Breakfast Cookies

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I’ve never been particularly good with change. I was that delightful child who cried at the beginning and the end of every school year. My poor parents. I have always been someone who has thrived on a set routine, so any major life change typically throws me for a loop. When most of my peers looked forward to high school and college with excited anticipation, I was busy mourning the loss of the  current state of life that I’d just gotten used. And though I looked forward to the new chapters in my life, I still dreaded the changes that those looming graduation days brought. I hated the thought of saying good bye to precious parts of my life that encapsulated the current season of life- be it a hobby, a job, or a friendship, I was always scared of what would happen if that goodbye turned out to be permanent. Even when unhappy phases of life came to a close, I still feared what would happen next. When I left my first full time job, a job that was marked by stress and anxiety, I still left with a slight sense of regret. Because I didn’t know what would happen next. Yet here I am, only a a week away from the biggest life change I’ve ever experienced, and there isn’t a trace of sadness or dread in my temperament. I can’t wait to begin my married life with Eric. I can’t wait to experience the ups and downs and the changing tides of our life together. I’m excited to make plans for the future, but change them as we go. Because we’ll be partners in it all, and that is pretty fantastic.

But luckily, the best parts of my current phase of life, get to come with me in my next chapter as a “Mrs.”One of which is going over to my Mom’s house and spending the afternoon chatting and baking. We made these breakfast cookies last weekend as a nice little break from wedding planning, and I realized that baking with my mom has been something I’ve carried with me through each phase of life. From the time I was a 1st grader standing on a stool to help her make cookies, to the times I came home for weekends in college to cook dinner, time in the kitchen with my mom is ever present. And though I’m excited for changes to come, this is one thing I am so happy will never change.

These “cookies” are so healthy you could easily eat them for breakfast, but they are definitely sweet enough for dessert. They include entirely wholesome ingredients and are incredibly addicting.

Ingredients: Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, Makes 24 cookies

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 fig butter (The original recipe calls for apple butter, but since we couldn’t find any apple butter, we substituted with fig butter found at Trader Joe’s and it was delicious)
  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried raisins

Preparation:

  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until just combined
  2. Place tablespoons of batter onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 15 minutes

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Fluffy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

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Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you are spending the day with someone you love, whether that is a significant other, family member, or close friend. I will be spending it passing out candy grams at work (yes, Valentine’s Day does occur in some especially festive offices, including mine) and later Eric and I will be celebrating our 5th Valentine’s Day together with a dinner out. I remember the very first Valentine’s Day we spent together. We had only been dating a month but he managed to make it pretty special.The kid even made me cupcakes, so I knew he was a winner.

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Back in 2010

So this year I thought I would make a little Valentine’s Day treat for him. We happen to share a lot of interests, but one very important interest that we share is our devotion to Reese’s peanut butter cups. I don’t know what it is about that magical combination of chocolate and peanut butter, but anytime you combine the two, you are sure to have a pretty dynamite dessert. So I stuck with these two classic ingredients when whipping up a batch of cookies that we have been enjoying all week. The base is a classic peanut butter cookie, made extra light and fluffy with the addition of cornstarch into the mix. And with a sprinkle of chocolate and peanut butter chips, you have yourself one delicious cookie

Ingredients: Makes 24 cookies

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • Preparation:
    1. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy
    2. Beat in egg until just combined
    3. Beat in peanut butter and vanilla
    4. Add baking soda, cornstarch & flour and mix until just combined
    5. Place dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill
    6. Remove dough from fridge and stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter chips
    7. Place tablespoons of dough onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes

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“Fully Loaded” Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

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Around here, I tend to consider peanut butter a food group of its own. Whether its smothered on a piece of toast in the morning or its just a spoonful straight from the jar, I definitely manage to fit peanut butter into my diet every day. I love the creamy (or crunchy!) texture and the smooth peanut taste. So I kind of surprised myself when I realized I only have one peanut butter cookie recipe here on this blog. And although my Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie recipe is one of my favorites, I felt I needed to share another cookie recipe that features this delicious nutty spread. And what goes better with peanut butter than chocolate? I threw an assortment of chocolate chips and chocolate covered raisins into this classic, fluffy peanut butter cookie recipe and was delighted with the results.  I added cornstarch into the batter, a tip I learned from Pinterest, and the result was incredibly soft & fluffy cookies. I brought these cookies into work with me because I knew it would probably be wiser to share 2 dozen cookies with my coworkers than to leave them in my own kitchen. Well, I think these cookies were a hit, because they disappeared within hours. Although I added chocolate chips and chocolate covered raisins, you could definitely vary the mix-ins for a number of different peanut butter cookie varieties. (I think crushed pretzels or m&m’s would be delicious!) So have some fun and incorporate some peanut butter into you daily diet. It’s a health food, I promise.

Ingredients: Makes 24 cookies

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate covered raisins

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy
  2. Beat in egg until just combined
  3. Beat in peanut butter and vanilla
  4. Add baking soda, cornstarch & flour and mix until just combined
  5. Place dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill
  6. Remove dough from fridge and stir in chocolate chips and chocolate covered raisins
  7. Place tablespoons of dough onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes

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Whole Wheat Pancakes with Peanut Butter Syrup

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This weekend was a perfect mix of relaxing and busy. Saturday started with a 7 mile run and a few hours of wedding planning with the best wedding consultant I know- my mom! Next up was coffee with my wonderful friend Kerri who is getting married in less than 3 months! We had so much fun talking about wedding planning and decorating our future newlywed apartments. I feel like we were just in 9th grade choir class talking about what dresses we were wearing to homecoming and now here we are talking about what our first few years of marriage will be like. Where did the time go? And here we are on Sunday, ready to ease into the morning with the perfect weekend meal. Pancakes. Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day. And though I love my weekday oatmeal or cereal, I have the firm belief that Sundays are for pancakes. With a little more time on the weekends, you can easily whip up some deliciously decadent tasting pancakes as you ease into your morning. The only problem with most pancake recipes is that they leave me feeling hungry an hour or two later. So I went in search of a recipe with a bit more fiber and protein. And this is when I stumbled upon Greek Yogurt pancakes. Recipes for these “delicious” pancakes are all over food blogs and Pinterest so I thought I would give them a try. And I gotta say…I was pretty disappointed. No matter how long I cooked them they still tasted like uncooked batter and I couldn’t eat more than a bite without feeling like I was eating raw dough. So into the trash can went my Greek yogurt pancake batter. And though my pancake batter went away, my craving for pancakes did not. But luckily, I have a fantastic recipe for whole wheat pancakes that are both delicious and filling. In lieu of sugary maple syrup, I topped mine with a PB2 syrup. As I mentioned before, PB2 is powdered peanut butter that has 85% less fat and calories than traditional peanut butter. When mixed with water and a little honey, you can create a peanut butter syrup that is around 50 calories per serving. So there you have it. A delicious and healthy recipe to satisfy any pancake craving. Happy Sunday!

Ingredients: Makes 8 pancakes, Adapted slightly from Skinny Taste

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almond milk (or regular milk)

PB2 “Syrup”: Makes 2 servings

  • 1/4 cup powdered peanut butter or PB2
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation:

  1. Place all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well until no lumps remain
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray
  3. Pour 2-3 tablespoons full per pancake onto skillet and cook through on each side
  4. To make the PB2 syrup, place PB2 and water into a small bowl and stir, adding more water until mixture has the consistency of maple syrup
  5. Stir honey & cinnamon into PB2 syrup and drizzle over cooked pancakes

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Peanut Butter Oats in a Jar

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I’m a firm believer that peanut butter makes everything taste better. Back in high school my friend Hollis tried to convince me that spreading peanut butter on pancakes and drizzling them with maple syrup was delicious. And I just told her she was weird and gross. (I swear we’re close friends)Well, I tried it recently and alas, Hollis was right. It was delicious. I still think she’s weird though…just for a variety of other reasons. Just kidding, I love her. ANYWAY. Lately I’ve been seeing a pretty genius idea pop up on a few blogs I read. It is a delicious way to use an almost empty peanut butter jar. Because letting peanut butter go to waste is a travesty. All you have to do is make oatmeal, and pour it in said jar. All of the leftover peanut butter melts into the oatmeal resulting in an incredibly filling and tasty breakfast. And even though this is not much of a recipe I thought I would share it all with you. Just keep in mind that you may get a few weird looks when eating “oats in a jar” but no worries…it is totally worth it.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • a splash or two of almond milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Kashi or granola

Preparation:

  1. Place the oats & brown sugar in a bowl and mix in water
  2. Microwave oats for 1 and a half minutes
  3. Stir in almond milk until oatmeal reaches desired consistency (I like it a little loose)
  4. Pour oatmeal in empty peanut butter jar
  5. Sprinkle Kashi or granola on top

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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

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I may have mentioned this before, but I am a huge sucker for seasonal items. During the fall, if anything is labeled “pumpkin flavored” I will buy it. Even though I know darn well that these “pumpkin” English muffins do NOT taste like pumpkin and are simply filled with orange food coloring …they will undoubtedly make their way into my grocery cart. And Christmas themed food? Forget about it. I won’t even think twice before I’ve purchased the “Gingerbread Pop-Tarts” that I probably won’t even like. But the one seasonal item that I know is worth it every single time is the seasonal Reese’s peanut butter cups. Why, you ask? Because these Christmas tree, Easter egg or Heart shaped Reese’s have twice the amount of peanut butter than their non seasonal cousins. And more peanut butter is always better in my book. So I thought it might be a good idea to create my own homemade peanut butter cups for the days that I’m craving a Peanut Butter Cup that is heavy on the peanut butter. And this recipe definitely delivers. And with 3 ingredients and a prep time of roughly 15 minutes it literally could not be easier. The only problem is that they disappear very quickly. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Makes 10 mini peanut butter cups

  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

Preparation:

  1. Place chocolate chips and oil in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds
  2. Stir mixture and microwave for an additional 45 seconds or until smooth and creamy
  3. Drop melted chocolate by the teasponful into a mini cupcake pan lined with paper liners
  4. With a pastry brush, brush chocolate up the sides of each cup, and repeat with remaining cups
  5. Place pan in the freezer for 5 minutes, or until chocolate has hardened
  6. Place a teaspoon of peanut butter in the center of each chocolate cup
  7. Cover with another teaspoon of melted chocolate
  8. Place pan in freezer for 2-3 minutes until chocolate has hardened
  9. Peel paper liners away from chocolate and serve

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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Butter

We are all pretty familiar with the classic nutty chocolate combination that has given us countless candy bars and sugary confections. I’ve experimented with this delectable pairing myself…what with my Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes and Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Pies. … Continue reading