Recipe: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Bites

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for a while, so finally, here it is:

One night we invited friends over for an impromptu dinner. Usually these dinners involve each party bringing something for the dinner/desert. No one said anything about desert, and I had a bit of a sweet craving, so I was trying to find something that I could make quickly and not a lot. I grabbed my bag of dark chocolate M&M’s and found a recipe for dark chocolate brownies on the back. I decided to switch it up some and make my own, and they were a big hit.

Combine the gooey-ness of the warm peanut butter with the melted dark chocolate chips & you've got heaven in a bite!

Combine the gooey-ness of the warm peanut butter with the melted dark chocolate chips & you’ve got heaven in a bite!

(I halved the original recipe because I didn’t want to make a whole batch, plus I was doing brownie bites, not brownie bars. You can double this to make more if you’d like.)

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Bites

1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/6 of a cup of butter, cut into pieces
1 tbsp water
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/8 cup whole wheat flour
Nut butter (I used peanut butter)
Extra dark chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease muffin tin with baking butter spray.
  2. Heat the dark chocolate chips, sugar, butter, and water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring consistently, until the chocolate and butter are melted. Pour into medium bowl.
  3. Stir in the egg with a wire whisk until blended, then add vanilla. Add flour and salt and stir well. Add in a couple more dark chocolate chips (and nuts, if you’d like).
  4. Fill the muffin cups with 1 spoonful of the mixture first. Then add a dollop of nut butter in the middle and cover with more brownie mix.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

The mixture of the melty chips and gooey peanut butter is amazing!

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OMG My Husband Baked: Healthy Banana Cookies

Over the weekend my husband and a friend decided they were going to create a healthy meal for me and another friend. Apparently John has been bitten by the health bug after a doctor visit, so I’m hoping he’ll infect M. (Hey, if I can’t do it, maybe he can!)

So John was in charge of the main meal and M the desert. I found M flipping through AllRecipes.com for healthy cookie recipes and he happened upon a banana cookie recipe. He read over the ingredients to me, and when he mentioned the 1/3 cup vegetable oil, I was pretty surprised that this “healthy” recipe called for so much oil. I recommended he give unsweetened applesauce a try (which we already had) and we made a few changes to make the recipe our own.

This is a sight you don't see everyday in my kitchen...sexy!

This is a sight you don’t see everyday in my kitchen…sexy!

If you see the original recipe, it called for pitted dates–I don’t have much experience with dates, but we decided to do without them. M went off to the grocery to buy the ingredients he wanted for the cookies, then set about creating his new, healthy, masterpiece.

M’s Healthy Banana Cookies

5 ripened bananas
2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small packed slivered almonds
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Cinnamon to taste

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.) In a large bowl, mash the bananas (tip: squish them up while still in the peel, then unpeel and squish into the bowl), and combine all the ingredients. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes or so.
3.) Use a tablespoon and drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet (the mixture does not spread, so you can place them close together to fit more if you’d like).
4.) Bake 15-20 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown.

Letting the mixture sit, complete with dark chocolate chips--yum!

Letting the mixture sit, complete with dark chocolate chips–yum!

The texture is chewy, with the right amount of melty dark chocolate goodness (the chocolate chips were a last minute addition, as I had a little bit left in a bag). Next time we’ll probably try walnuts instead of almonds, and maybe cranberries or even give the dates a try.

The aren't the prettiest cookies, but they smell good and taste yummy.

The aren’t the prettiest cookies, but they smell good and taste yummy.

I’m excited to see what he’ll come up with next…I like the domestic side of him!

Recipe: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mug Cake!

Today’s Elf4Health Challenge was to create a mug cake (either in the microwave or oven) and treat yourself and someone special to something sweet. I’d never made a mug cake, but had seen some recipes, so I did some digging and tried to find something on the healthier side. (And a recipe that included the ingredients I had–it was hard to find some without eggs, since I used the last for my breakfast this morning.)

I stumbled upon this recipe on the Elf4Health Facebook page and changed it up a little bit to suit my perimeters.

photo-10

So here it goes: Megan’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake

1 tbsp, + 2 tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp flour (I used 2 tbsp of whole wheat and 1 tbsp all purpose)
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 packet of Splenda (or any stevia/sweetener)
2 tsp sugar or other sweetener (I used honey for my first attempt)
2-3 tsp of unsweetened applesauce
3 tbsp milk (original recipe says “milk of choice”, I used non-fat)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Handful of dark chocolate chips (however many you’d like)
1 spoonful of nut butter (I used JIF creamy peanut butter)

1.) Combine all the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Once combined, add the wet ingredients and mix well.
2.) Scoop half the mixture in your mug, then place spoonful of nut butter in the middle. Scoop the rest of the mixture into the mug.
3.) Place mug in microwave and heat for approximately 50 seconds

It doesn't look pretty, but it's pretty tasty!

It doesn’t look pretty, but it’s pretty tasty!

The combination of the gooey melted peanut butter and melted dark chocolate chips is fantastic! I’m going to work with this recipe more because I feel like it needed a little work, but feel free to give it a try and tell me what you think!

Here are a few recipes I’m going to try later:

C is for Cookie!

I love baking. Some people don’t believe me because I rarely bake. That’s because then I eat what I baked, which isn’t good when you’re trying to watch what you’re eating and trying to lose weight. Most times when I bake, I try to take most of the goodies to work to share with everyone, that way the temptation is away from me and my husband.

Christmas is the best time to bake. Short on the cash, but long on the gift list? Try some baked goods! And they don’t have to be just cookies and candy, but maybe breads, or even just put together kits for friends.

This year I’ve branched out on a lot of different recipes and I have yet to find a recipe I haven’t liked!

Apple Cider Snicker Doodles – These cookies sounded so good, and I was lucky enough to have some hot cider mix in the house thanks to our cider/hot chocolate bar at our wedding. I was able to make them into small little balls to extend the recipe, which was perfect for the little cookie bags I made for my Small Dog Posse. I ended up running out of granulated sugar before I had to roll the cookies, so I used a little brown sugar. They still turned out great!

Pumpkin Spice Cookies – OK, so I cheated a little on these and used a mix. But that’s because I went to try to make the Pumpkin Spice Snicker Doodles, but I didn’t have any pumpkin in the house (fail), and I needed another type of cookie, so I used this mix. They were still pretty darn delicious! (I topped them with pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg). I recommend giving them a try if pressed for time!

Candy Cane Crinkles – I just made these Sunday, and OMG I think these are my favorites so far! I found this recipe on Pinterest and I’m so happy I did. I made these to give to co-workers for Christmas, and I already know I’m going to have to make a second batch. I haven’t attempted to do anything different with this recipe yet, but if I do, I’ll let you know. Definitely give these a try this holiday season. (Come on…what else are you going to do with all of those candy canes after Christmas??)

The best cookies of 2012? I'm probably going to have to say these Candy Cane Crinkles!

The best cookies of 2012? I’m probably going to have to say these Candy Cane Crinkles!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies – Another recipe from Pinterest, only this one is healthy! It incorporates plain Greek yogurt, oatmeal, and dark chocolate chips. I changed up the recipe to use whole wheat flour, and it’s delicious! I’ve had many friends enjoy them, and then are surprised when I tell them what all I use to bake them. (Another bonus–I am trying to like dark chocolate, so these are a great introduction!)

Andes Mint Cookies – Pressed for time? How much easier can you get by using a box of devils food chocolate cake mix, eggs, oil, and some Andes mints?? Now, granted, it might not be as healthy as the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, but we’re allowed to splurge every now and then, right? (Note: I’m going to attempt to try to not use oil next time I make these, so I’ll report back if it’s a success.) The best part of these cookies is that when you take them out of the oven, you place an Andes mint on top. Allow to melt, and use a butter knife to spread it around–easy, yummy, icing! (These would be good for “cookie kits”.)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies – For something a little different from cookies, I definitely recommend these brownies. They’re pretty easy to make, and surprisingly, I was able to get all of my friends to try them and actually really like them. Trust me…pumpkin and chocolate (again, I used dark chocolate chips) are a good thing!

So there are a couple of recipes I encourage you to try this holiday season! There are others that I always love making, such as Tollhouse Cookies and spritz cookies (those are possibly my favorite Christmas cookie I have to say), but these were flavors out of left-field that are sure to excite your friends and family.

 

Yummy (and Healthy) Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

I admit it: I am addicted to Pinterest. I’ve been using it to organize ideas for my wedding, as well as new recipe ideas and new workouts. It’s a lot of fun trying new, healthier recipes, so when I have the time, I experiment with my Pinterest recipes.

A couple of weekends ago I tried a new chocolate chip cookie recipe that had chocolate chips (trying to get use to dark chocolate versus milk chocolate), oatmeal (my newest baking obsession), and plain Greek yogurt. I found this recipe thanks to following Chobani on Pinterest, and loved how simple it was! I only did half the recipe due to lack of ingredients (I was running out of whole wheat flour and didn’t have much plain Greek yogurt left).

Here you go:

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
(this recipe makes 5 dozen)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) plain non fat Greek yogurt (I only had Oikos, but I also love Chobani)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I splash a little extra some times)
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup flour (original recipe called for all-purpose, I used a mix of whole wheat and AP)
  • 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chunks/chips (I used dark chocolate, but milk or semisweet would work too)

  1. Heat over to 350*F and prepare your cookie sheets (I use parchment paper when I bake)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, yogurt, and both sugars with a mixer on medium speed until smooth, then add the eggs and vanilla. Beat until mixed well, then stir in the oats.
  3. In another bowl, stir together the baking soda, salt, and flour. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips/chunks.
  4. (I like to chill my cookie dough in the refrigerator for a little while, so I wrapped the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and let it set for about an hour or so. You can immediately bake, if you’re pressed for time, though.)
  5. Drop the cookie dough by the tablespoon on the cookie sheets (original baker recommended that the smaller the dough drop, the better).
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
  7. Let the the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely. (I got a nice crispy outside edge on these cookies doing this!)
  8. Enjoy!

Note to self: Must setup a better finished cookie shot…

It was an easy, and yet healthy recipe! The cookies were chewy on the inside, but crispy edges on the outside straight from the oven–can’t get any better than that!