How was your Easter? We spent Easter this year in Kansas City with my in-laws. We had a wonderful day that started with Easter service at my sister-in-laws church, followed by an Easter egg hunt, cooking and lots of indulging. I ate way too much ham and candy. Do I regret it? Not a bit.
Noah was beyond excited about his felt pasta and played with it all day. When we were waiting in line at Walgreens today, he was telling the lady behind us all about it and proceeded to tell her “I’ve wanted fake pasta all my life and now my wish came true.” That kid is too much.
If you are having a little sugar withdraw after all the candy this weekend, I have a snack for you. It will feel like you’re indulging but you’re actually doing something healthy for your body. These energy balls get their sweetness from a ripe banana and taste very similar to a no-bake cookie just without all the sugar and butter.
Plus, they come together in a snap using ingredients you most likely have in your kitchen right now. I love having healthy snacks on hand for when a craving strikes. Otherwise, I tend to make bad choices. And because the ripened banana is so sweet, these really do seem like a treat. I made them small because I personally would rather have a few small treats versus one bigger one. It tricks my inner fat kid into thinking I’m getting more than I really am. Whatever keeps her happy and trapped inside, right?
Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls
recipe adapted from The Lemon Bowl
2 ripe banana, mashed
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 Tbsp. flax seed meal
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 Tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 cup old fashioned oats
1. Mix all ingredients, except oats, together until thoroughly combined. Stir in oats.
2. Using a cookie scoop, portion out energy balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. I used a mini scoop to get about 75 energy balls. If you use a regular cookie scoop you will get 25. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.
I don’t know about you all but when I think of Easter dessert, I always think of fruit and citrus. Those flavors just scream Spring to me. So today I’m bringing you some of my favorite desserts that would be perfect to finish off your Easter feast.
One of my all-time favorite desserts is Lemon Hush and it always, always graces the Easter table. I mean, a shortbread crust, layers of sweetened cream cheese, lemon pudding and Cool Whip. There isn’t anything wrong with that.
Keeping with the lemon theme, these Lemon Bars would be another refreshing choice. Lemon Cheesecake Pie is another creamy, dreamy dessert that has the perfect pucker.
A perfect make ahead dessert would be Strawberry Lemon Sorbet. It’s bright, zingy and very light. Can’t ask for much more after gorging yourself on ham and potatoes.
Everybody loves a theme-y dessert, am I right? Easter Sugar Cookies are so tasty and fun to make. Definitely my favorite cookie hands down.
Brownie Nests are another easy option that would be fun to make with the kiddos. You could even use a brownie mix to make it even easier. Aren’t they cute?
I made these Almond Joy Eggs a few years back and Joel’s co-workers still talk about them. I have to admit, I haven’t made them in quite awhile because I really despise dipping in chocolate. I just don’t have the patience for it and if I haven’t mentioned, I have a little problem with perfection so it usually doesn’t end well. But they are just so stinking adorable that they are worth it for Easter.
Speaking of delicious things in the shape of eggs, there is always these Peanut Butter Eggs. Reese’s Eggs are pretty much the best candy ever and something I look forward to as soon as Valentine’s Day is over and the stores switch over to Easter candy.
I know this isn’t dessert but this citrusy, Spring Sangria would be another perfect way to end your meal this Sunday. Or start it. I don’t judge.
I hope you guys enjoyed this round up of dessert deliciousness. Would you be interested in one featuring side dishes?
Did you know today is National Peanut Butter Lovers Day? That is definitely something worth celebrating! My favorite way to indulge in peanut butter is with chocolate of course. I know I have expressed my deep love of the combination a many a time around here. I mean, there’s peanut butter bars (one of my all time favorite desserts), peanut butter eggs, cookie dough bites, Elvis ice cream, need I go on? I really have an undeniable love. So when I was contacted to try Unilever’s peanut butter ice cream products I knew I couldn’t say no. I’m calling it research. I can’t let those products sit on the shelf and not let my loyal readers know how they are, it’s for the good of the people. That’s how I justify the calories at least.
And what better way to celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Day then with ice cream! I don’t care if it’s cold outside, it’s always ice cream time.
I was provided the opportunity to try Breyers Blast! Reese’s Chocolate, Klondike Reese’s and Magnum Double Peanut Butter. Well, I was a fan of the Klondike Reese’s Bars before I was contacted so they have been gladly consumed many times around here. I love the bits of Reese’s cups throughout the ice cream and of course, the chocolate coating. I went to Klondike’s website and they suggested making a shake with one. What kind of food blogger would I be if I didn’t try that out? I did, just for you. And it was good. Do it, do it now.
I definitely enjoyed the Magnum Double Peanut Butter Bars the most. I’ve never tried any of the Magnum Ice Creams Bars before so I can’t compare them but I’m pretty sure the chocolate coating was made by sweet, sweet angels. It’s so rich and tastes like pure, real chocolate unlike lots of coatings out there that taste weird and waxy. I love the peanut butter layer between the chocolate. It adds an extra creamy richness that just puts these over the top. I see the almond, dark and gold varieties in my future. The Double Peanut Butter variety are only available at select retailers, such as Target, but will be released nationwide in April. Like we needed another reason to go to Target? Just add these to the list, or don’t…because you know you don’t just buy what’s on your list when at Target anyway. I did that once and I was super disappointed in myself as I walked out of the store. Felt like a serious failure at life.
Last, and least for me, was the Breyers Blast! Reese’s Chocolate. This ice cream wasn’t bad by any means, but it was chocolate. Those that have been following me for awhile know that I like my chocolate in small doses. Chocolate chip cookies? Yes. Chocolate cookies? No. Chocolate cake or ice cream are not my thing. It’s just too rich for me. I have to say though, I liked the big chunks of Reese’s throughout the ice cream. I just would have enjoyed it more in vanilla. When we go out for ice cream at places that blend toppings into your custard, I always choose peanut butter cups in vanilla ice cream. ALWAYS. I ordered a limited time flavor once and immediately regretted it. Some may say I’m a creature of habit but I like to think I know what I like.
So if you need a little peanut butter pick me up to celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Day, make sure to go check out one (or all) of these delicious ice cream treats. Or come on over to my house so I don’t eat ALL THE ICE CREAM.
*I was compensated for these products but all opinions are completely my own.
Klondike Reese’s Shake
recipe from Klondike
1 Klondike Reese’s Bar
1/4 cup milk
Handful of ice
Dump all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
I am always leery of gluten free baked goods. Always. Anytime I try to convert something it just isn’t right. Other times I search for recipes that are already gluten free and there are about a zillion different flours needed for one recipe. Since we don’t eat primarily gluten free, I don’t want to invest in that many ingredients, especially considering how expensive they can be. I do keep a few gluten free flours on hand for when my in-laws are visiting and they include coconut flour, almond flour and buckwheat flour. So basically when I go on the search for a yummy gluten free treat, I try to find something that uses one of those options.
As you all know, we have a deep love for muffins in our house. I think it’s probably evidenced by the 16, soon to be 17, recipes in my recipe index. They are easy, freeze well and there are so many options. The picky 4 year old will eat them too. That’s always a big bonus.
And I have to tell you if I hadn’t made these I would have never guessed they were gluten free. I swear. They are by far the best gluten free baked good I’ve ever made. I kind of still can’t get over how good they were. Noah and I made these yesterday morning for breakfast with my in-laws and they all got eaten and we ended up making another batch last night to have throughout the week. I think that says it all. Oh, and I’m pretty positive they would be incredible with a handful of mini chocolate chips mixed in.
Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
recipe adapted from Eat Good 4 Life
1 cup organic peanut butter
3 organic eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups or spray with non-stick spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, eggs, bananas and almond milk. Stir in the remaining ingredients until just combined.
2. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin (I use an ice cream scoop to ensure consistency). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Sometimes during the holiday season, you get busy and stressed with your mile long to-do list. Right? So sometimes you need a really easy cookie recipe to whip up so that you can just get something marked off the dang list. That’s how I felt this weekend as I kept adding more and more things to my to-do rather than getting anything checked. I mean, seriously, getting an entire household ready for Christmas by the 22nd with a husband working late every night is kind of hard. But I was determined to get my Christmas baking done this past weekend so that Joel could take a bunch to work and I could deliver some treats to our wonderful friends.
I kept perusing my ever-growing list of treats then had the stupid idea of going on Pinterest…and found a gazillion more recipes I wanted to try. But it ended well because I found this super simple 4 ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe in the meantime and ultimately decided to pare down my list. I decided on cookie dough bites (pretty much my favorite thing ever), old fashioned iced oatmeal cookies, pretzel m&m rings, peppermint brownies (which I will share later this week) and these giant beauties. I baked them all up yesterday and promptly gained 4 pounds in the name of food blogging. I had to taste them to make sure they were good. Well, I’ve made the majority of the items on my list before so I guess I can’t put all the blame on you. Darn it.
While we’re on the topic of overeating, I’m kind of ready for the new year so I can get back on track. The holidays really throw me off and a new year brings revived discipline.
But let’s not talk about discipline now, let’s talk about thick cookies as big as your head. These cookies call for 4 ingredients which you may already have in your pantry. And you won’t guess the 4th ingredient….Bisquick. I wasn’t sure at first but was willing to try it since they were so easy and quick. And I’m so glad I did.
They are soft, thick and not too sweet or rich like a lot of peanut butter cookie recipes. Although the recipe calls to make them huge, you certainly could scale them down to fit on your holiday cookie trays. Make sure to try these simple recipe to help you get that next thing checked off the list!
4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
recipe from Averie Cooks
1 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use natural or homemade for these)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 cup Bisquick
1. In a stand mixer, stir together peanut butter, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until combined. Add Bisquick and stir to combine.
2. Using 1/4 cup measure, roll balls and place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Smash halfway down with a fork twice, making a crisscross pattern. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until just set. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for about 10 minutes so they can firm up. Cookies keep in an airtight container for 1 week.
These dense, chewy cookie bars are bursting with peanut butter and two different kinds of chocolate. They start out with my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe then huge handfuls of peanut butter M&M’s, dark and white chocolate are mixed in for some crazy good decadence. Then they immediately get taken to work with Joel because I have no self control. And apparently his co-workers don’t either because they were gone before lunch.
I did save a little square for Noah and I to share because you know, I have to be able to tell you about the deliciousness. Gosh, the things I do for you! I really didn’t have to try them since I’m pretty sure the ingredient list and pictures speak for themselves. Who wouldn’t want to inhale one of those? Well, besides someone allergic to peanuts. That would be a bummer.
Loaded Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco
1 1/4 brown sugar
1 large egg
3 Tbsp. half and half or milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup peanut butter M&M’s
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream peanut butter, shortening and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg; mix well. Stir in milk and vanilla.
2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in M&M’s, dark chocolate and white chocolate.
3. Grease a 13×9 and spread cookie dough evenly. Bake for 18-22 minutes.
My mixer hasn’t seen much action the past few months and Noah really wanted to make a pretend birthday cake. Yep, he’s a weird but very very smart child. He can think of any excuse for dessert. He’d been throwing me a pretend birthday party all morning and what’s a party without cake? I have trained him well.
So, these aren’t cake but I had them on my mind since my mom raved about them days before when she had sampled them at a luncheon at work. It didn’t take much convincing to make blondies instead of cake since they had frosting AND chocolate.
I also assume you all have been really missing the sugary goodness around here so I decided I would sacrifice for you and sample one of these bars as my cheat for the week. Oh, the things I do for you guys! But then they were immediately wrapped up and sent to work with Joel. I just couldn’t be trusted with them in the house.
They are chewy and gooey with all kinds of butterfinger goodness throughout the blondies and frosting. Make sure to bake them just until they are set for ultimate deliciousness. Let me warn you, they are incredibly rich so just a few bites will satisfy your sweet tooth sufficiently.
And make sure to keep these in mind to use up those extra butterfingers after Easter!
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
2 cups coarsely chopped Butterfinger Bars (approximately 16 “Fun Size” bars)
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped Butterfinger Bars (approximately 4 “Fun Size” bars)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugars in mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until incorporated. On low add your dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda) until just combined. Stir in your chopped Butterfingers.
2. Spread in a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 25 minutes until center is JUST set. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
3. For the frosting: cream the butter and shortening together until smooth. Add in you powdered sugar on low speed. Turn speed up to medium and mix until smooth Stir in your chopped Butterfingers. Spread on your cooled blondies