Friday, December 5, 2014

Oreo Peppermint Crunch Cookies

 Today, I think I get the coolest wife award!  I made my husband not one, not two, but three treats to take into work for the staff to munch on while they were doing trainings today!  I am going to miss being home the two weeks prior to Christmas, so I guess I'm trying to get my love for holiday baking out of the way before we head out.  So stay tuned for the rest of those recipes :)  
 As I was mixing up the dough for these cookies, I thought there was no way they would turn out.  I was absolutely positive there were ten times for mix-ins than dough itself.  I mean we have peppermint crunch pieces, Oreos, and dark chocolate chips...and a lot of each!  I was happy to see that they actually baked up according to plan.  
They are delicious, super soft, and have a great mint flavor.  They are so perfect to take to neighbors or send out the door with your spouse when they have a meeting at work ;)  Or best yet, pour yourself a glass of milk and kick back to have one (or ten).

Oreo Peppermint Crunch Cookies

1 box white cake mix (15.25 oz.)(I use Pillsbury)
1 stick butter, melted (8 Tbsp.)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup Oreo cookie chunks
1 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch pieces
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Combine the cake mix, melted butter, egg, and extracts. Beat until a soft dough forms. Add the cream cheese and beat in gently until combined. Stir in the peppermint crunch pieces and chocolate chips first. Then gently stir in the cookie pieces by hand being careful not to break up the cookie more. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.
Roll the dough into 36 balls. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. Do not over bake. The cookies will be very soft and look undone. Let them sit on the hot cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then gently remove them with a spatula to a piece of wax paper on the counter.
Very gently tap the tops of the cookies with the bottom of the spatula to even out the tops. Let them sit until completely cool. Store in a sealed container. Makes 36 cookies.

Recipe Source:  Inside Brew Crew Life

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

I know I talk about it PLENTY....but I always have tons of blueberries at my house.  We load up in the summertime, and I love having them year-round for smoothies, baked goods, syrups, etc.  

I made this one night when I wanted some breakfast for dinner.  So after whipping this up and having some omlets, dinner was served...and it was AWESOME!  Enjoy :)

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp white sugar
Zest of one lemon
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of flour (divided)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup of buttermilk
2 cups of fresh blueberries
1 tbsp white sugar (for the top)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.

Cream the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together with a mixer until creamy & smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the blueberries and toss to coat evenly. Mix the remaining flour together with the baking powder and salt until well mixed. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture a little at a time alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries gently. Spread batter into the pan evenly. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on top of the batter. Side note: The batter will be very thick.

Place into the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let it cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

Recipe Source:  For the Love of Cooking

Friday, November 14, 2014

Copycat Lofthouse Sugar Cookies

I hate that we live far away from family.  I LOVE when they come visit :)  This time they came up to visit in the heart of October, so I tried to plan lots of fun fall time activities.  We went and pressed apple cider, decorated cookies, painted pumpkins, went hiking, and ate lots of good food.  We made these cookies, and they are soooo good!  Homemade frosting completed the yummy cookies, and it was great to have lots of helpers around to eat all these cookies...otherwise I would have!

Copycat Lofthouse Sugar Cookies

For the Cookies:
6 cups flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups light sour cream

For the Frosting:
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons heavy cream
Several drops food coloring

In a medium bowl, whisk 5 cups of flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dough needs to obtain the right consistency for rolling, so add additional flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until this is achieved (up to 1 cup more flour). Divide dough into two sections. Flatten into rectangles about 1 1/2 inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.

Generously flour a work area and rolling pin. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes, until pale golden. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar. Once smooth and creamy, add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired spreading consistency is achieved. If desired, add food coloring and beat until combined.

Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container. Let cookies sit for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

Recipe Source: Sweet Peas Kitchen

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Banana Blueberry Bread

To let the truth me told...I miss food blogging like I used to.  I miss getting excited to try new recipes EVERY SINGLE DAY.  No lie, for a period of about 3 years, we did not eat the same dinner twice (well, it was a rare occasion anyway).  On Sundays when the ads and coupons came, I would make my game plan for the week (many times I would meal plan for 2 weeks at a time), and Monday I'd hit the store with my list and coupons in hand.  I only went to the store every 2 weeks back then.  I spent a heck of a lot less money doing it this way.  

When my husband got out of professional school and we moved across the country, and our income was a bit more, I just got out of the habit...because lets face it, couponing takes time...lots of time.  By the time you match the coupons to the sales at different stores, meal plan around the ads, make your way to all those stores, it takes a lot of time.  I want to find a happy medium to where I can save a bit of money, still try new things all the time, AND not go to the store every other day for things I have forgotten.  I'll post back on how that goes.  

We've been eating a lot of bananas at our house lately.  By the time each of my 3 boys and I each eat one every day, we are going through bunches and bunches every week.  I was surprised I even had a banana with a brown spot on it.  I have been craving banana bread for a while now, and I saw this recipe using blueberries (which I have a plethora of in my freezer), so I decided to go for it.  This bread is perfectly moist, and the blueberries are a nice change from the regular old banana bread.  A winner for sure :)

Banana Blueberry Bread

4 ripe bananas ~ 1 1/2c mashed
1 c fresh blueberries
1 1/4 c flour (I use 1/2 c wheat, 3/4 c AP)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbls butter, softened
3/4 c light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325. Peel and mash the bananas.  Stir in the butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until well combined.

Combine the dry ingredients. Pour half of the flour and baking soda mixture into the wet ingredients and stir just until combined.  Add the blueberries to the remaining dry ingredients and coat the blueberries with the flour mixture.  Stir in the blueberries and remaining dry ingredients just until combined.

Grease and flour a bread pan and the pour the mixture in.  Let the bread bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing.  Slice, serve, and enjoy! I love seeing the bright blueberries and banana chunks in each slice of bread - YUM!

Recipe Source:  Mom On Timeout

Want more bread recipes?  Try one of these:

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Walnut Bread

Lemon Zucchini Bread

Copycat Kneaders Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars.

Oh my...these babies are serious DA BOMB!  I hate that my pic is sub-par, but I had to snap a quick photo so I could post this recipe for future use before they were all gone :)  You will love these bars combining two of your favorites...chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin cheesecake.  Seriously yummy!  And as I side note, I am on a fitness challenge right now and am staying away from sugar since I made these bars...I crave them. Daily.  That's all :)

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

For the crust:

2 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 18 full size crackers)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:

2 package (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin (canned, NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

For the cookie dough:

1 package (30oz) refrigerated Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

For the crust, pulse graham crackers in a food processor until fine crumbs. Add sugar and melted butter, pulse until blended.

Line a 13x9 baking dish with parchment paper. Press crumbs into bottom of pan until evenly pressed.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cheesecake layer ingredients for 3-5 minutes until blended and smooth. Pour over crust layer.

Either make your own cookie dough using this recipe for the cookie layer. Or using the refrigerated cookie dough, crumble the dough over the cheesecake layer.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes, center may still seem wiggly, it's okay. Cool pan completely, then refrigerate for 3-4 hours (or overnight). Once completely chilled, cut into bars and enjoy.

Store cookie bars in refrigerator for up to 4 days. Or, freeze in an airtight container until later.

Recipe Source:  Shugary Sweets

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

 This is the third time I've made these...and I keep forgetting to take a picture so I can post them!  It is hard to get veggies in my hubby.  He doesn't mind them, but it is never something he asks for by any means.  This recipe is one way to get in lots of veggies, and he doesn't feel like he's putting a whole zucchini into his system.  The marinara and mozzarella make it seem like you are just downing some spaghetti :)  This same site has recipes for taco and enchilada stuffed zucchini boats...we'll have to venture out and try those next.  Enjoy!
Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

1 1/4 cups quick marinara sauce
4 (31 oz total) medium zucchini
1 tsp oil
1/2 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
14 oz lean Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing (Al Fresco)
1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella (Polly-O)
8 tsp grated Parmesan cheese.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Preheat oven to 400°. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4" thick. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside.

Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water.

Place 1/4 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 12" baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up.

In a large saute pan, brown sausage, breaking up as it cooks into smaller pieces until browned; set aside. Heat oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook on a medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook about 2-3 minutes. Combine with sausage and cook a few more minutes.

Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup cooked sausage, pressing firmly. Top each with 2 tablespoons each of sauce, 1 tablespoon each of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 teaspoon each of parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through.

Recipe Source:  Skinny Taste

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Firecracker Chicken

I love it when I find a new recipe that my hubby just raves about.  Some of his favorite Pinterest finds I have made are Breaded Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce,Spicy Sausage Pasta, Saucy Crockpot Red Beans and RiceBroccoli Beef, andCopycat Lion House Bacon Fried Rice and Sweet and Sour Meatballs to name a few.  This one is going in the books with this category!  

Really, these aren't too spicy at all.  Just a yummy sauce ready to fulfill your Chinese food cravings :)  He said the leftovers were great the next day for lunch as well. Enjoy!

Firecracker Chicken

¼ cup canola oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup cornstarch
2 large eggs, beaten

⅓ cup buffalo sauce (if you like more heat use hot sauce, like Frank’s brand)
1¼ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.

In separate bowls, place cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs. Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture. I have also found that you can put the cornstarch in a gallon sized bag and shake the chicken to coat.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned. Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, buffalo sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, water, salt and red pepper flakes. Pour over chicken and bake for 1 hour.

I stirred the chicken every 15 minutes so that it coated them in the sauce.

Recipe Source:  The Recipe Critic

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Preztel "Buckeye" Bites

My husband went to THE Ohio State for dental school.  In our years there, we got season tickets to the football game EVERY YEAR.  Ohio fact, Ohio=football!  It's hard to get out of the house on a Saturday in the fall and not run into hundreds of people dressed in scarlet and gray.

Anyhow, now we live on the other end of the country, and miss the atmosphere of the stadium so much.  We never miss a game, still wave our flag proudly outside our home, and don our apparel each Saturday.  We had some friends over for the game this last Saturday and wanted them to have some game day treats.  I opted out of the traditional Buckeyes (although extremely delicious) when I saw this recipe.  I'm a sucker for salty+sweet snacks.  And come on...a Buckeye sandwiched in a pretzel?!  Heaven :)  

To be honest, my 6-year old made these for us and did a FABULOUS job :)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Preztel "Buckeye" Bites

1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat peanut butter and butter until combined. Scrape down bowl, add sugars and beat until combined. You should be able to roll the mixture into balls without sticking to your hands. If needed, add more powdered sugar until you reach a consistency that is easy to roll.
Roll the mixture into small balls, about 1 teaspoon of mixture for each ball, and place on prepared baking sheet. Sandwich the balls between two pretzels and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat. Dip each pretzel bite halfway into the melted chocolate and place on the prepared baking sheet. Chill in refrigerator until chocolate is set.

Recipe Source:  Sweet Pea's Kitchen

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bang Bang Chicken Skewers with Grilled Summer Veggies

Every time we have gone to Bonefish Grill, the hubs always orders Bang Bang Shrimp.  I am not much of a seafood gal, but I tasted one anyhow and LOVED the sauce!  On a future trip, I saw they had some bang bang chicken and I'm hooked!  This chicken is not the same as they do in the restaurant...I wanted a little healthier version rather than the breaded variety (although delicious).  

We paired ours up with some yummy zucchini, summer squash, green bell pepper, red onion, and couscous for a delicious dinner.  If nothing else, make the sauce and try it on some different meats, with your chicken nuggets...experiment and see what you like!

Bang Bang Chicken Skewers with Grilled Summer Veggies

4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 red onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 12-oz package of mushrooms, cut in half
1 pint grape tomatoes
Olive oil, a few tablespoons for drizzling
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
2 teaspoons chile garlic sauce, or more to taste

Soak wooden skewers for 30 minutes before using. You can also use metal skewers.

Thread the chicken, zucchini, onion, mushrooms and tomatoes onto the skewers (keep each thing separate since they have different cooking times). Drizzle the chicken and veggies with oil, then season with salt and pepper.

Whisk together the mayonnaise, Thai sweet chili sauce, and chile garlic sauce. Set aside.

Pre-heat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Add the skewers. Cook the veggies for 6-8 minutes, or until tender, and the chicken 10-12 minutes.

Remove the skewers from the grill and let rest a few minutes. Remove the chicken and veggies from the skewers before eating. Toss the chicken with the sauce and serve alongside the veggies.

Recipe Source:  Taste of Home Cooking

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Peanut Noodles with Pork

I honestly have been receiving the Food Network Magazine for a couple years now, and love it!  My problem is I see these fabulous recipes, want to make many of the recipes, then forget about them and all my new recipes come from my Pinterest boards.  Times have changed!!  I have been going through and trying some new delicious recipes, and it's been a fun change cooking from them instead of the blog world for a minute ;)

These noodles turned out good, although I wish there was a bit more sauce, so I'll tweak that for next time!

Peanut Noodles with Pork

Kosher salt
12 ounces Chinese chow mein noodles or spaghetti
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 carrots, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
1 bunch scallions, chopped (white and green parts separated)
1 2 -inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces ground pork (or ground turkey)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
chopped dry roasted peanuts

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain. Whisk the peanut butter, vinegar, 2 tablespoons each water and soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, the carrots and half of the jalapeno in a large bowl. Add the noodles and toss to coat.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallion whites, ginger and garlic; cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the pork and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce.

Transfer the pork mixture to the bowl with the noodles. Add half of the scallion greens and cilantro and toss to coat, adding enough of the reserved pasta water to loosen. Serve topped with the remaining jalapeno, scallion greens and cilantro, and peanuts.

Recipe Source:  Food Network Magazine

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cherry Cannoli Pie

I miss living in Ohio.  We lived so close to so many cool "Big" cities to visit.  On one of our visits, we traveled to Pittsburgh to watch a Pirates game and explore the city.  In our exploration, we went to the little Italian District, where we ate our first Primanti Brothers sandwich, got ice cream, and got some delicious biscotti and cannolis.  This pie reminded me so much of that trip.

This recipe comes from the lovely Food Network Magazine, which I've had a subscription to for the last few years and just love it!  I saw this and with cherry season beginning, this went on my short list to make!!

It turned out fantastic, and with the chocolate layer between the crust and the cherries, there was no soggy pie a few days down the road!  The pistachios are a MUST in this recipe, gives the perfect little crunch this pie needs to make it perfect :) Not to mention, this pie is just pretty and represents all the colors of the Italian flag ;)

Cherry Cannoli Pie

Spread 3 ounces melted chocolate in a 9-inch graham cracker crust; chill until set. Cook 12 ounces pitted cherries with 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a skillet over medium heat until tender, 5 minutes. Whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water; stir into the cherries and cook until thickened, 3 minutes. Let cool, then pour into the crust. Puree 1 cup ricotta, 1/2 cup each pistachios, cream cheese and confectioners' sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract; spread over the cherries. Top with chopped pistachios and candied orange peel. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

Recipe Source:  Food Network Magazine

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Spicy Asian Cucumbers

 I have been trying so hard to eat better...until I see a fabulous dessert.  But I am trying!  Here is a yummy side dish we had with some Asian noodles recently that really hit the spot...was very refreshing, crisp, and healthy.  Definitely better than eating an egg roll on the side ;)  This is so simple, a 5 minute side dish that will go well with any of your Asian dishes.

Spicy Asian Cucumbers

Chop 1 English cucumber. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt; let sit 10 minutes. Whisk 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons each sugar and soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 2 sliced scallions, 1 minced garlic clove and a pinch of red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Drain the cucumber and toss with the dressing; season with salt. Top with chopped cilantro.  

Recipe Source:  Food Network Magazine, June 2014

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie Bars

Contrary to this post, we have been cutting back on the sweets and pop at our house.  I was in charge of treats for a pinewood derby for some of the girls in our church group and we decided to have a "pitstop" with all sorts of treats, and I made a few selections.  Hence this post and the peanut butter bar recipe I shared yesterday.

These bars turned out so yummy and I love that they have coconut oil instead of butter.  They tasted great and there was not one left on the platter.  Success!

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies Bars

3/4 cup coconut oil {you can use butter if you don't have coconut oil}
1.5 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs

{cream above ingredients}

then add...
2 tsp. vanilla
1 7/8 cup flour (i know this measurement is random, but i experimented with all different amounts and this was perfect. basically just do a little less than 2 cups :) 
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 cup oatmeal

{mix well}
take 3/4 of the dough, and press it into a greased rectangular pan. {i use an 8x11 pan, but you can use any similar size depending on the thickness you want} set the remaining dough aside.

for the filling...
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp. coconut oil {can use butter}
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk {7 ounces}...I used Fat Free
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt above ingredients together on stove or on microwave, just until melted. do not boil!  Pour filling evenly over cookie in pan, and spread it over the top.  Take the rest of the dough, break it up and dot it over the frosting.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Let it cool completely, then cut into squares and ENJOY!

Recipe Source: Well Traveled Wife

Friday, May 23, 2014

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

You know those foods that just take you back to childhood?  I'm talking Otter Pops, Mac 'n Cheese, Koolaid, and the old PB&J?!  These bars fit right into that category for me.  I was always so excited when these babies were on the menu at school.  So good!

My hubby does have a rule when it comes to these...they must have a layer of crunchy PB between the bar and chocolate layers.  I highly recommend it!  Here is one other version of these bars from my Mother-in-Law that are always a fav!

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

Cookie Base
1 cup real butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1  1/2 cups peanut butter, chunky or smooth
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoons table salt
3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups quick oats
optional: an extra 3/4 cup peanut butter, see notes in recipe below

Fudge Frosting
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a rimmed cookie sheet (standard half-sheet pan) lightly with non-stick spray and set aside.

Cream butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Add  peanut butter and vanilla and beat until combined.  Add eggs, one at a time and beat between each addition. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt and add mixture to dough.  Beat to combine.  Add oats and mix until incorporated.  Press dough into prepared pan into a flat layer.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes, but up to 15-20.  I’ve noticed that baking time can greatly differ depending on elevation, product brands (especially the peanut butter) etc.  The center should be puffed and set, but still soft.  The one thing you don’t want to do is overbake them.  So just keep an eye on them.

While crust is baking, prepare frosting.  Whisk together powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt.  Add butter (make sure it’s soft!), boiling water, and vanilla.  Beat until smooth and glossy.

When cookie crust is done baking, if desired drizzle about 3/4 cups melted (just nuke it in the microwave) peanut butter on top and then spread on frosting.  Let cool (or leave slightly warm) and cut into squares to serve.  If also desired (and what’s not to be desired here?) serve with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge.  

Recipe Source:  Our Best Bites