watch this gem of a video in 1999. And then my mom would pick up the phone to make a call, and the internet would disconnect. Those were the days! Remember when you had to monitor your internet minutes to not go over the limit? And waiting an hour for one song to download on Napster? These are the stories I will tell my children one day…hahaha.

IMG_0694Anyways, if you know me or not, you must know that I am addicted to peanut butter. In the past I have been capable of eating a 1kg jar of peanut butter in one week. This habit got so out of control that I had to cut back. I will eat peanut butter with almost anything.

I think it all started when I was younger and I would whine to my mom about wanting dessert, and she would give me a spoon of peanut butter.

One time in my first year of university, I accidentally left the lid off my jar of peanut butter while I went to class, and when I came back, the whole room smelled like peanut butter! I don’t know if my roommate remembers this, but she was kind of disgusted. Hehehe…sorrrrry!

This recipe comes from one of my favourite blogs, Peanut Butter Fingers. I always like to find recipes for ‘healthy’ treats that I can pass off as dessert, but not feel like I’ve overindulged.  These also work as a great post or pre workout snack! A little protein to fuel you up! Even better is that this is no bake!IMG_0688 These are SO delicious. I had one for a snack at work, and all I could think about the rest of the day was coming home to have another one. Even my non peanut butter loving, dessert hater boyfriend thought these were amazing. Trust me, they are AMAZING! and HEALTHY!

I love the combo of peanut butter and dried cranberries. It’s like peanut butter and jelly! I get my dried cranberries from a natural food shop in Ottawa, and they are sweetened with applesauce, which means no sugar added, which I love!

This recipe can be adapted with as many add ins as you like! You could add raisins, other dried fruits, chocolate chips, nuts…the possibilities are endless.

I added chia seeds for an extra healthy punch. Have you heard of chia seeds? They are a great superfood packed with lots of health benefits! I get mine at the bulk barn. The original recipe also included brown sugar which I cut out. The honey made it sweet enough in my opinion! I used 1 cup of natural peanut butter, and 1/2 cup of crunchy regular peanut butter, but you can easily substitute all regular pb.

They are really delicious, and the peanut butter-honey combo reminds me of the peanut butter and honey sandwiches I used to eat when I was younger!

IMG_0697Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 5 cups bran flakes
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseeds
  • 1 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Melt honey and peanut butter in microwave until smooth and slightly runny ( Since my natural peanut butter was really runny, I only microwaved for 30 seconds, but you just want the peanut butter mixture to be thin enough to be able to incorporate with and coat the bran flakes. Add cinnamon and stir until dissolved.

Stir into bran flakes, flaxseed, chia seeds and dried cranberries.

Press into an 8×8 pan, lined with tinfoil overlapping the ends. Refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight before cutting into squares. The overlaying tinfoil makes it really simple to lift  the whole thing out of the pan to slice!

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