Patriotic Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies

Patriotic Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies 4
You know how you run into Target for 2 things and leave with 10. Well, these patriotic M&M’s where one of the additional things on my latest trip. What is it about that place? Everything is so shiny and bright and hard to resist. I don’t know how they do it but they get me every time with those seasonal end caps.
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I was literally rushing through the store since Joel and the kids were waiting in the car and as I walked past the display my arm just went out and grabbed them. Like I didn’t even have control over it. Some kind of crazy hypnotism mind and body altering business going on there. But I like it. Joel probably doesn’t but I do all the shopping so that’s his price (literally) to pay.

I’ve had these hidden in the depths of the pantry for a couple weeks so my children didn’t find them because I’m pretty sure they are bloodhounds and their hunt is for chocolate. Even the babe knows what’s up.
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I know I’ve said it a million times but I love peanut butter and chocolate together. And a brownie slathered with peanut butter frosting, I’m pretty sure they’ll be served in Heaven. I didn’t think they could get better but then I added peanut M&M’s. I love the crunch they add to the chewy brownies and creamy frosting.
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After the first bite, I quickly cut a row to save for home and sent the rest with Joel to work. Because I can resist a lot of desserts but I knew these would own me.

For more patriotic ideas to celebrate the 4th, check out the end of the post.

Patriotic Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies

1 box brownies, plus required ingredients (13×9 size)
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 bag patriotic peanut M&M’s*

1. Prepare and bake brownies according to package directions. Allow to cool.

2. Meanwhile, beat butter and peanut butter together in a mixer until combined. Add salt and vanilla and combine again. Add powdered sugar and combine slowly. Once powdered sugar has been incorporated, turn mixer on medium high and beat for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.

3. Spread peanut butter frosting on cooled brownies and sprinkles with M&M’s.

*If I remember correctly, they were exclusively available at Target. Oh darn, you have to make a Target run.

Patriotic Pudding Pops
4th of July Pudding Pops 5
Patriotic Funfetti Whoopie Pies
4th of July Funfetti Whoopie Pies
Patriotic Fruit Skewers
4th of July Fruit Skewers
Red, White and Blue Layered Milkshake
Red, White and Blue Milkshake 2
4th of July Rice Krispie Cupcakes
4th of July Rice Krispie Cupcakes 3

Samoas Krispie Treats

Samoas Rice Krispie Treats 4
You know what’s the best idea ever? A babysitter. During the week. While your husband is at work. That’s what’s going on as I write this. Yep, I’m in a coffee shop by myself sipping the most glorious iced coffee known to man. Is it really that good or is just because I’m alone and don’t have this toy going off every 2 seconds? When I was first considering this I felt guilt and was having a hard time justifying it since I don’t have a real job. Then summer started and I decided it would be good for everyone’s sanity.

In four hours I’m able to write posts for the whole week and they can be more substantial and include quality information. I even have time to run an errand by myself too. Not having kids screaming through the grocery store that the other is touching them is worth the money alone. Instead of writing and editing photos after the kids are in bed, I can actually spend quality time with Joel. And I feel so refreshed and way more patient when I return home.
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Rice krispie treats take me back to easier times when I was the kid, not the adult taking care of them. They are just so dang nostalgic for me. Add a girl scout cookie twist and it’s like I’m running around outside barefoot without a care in the world. I guess what I’m saying is I should make rice krispie treats everyday. Did I just find the solution to world peace?

This ooey-gooey treat is made by combining chocolate cereal, toasted coconut marshmallows, a coconutty chocolate topping and a drizzle of caramel. That’s some serious, messy indulgence right there.
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We all know samoas are the king of all the cookies so these are a complete no-brainer. So go make these, then hide in the closet and pretend those kids banging on the door are just playing a friendly game of hide and seek instead of stalking you.

Samoas Krispie Treats

8 oz. toasted coconut marshmallows
3 Tbsp. butter
5 1/2 cups cocoa pebbles cereal
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted coconut
Caramel sauce, for drizzling

1. Spray a 13×9 with non-stick spray. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and marshmallows. Stir until combined.

2. Drizzle melted marshmallows over the cocoa pebbles and stir until completely combined. Press into prepared pan.

3. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave, in 30 second increments. Once melted, stir in the toasted coconut. Spread thinly over the rice krispie treats. Drizzle with desired amount of caramel sauce.

 

Sweet and Salty Trail Mix

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Here I am again, with another sweet and salty snack. I have a thing for them if you haven’t noticed. My kids caught a nasty virus this past week which meant lots of snuggling and not a lot of cooking. When cooking isn’t happening, unhealthy eating usually is. Ain’t nobody got time to cook a healthy meal or even wash and cut up fruit when a baby needs to be held 24/7. So when said baby was napping, I quickly threw together this trail mix to have something easy and somewhat healthy I could cram into my mouth while snuggling.
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And you better believe once she was feeling better, she was sitting alongside me cramming it in her mouth too. She once again was whining and attempting to steal the trail mix the whole time I took pictures.
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It was in this moment where I wondered again why I didn’t wait until they were sleeping to take pictures. Then I remembered it would most likely be gone by then, #snackaddiction. I have no idea where they got that from…
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I love the touch of saltiness that the pretzels add. And honey roasted almonds, come on. Not only is this an easy snack to throw together but it’s super portable and way more affordable than the store-bought varieties. Plus, you can customize it to fit your tastes. I predict this will be the snack of the summer around here.
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Sweet and Salty Trail Mix

1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
1/2 cup honey roasted almonds
2 cups pretzels
2 cups vanilla chex, or cereal of choice
1 cup raisins
1 cup banana chips
3/4 cup mini M&Ms

Mix all ingredients together and keep in an airtight container.
Sweet and Salty Trail Mix 3

Kettle Chip Bark

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Living in North Dakota, I learned about a lot of interesting foods. Lefse, a delicious Norwegian potato flatbread that is amazing brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Lutefisk which is a dried and salted fish that gets gelatinous in texture. Can’t say I could ever be convinced to try that one. But best of all, the chocolate dipped potato chip.
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Why had I never thought of that before? I love chocolate dipped pretzels so you would think with my adoration of chips and all things sweet and salty, I would have gone there. But alas, the northerners beat me to it. It was the ruffle chip that I always saw dipped but I love salty, crunchy kettle chips so that’s the direction I chose.
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I’ve mentioned before how much I hate dipping things in chocolate. It’s messy, they never look as pretty and it takes forever. So I figured, why bother dipping when I can make it into a bark. The lazy man’s way to consume chocolate dipped chips.
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This bark is such a snap to make and can be done in 12 minutes with 10 of those being inactive. Melt chocolate, mix in chips, spread and top with more chips, freeze and done. If you keep a well stocked pantry, because all well stocked pantries should have chips duh, you could make this any time the sweet and salty craving strikes.
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Even my non-kettle chip loving husband loved this. Yes, sometimes I wonder why I married him too, #chipsforlife.
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Kettle Chip Bark

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups crushed kettle chips, divided

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until the chocolate chips are smooth and melted. Meanwhile take 1/2 cup kettle chips and crush until fine.

2. Mix finely crushed kettle chips into the melted chocolate. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and spread into a thin layer. Sprinkle with remaining cup of crushed kettle chips. Place in freezer for 10 minutes then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
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Sunday Inspiration {S’mores Edition}

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I have to admit I don’t love marshmallows. The only time I’m down with them is when they are brown, bubbly and melty between chocolate and graham crackers. Aka the s’more. With summer around the corner, s’mores are going to be all over the place. But why stop at a simple, traditional s’more when you could make them into pies, cookies and desserts galore. Am I right?

S’mores Macaroons. You so fancy.

Fun and portable Mini S’mores Hand Pies.

Making anything sweet and salty is always a good choice.

S’mores Buttercream Frosting, whaaaat?

S’mores for breakfast? Yes and yes.

S’mores Cookie Dough Dip. You all know how I feel about dip.

Make ’em boozy

Add fruit, it makes them healthy.

I’m seriously dying over this pie.

Toasted S’mores Milkshake. Enough said.

Ooey Gooey s’mores combined with oatmeal cookies. Winning combination.

A kid’s dream right here.

A new campfire spin on s’mores.

So there you have it, enough s’mores recipes to last you all summer.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I just realized it’s been over a year since I shared a cookie recipe. Say what? Super weird seeing that we make cookies quite a bit. But I guess we have our favorites and don’t always branch out.
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Well, Noah and I were craving cookies recently so we decided to try out a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. I love a cookie with a little texture and chew so when I came across this recipe, I had a feeling it would be a winner. Especially since it’s been declared King Arthur Flour’s Recipe of 2015. That’s quite a claim so we felt it our civic duty to make sure.
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I haven’t tried any of their other recipes but I have to say these were pretty dang delicious. They are packed with melty chocolate chips, chewy oats and crunchy walnuts (not in the original recipe). Pretty much my dream come true when it comes to cookies.
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My only complaint is that they didn’t stay fresh for very long, probably 3 days max. But, if you’re like us and don’t eat your way through a batch in that amount of time, you could freeze half for when your sweet tooth hits.
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Do you like nuts in your cookies? I’ve found people either love them or hate them. I think they totally make a cookie but Joel of course doesn’t agree so I usually bake half without and the other half with so we can both be happy. The kids will take a cookie any way I give it to them so they are easy to please! If you don’t dig walnuts, just leave them out. I taste tested both options, for you guys of course, and they are great either way.
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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
recipe from King Arthur Flour

1 cup (unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 3/4 teaspoon regular table salt
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, optional

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until combined. Add in the egg and egg yolk, one at a time. Mix in vanilla. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients until dough comes together.

3. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Using a cookie scoop, place dough on cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet then remove to a cooling rack.

 

Breyers Gelato Indulgences {Partnership with Unilever}

Every year in Vegas, I stop at a little shop in the Bellagio for some pistachio gelato. I love the creamy, silky texture and the richness just can’t be beat. Well, you know what happened this year? I totally spaced the dang gelato. Luckily, I’ve teamed up with Unilever again and had some Breyers Gelato Indulgences in my freezer waiting for me when I got home.
Unilever Ice Cream - Breyers Gelato Indulgences Strawberry Truffle 2
Unilever has rolled out 16 new frozen treats this year and among them, 4 different gelato flavors. I picked up two of the new flavors, the Mint Chocolate and Strawberry Truffle varieties because I just couldn’t decide. Mint chocolate chip ice cream is my absolute favorite flavor so that was a total no-brainer for me. The mint was so refreshing and so delicious when paired with the rich chocolate.
Unilever Ice Cream - Breyers Gelato Indulgences Strawberry Truffle 1
Noah voted for strawberry truffle and I’m so glad he did. It tasted so fresh, just like biting into an actual strawberry. The dark chocolate was intense but perfect with the sweet strawberry gelato. And they are indulgent for sure, one scoop was super satisfying. I can see a serious addiction in our future.
Unilever Ice Cream - Breyers Gelato Indulgences Strawberry Truffle 3
I can’t wait to try the other new ice cream treats they released this year. I especially have my eye on Good Humor Thin Mints Bars and I know Joel will drool over the Klondike Cookie Dough Swirl. I mean, seriously, how could you go wrong?
Unilever Ice Cream - Breyers Gelato Indulgences Strawberry Truffle 4
If you have kiddos, make sure to look for the new Disney Frozen Popsicles and Tootsie Pops Popsicles. They will be the perfect treat to cool down on hot summer days.

*I was provided these products free of charge but all opinions are my own.