Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

We love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups! We don’t eat them often because I’m anti-all the garbage additives. So, I thought I’d give this refined sugar-free recipe a try (unlike usual, I followed the original without any alterations). While they aren’t Reese’s, per se, they are sweet, peanutty and chocolatey, all good things! ūüôā With coconut oil in the ingredient list, these definitely have coconut undertones, if that’s not your thing, you could try butter and see how that works. If you want a thicker layer of chocolate (I think I might), just double the ingredients for the chocolate layer. I hope you enjoy!

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUP
(from lifemadewhole.com)
Print This Recipe

For peanut butter layer:
3/4 c. natural peanut butter
1/4 c. coconut oil
2 Tbsp raw honey

For chocolate layer:
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp raw honey

For the peanut butter layer: Line mini-muffin pan with papers. Melt the coconut oil, then mix together with the peanut butter and honey. Carefully pour into prepared pan. Place in the freezer while preparing the chocolate.

For the chocolate layer: Melt the coconut oil and butter together. Add the cocoa powder and the honey. Stir until smooth. Remove the pan from the freezer and evenly pour the chocolate into each cup. Freeze for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Store in the fridge or freezer. Makes about 24.

Advertisements

Peanut Butter Fudgy Bites

Jeremy and I have a rather bad habit of wanting something sweet after dinner. I didn’t grow up having dessert every night, but I find that my mind wanders to a bite of sweet almost every evening. Most often we’ll enjoy a little dark chocolate, but I’ve been experimenting lately with finding some “healthy” treats for us to enjoy. The next few recipes I plan to share with you are some these sweets. So, perhaps you too can healthfully satisfy your post-supper sweet tooth.

First up, is a recipe that I now can’t remember where I found; however, in typical fashion, I’ve adapted the recipe anyway to suit our tastes. We love the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate, so are fond of these. As they are raw treats, be sure to store in the fridge. (Sadly, these little bites are really unattractive to photograph…I hope that won’t deter you from trying them. :))

PEANUT BUTTER FUDGY BITES
Print This Recipe

15 pitted dates, rough chopped
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/3 c. shredded unsweetened coconut (my coconut is larger flakes, so I’ve been using a packed 1/2 cup instead)
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp chocolate chips

Place the dates in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade and process into smaller pieces. Add the remaining ingredients and process until thoroughly combined and ingredients form a “dough.” Roll into balls.

Flour-less Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know the flurry of holiday baking is behind us and we’re looking to tighten our belts and say “no” to sweets. But sometimes you just need a sweet fix. Or perhaps you need a¬† little something to share with company or to bring to a gathering. How about five-ingredient flour-less cookies?! Not only are these quick to mix up, but they are awfully tasty as well. We are fans of peanut butter and chocolate around here, so one night when we “needed” an after dinner sweet treat, I made these. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

I found this recipe in the October issue of Every Day With Rachael Ray magazine. In keeping with how I approach dessert recipes, I cut back on the sugar by 1/3 of a cup. I thought the cookies were perfectly sweet that way, allowing the peanut butter and chocolate flavors to shine through. But, feel free to up the sugar if you like your sweets super sweet. Additionally, I’ve made these egg-free by making a flax gel to replace the egg (1 Tbsp ground flax seed + 3 Tbsp hot water whisked together and set aside for a few minutes to gel). The texture was slightly different with the flax gel in place of the egg, but the flavor was just as good.

FLOUR-LESS PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
(from Every Day With Rachael Ray, Oct. 2011)
Print This Recipe

1 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Beat first 4 ingredients with a mixer. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop rounded Tablesoons of dough 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350¬įF for 10 minutes. Let cool on pan.

Makes 16 cookies.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

Have you been on pinterest? It’s this amazing site that is really like an online scrapbook of ideas. It makes you feel completely inadequate and empowered all at the same time. There are so many categories like cool crafts, awesome looking recipes, fashion ideas, and even fitness plans. Anyway this is actually not a commercial for pinterest but it is where I found this recipe. They were called Chubby Hubby Truffles (after some rather well known ice cream) or Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles.

These are quick, very easy, and they look really nice. They are a wonderful combination of salt and sweet and the creamy peanut butter is a nice texture with the crunch of the pretzels. In full disclosure – I was not thrilled with how big I accidentally made them. These are really good!

Peanut Butter-Pretzel Truffles
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Makes About 18-24 truffles

1¬Ĺ c. pretzel pieces
¬Ĺ c. creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy)
1 Tb. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tb. light brown sugar
3 Tb. powdered sugar
1 1/2 c.  milk or semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tb. vegetable shortening

Put the pretzel pieces into a resealable plastic bag and crush into very small bits – I used my food processor.

In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and salt. Stir until all of the ingredients are completely blended and smooth. Add the pretzel bits to the peanut butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Add the powdered sugar and mix until completely combined.

Line a small baking sheet or plate with wax paper. Using a small cookie scoop, or about 2 teaspoons worth of peanut butter mixture, gently roll  into a ball (I put a little butter on my hand to reduce sticking and had to wash my hands after every 5 or so). Place the ball on the wax paper-lined cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining peanut butter mixture. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.

When ready to dip the truffles, microwave the chocolate chips and vegetable shortening together in a small bowl at 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth.

Dip each peanut butter-pretzel ball into the melted chocolate and use a fork or spoon to roll it around, ensuring that it is completely coated with chocolate. Let any extra chocolate drip off and place back on the wax paper-lined sheet. Repeat with all of the peanut butter-pretzel balls.

Return the baking sheet to the refrigerator and again chill for at least 30 minutes. Garnish with a drizzle of melted peanut butter (melt the peanut butter for 30 seconds in the microwave and use a fork to drizzle) and crushed pretzels, if desired. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Just Desserts: Peanut Butter-Banana Mousse

You may have guessed by our more infrequent posting lately (especially from me) that things have been busy. We thoroughly enjoy cooking and blogging and sharing our recipes and posts with you however, we have decided that we need to take a break, re-evaluate, and plan for the blog future. There are 100s of recipes already here, so we hope you will keep stopping by! We do plan to return to blog world with exciting new recipes and format changes. We appreciate your support, interest, subscriptions, and most of all for making the recipes and giving us feedback! See you soon!

Happy Cooking,
Alaina & Stephanie, The Cooks Next Door

_______________________________________

(Stephanie) –¬†This is a super quick, yummy little treat. Just three ingredients! Although I’ve never made what I’ve seen called banana soft-serve ice cream, I’m guessing this mousse recipe is quite similar. I copied this recipe down on a piece of paper sometime ago, I’m pretty sure that it came from Food Network, but now I can’t remember.

I love that this dessert can be considered healthy and can be made without planning ahead or turning on the oven. Hope you enjoy this prefect summer treat!

PEANUT BUTTER-BANANA MOUSSE
Print This Recipe

3 frozen chopped bananas
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 Tablespoons honey
pinch of salt

Puree in a food processor until smooth. Top with chopped peanuts and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Superbowl Snack: Peanut Butter and Jelly Popcorn

To be honest, I wasn’t initially excited about the idea of “peanut butter and jelly popcorn” when this recipe first crossed my inbox. But, the novelty of the idea caught me and since I love food experimentation, I couldn’t help but try this recipe. That’s when I discovered that this popcorn is addictive. Yes, it is. It was nearly as good as caramel corn, but with far less sugar and only a few minutes of time invested. It’s my new favorite.

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY POPCORN
(adapted from the Cook It Quick Newsletter)
Print this recipe

1 large bowl of popped popcorn (probably 2 bags of microwave popcorn)
3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
3 Tbsp. grape jelly (or jelly/jam of your choice — I used strawberry jam)
2 Tbsp. butter

Melt peanut butter, jelly, and butter together in microwave or over low heat.

Pour over popcorn and toss evenly to coat.

Serves 4-6.

Holiday Treats: Fudge

Peanut butter fudge is a traditional confection for me – my grandma made it every year and we loved it. But I was disappointed the last time I made peanut butter fudge – it just didn’t have that creamy texture and peanut flavor so I decided to try again with a new recipe. This one was a hit! It is from Alton Brown and seriously was so easy! It will definitely make my yearly “to make” list.

PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE – Food Network, Alton Brown
Print This Recipe

1 cup butter, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar

Microwave butter and peanut butter for 2 minutes on high. Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes. Add vanilla and powdered sugar to peanut butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.

Pour into a buttered 8 by 8-inch pan lined with waxed paper. Place a second piece of waxed paper on the surface of the fudge and refrigerate until cool. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

______________________________________________________

It also seemed time to try a new fudge recipe. While I like my old one, it makes a huge 9×13 and sometimes just doesn’t come out as creamy as I would like. So, I read more fudge recipes than you can count and finally settled on one. It¬†did not disappoint – it¬†was very good and I plan to make another batch before the end of the year. I skipped the nuts and just kept the rich, chocolatey flavor all on it’s own. I’m certain you could mix kinds of chocolate or change it to whatever suits your taste!

CHOCOLATE FUDGE – adapted slightly from allrecipes.com
Print This Recipe

3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt. Remove from heat;  and vanilla.

Spread evenly into buttered aluminum-foil-lined 8- or 9-inch square pan. Chill 2 hours or until firm.

Lift fudge out of pan and place onto cutting board; peel off paper and cut into 1 inch squares. Store covered in the refrigerator.