Sunday, July 13, 2014

Oatmeal Bread

I have been baking (read: nesting) a lot lately, and wanted to try a new bread. Oatmeal is always a good option-healthy, and yummy! I have a recipe for honey oat bread that I LOVE, but I wanted something that wasn't quite as sweet. This was a hit!

The only change I will make for next time is the rise time--it may just have been the temp in my kitchen, but for the second rise it definitely did NOT need to rise for a full hour. Maybe 1/2 hour to 45 minutes? Definitely keep an eye on it!

Oatmeal Bread

  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. In a small bowl, pour boiling water over the oats. Set aside until it comes to room temperature.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup mix together the warm water and yeast. Let sit for a few minutes until foamy.
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add the cool oats, yeast mixture, and butter. Mix until everything is well combined, and a dough starts to form.
  4. Knead with bread hook in mixer for 5-6 minutes, until smooth. Add additional flour as needed. 
  5. Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double in size, about an hour.
  6. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
  7. Punch dough down, then turn onto a lightly floured surface surface. Roll into a 9”x12” rectangle, then place seam side down into prepared pan. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 375°. Once the dough has risen, place in preheated oven. Decrease the temperature to 350°, and bake for 30-40 minutes. 
  9. Remove from pan, and cool on a wire rack.

1 loaf
3 hours

Source (for original): Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies

I am a HUGE fan of baking with mini Reese's Pieces. Seriously, those things make cookies soooo much better. Especially when combined with chocolate in some form or another. PB & chocolate? Two of my favorite things. I am always happier when I have PB & chocolate.... (And our local ice cream place has heavenly peanut butter shakes. If you request it, they will make it with chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla. That makes this pregnant lady super happy!)

I had pinned this recipe on Pinterest ages ago, but hadn't had a chance to try it yet. I finally did the other day, and it was sooo worth it! I had to make some changes--the dough was WAY to dry for me, so the recipe you see is the altered recipe. (Check out the link at the bottom for the original.) These are going on the 'my favorite cookies' list!

These are very soft, and incredibly easy to make. The only thing that frustrates me is letting them sit in the fridge for a couple of hours.... but I have tried this with different recipes, and it really makes a difference!

(Sorry for the funny coloring of the pic... as usual, I realized a couple days later (and late at night) that I hadn't taken a picture yet. Oops!)

Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup butter flavored Crisco
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup mini Reese's Pieces
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the eggs, brown sugar, peanut butter, Crisco, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Slowly add the flour and baking soda until incorporated, then slowly mix in the Reese’s Pieces and chocolate chips. 
  2. Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours (up to 5 days). 
  3. Preheat oven to 350°.
  4. Form cookies into small balls, then place on greased baking sheet at least 2” apart. Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until just beginning to set. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before removing to rack to cool.

3 ½ dozen
3 hours
Source (for original): Averie Cooks

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dip

The last few years, we've had a cookout at my Mom's house after the 4th of July parade. This year, I was really debating on what to make. Somehow, this whole holiday snuck up on me, and I didn't really have the time to make cookies, which is my usual go-to thing to bring. (The type of cookie always varies, but I'm guaranteed to bring something sweet to a family gathering!) I had planned on making watermelon bars, but since that was not a guaranteed success I wanted something else too. (And that was a good plan.... because the bars were a flop. The graham cracker crust was super soggy. Oh well, live & learn.)

I had grabbed some mini chocolate chips awhile ago at the grocery store for when I finally decided to make this cookie dip recipe I had seen, so when I was searching for something to make at the last minute I actually had them on hand! Chocolate Chip Cookie Dip with graham crackers; I thought I couldn't go wrong here!

AND, I was right! This dip is amazing! Very sweet, so I wouldn't recommend serving it with something too sweet (most cookies would be out, but it went great with graham crackers). Apples, graham crackers, nilla wafers, or some shortbread cookies would be great. (Or, just eat with a spoon. If you are serving this at a picnic/party, that would probably be frowned upon though. Given that I am 9 months pregnant I think I would've gotten away with it if I had tried, but I would not recommend that for everyone.) 

(Sorry for the shaded picture.... realized once the picnic 
started that I didn't have a picture of this yet!)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dip

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Apples, graham crackers, nilla wafers, shortbread cookies, etc.


  1. In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat. Slowly mix in the brown sugar, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, cream together cream cheese and sugar. Beat on high for 2-3 minutes. Slowly add in the cooled butter mixture; mix on high for another minute. Mix in chocolate chips.
  3. Put in small bowl; refrigerate until set. (I made this before the parade, and left it in the fridge til we ate, and that was a few hours later. I really have no idea how long it takes to set. I would guess that you could serve it within 1/2 hour or so, but plan on enough time to let it set/cool for awhile the first time you make it.)
  4. Serve with graham crackers, apples, nilla wafers, shortbread cookies, etc.

10 servings
15 minutes + set time
Source (for original): Your Homebased Mom

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Malted Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Last night, there were some big storms rolling into the area, and I was WIDE awake. (I love pregnancy hormones... sometimes I have complete insomnia, and sometimes I am surprised I make it to bed before I fall asleep.)  What's a pregnant lady to do, late at night when the house is quite.... except make cookies! 

I'd seen this new recipe on one of the blogs I follow, that called for malted milk powder in the cookies. Hmmm, that's worth a try! I had put it on my grocery list a few weeks ago for whenever I got the urge to make cookies (and it's not 80 degrees in my house), so I even had everything on hand!

Let me first say that these cookies are REALLY good. Not my favorite, but really good. I haven't decided if the malted milk powder really adds anything or not.... I guess I will need to keep eating them to decide. ;)

I also changed it up a bit and added peanut butter chips.... chocolate and peanut butter is one of my favorite combos! 

Let me know if you try these; I would love to hear what you think!

Malted Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
  • 1 cup butter flavored Crisco
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Malt Powder
  • 3.4 ounce box instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 °.
  2. Cream Crisco and sugars in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; beating to combine. In a separate bowl, combine flour, malt powder, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to moist ingredients until thoroughly combined. Mix in chocolate and peanut butter chips until just combined.
  3. Form dough into small balls, and place approximately 1” apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 11-13 minutes. Remove and let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

4 dozen cookies
1 hour
Source (for original): Picky Palate (

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Oatmeal & Chocolate Cookie Bars

The other day, I had a serious chocolate craving. I combed through my recipes and Pinterest, and decided on these Oatmeal & Chocolate Cookie Bars!

I love using oatmeal in dessert recipes--it adds some fun texture, and I can almost pretend it's good for me. ;) (Who am I kidding--I'm 8 months pregnant, I don't have to pretend it's good for me. If I want it, I dare you to tell me no!)

ANYWAYS.... this did not disappoint. I was surprised at how rich these are, but at the same time they aren't overly sweet. I'm contemplating cutting down on the chocolate layer, and switching to partial milk chocolate chips vs all semi sweet just to see what it's like...

(If you try these and switch anything around, let me know! I would love to hear about it! If I switch things up next time I make these, I'll post about it again!)

I usually wind up taking some of whatever I make to work, and I think these were a hit with everyone! It's always a good sign when you have a request for a recipe. :)

Oatmeal & Chocolate Cookie Bars

  • 1 cup butter-flavored Crisco
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla, divided
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together Crisco and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Gently pour the milk in, and beat until incorporated. Slowly add in the flour mixture; mix until combined. Slowly add in the oats.
  4. In a saucepan over medium low heat, combine the butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and chocolate chips. Melt slowly, stirring frequently. Do not let the chocolate burn.
  5. While melting, press about 2/3 of the cookie mixture in the bottom a 9”x13” baking pan. Once chocolate is melted, spread over the top of the cookie mixture. Drop remaining cookie mixture by tablespoonfuls over the chocolate; press down slightly as needed.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes. Cover with foil if cookie mixture starts to get overly brown.
  7. Remove from oven; let cool completely before cutting into squares.

16 bars
1 hour

Source (for original): Table For Two

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins

Well, I've been slacking about blogging lately, but given that I am the size of a hippopotamus, tired, working full time, and chasing a 2 year old.... think you can forgive me? :)

Although, to be fair, in about 5 weeks it's going to be worse. I won't be the size of a hippopotamus (hopefully) or working out of the house full time, but I will be even more tired, chasing a 2 year old, and taking care of a newborn.

Anyways, on to the recipe... I've been looking for a health(ier) muffin recipe for awhile, that actually looks good. Some of those healthy muffin recipes out there don't really look that appealing... I want healthy AND tasty! So when I saw this, I knew I had to try it! I love bananas (and need them for the potassium a lot right now), and I love peanut butter.... definitely worth a try!

They are very much a healthy muffin.... they are very thick, and not very sweet. But, that being said, they are still really good! Fresh of out of the oven, I thought they could use more banana--but when having another one cold, the banana is much more noticeable.

If you are looking for something healthy & yummy... these are worth making!!!

Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium size bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease muffin tin, or line with paper cups.
  2. In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients together. In medium size bowl mix the wet ingredients well. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until no flour streaks remain.
  3. Divide batter evenly into muffin tin, filling almost to the top. Bake 16-20 minutes until toothpick stuck in center comes out clean.
  4. Remove to wire rack to cool.

18 muffins
30 minutes

Source (for original): Life is Nothing Without Him

Monday, May 19, 2014

Heavenly Skillet Cookie

I will admit to being fairly afraid of my husband's cast iron skillet. (And yes, I consider it 'his' cast iron.) Once in awhile I will get brave & use it, but I am usually afraid of 1) ruining the food or 2) ruining the cast iron. I know it's cast iron, and pretty much impossible to ruin, but I am still afraid of doing something that would cause it to need some SERIOUS cleaning. So.... I stay away from it. 

...Until I saw this recipe. Cookie in a skillet generally looks very 'blah' to me, but this looked amazing. Chocolate chips, oatmeal, sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter.... Mmmm, some of my favorite ingredients. So I had to give it a try!

(And yes, Nathan was super excited when I texted him at work to tell him I was making something in his cast iron.)

The general consensus is that this recipe is AMAZING. It's not sickeningly sweet (which Nate approves of), but still very rich and yummy! This is going in the "make again, many times" pile!

Heavenly Skillet Cookie

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not quick cook or instant)
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ice cream, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 350°, and spray cast iron skillet with cooking spray. (Alternatively, may use 9”x9” pan.)    
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. (May microwave butter to a browned-butter state.) To the melted butter, add sugar, egg, vanilla, and whisk or stir vigorously to combine, for about 1 minute. Add the flour, baking soda, salt; stir until just incorporated. Add the oats and stir to combine. Pour slightly less than three-quarters of the dough into the skillet, reserving about 1 1/4 cups to be crumbled on at the end; set skillet and reserved dough aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter and stir until smooth. Pour mixture over the dough in the skillet. Drop tablespoon-sized chunks of the reserved dough into the skillet, then sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until edges begin to barely crisp up and most of the top surface of the cookie has set. The center may not be completely set.
  5. Cookie may be served immediately; optionally serve it with ice cream. Extra cookie may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, reheating gently in the microwave before serving leftovers if desired.
8 servings
40 minutes

Source (for original): Averie Cooks