Peanut Butter Birthday Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

I bet there’s a traffic court in hell.  I don’t know of anyone who likes traffic court.

The day after my job interview I had to go to traffic court.  It was not fun.

A few weeks before I was driving R’s car.  My car needed repairs and I was trying to wait until I had a job before dropping a few hundred dollars on car parts.  In the 4 blocks I was driving, I got pulled over.  Turns out, R’s plates were expired by a little over a week.

So the morning of my court date I drove downtown.  I headed into the courthouse with the ticket and proof that he had renewed his plates the day after the ticket.  In front of the metal detectors they had a sign listing that phones were not allowed in the court room, and directing to lockers where personal belongings could be stored.  So I put my phone in the locker.  I went through the metal detector while my purse went through x-ray.  The security officer then told me that cameras were not allowed.  So I had to go back to the locker, only to discover I had used my last 50 cents on the previous locker.  Luckily there was a change machine (but it was in a different part of the building).  Finally, I got through the metal detector and into the courtroom.


Chocolate Peanut Butter “Not” Fudge

For this month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge I attempted to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge.  It was not one of my best attempts.

The taste is what I wanted but the texture is not, thus why I am not really classifying this as fudge.  Granted I tried to substitute several ingredients since I did not have them in my kitchen.  Soy milk is not a suitable substitute for condensed milk, which I think is part of the texture problem.  Rather than smooth melt in your mouth texture you expect from fudge, this crumbs and dissolves on the tongue but without the satisfying velvety texture.

Also I did not let it cool enough before I stirred it.  That became immediately clear as it instantly began to form crystals and became crumbly and difficult to stir.

I do plan on attempting chocolate dipped marshmallows in the next few days.  With this hurricane I figured making actual food and making sure the apartment was weather proofed was a slightly higher priority.

R and I are moved in, still have some settling to do though.  I’ve got several backlogged posts that I’ll get up in the next few days (pending the storm).  If you’re in the path of Irene stay safe and dry!

Maple Peanut Butter Granola Bars

It’s a beautiful spring day.  The kind that makes me want to go to the beach, but I know it’s still a little to cold for that.  Instead I’ve been domestic and have been continuing spring cleaning.  A few days ago I had picked up a box of Kashi cereal that was on sale with the intention of making snack bars, and today seemed like the perfect day to try it.

The recipe is a conglomeration of several I’ve found, a lot of the ingredients can be substituted for whatever you want in the bars.  The nut and seed mixture especially can be almost any combination of seeds and chopped nuts.

A small bar goes a long way.  The maple syrup adds natural sweetness and the peanut butter gives it some oomph.  Chewy, peanut buttery, and delicious.  This is finger-licking good, which is a good thing because it is a little sticky for a bar.  They keep their shape, but be gentle with them.  As soon as you pop one into your mouth it begins to melt.  All the flavors remind me of fall in Michigan with maple trees and camp fires.  Wrapped up in parchment paper these little bars are going to be great pick me ups at work and while I continue spring cleaning.

Maple Peanut Butter Granola Bars (no bake)

1 cup Maple Syrup
1 cup Peanut Butter (smooth)
1 cup Craisins
3 cups Puffed Cereal (I used Kashi 7 whole grain puffs)
2 cups mixture of Raisins, Sunflower Seeds, Cashews, Almonds, and Pumpkin Seeds (your choice on quantities of each)

Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper, allowing a few inches to use as “handles” to lift the bars out of the tray.

In a large sauce pan heat the syrup and peanut butter together until smooth.  Heat until bubbles form.  Remove from heat and quickly stir in craisins, cereal, and nut/seed mixture. (I found it easiest to mix the craisins, cereal and nut/seed mixture in a separate bowl while the syrup and peanut butter heated up and then dump the whole thing in at once)

Press the mixture into the prepare pan with a spoon or spatula.  Allow to cool completely.  Cut into bars.  Enjoy!

Grandma’s Peanut Butter Cookies

Happy Mother’s Day!

In celebration of mother everywhere I decided to make my Grandmother’s peanut butter cookies.  I remember as a kid sitting down at their table with a cookie and a glass of milk, the milk was a must, and biting into a cookie and the way it absorbed all the moisture in my mouth and melted.  Yum.

These cookies are not quite my grandmother’s since I used regular flour instead of rice flour (she had to follow a gluten-free diet for health reasons).  So the taste is not quite the same, but still close enough to bring memories of my grandmother’s warm smile to mind.

Grandma’s Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup all purpose or rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl cream peanut butter, butter & sugars until mixture is light and fluffy.  Add flours, baking powder, vanilla & egg; beat until smooth.  Drop batter by tablespoon about 3 inches apart on a nonstick cookie sheet.  Flatten criss-cross style with a fork dipped in rice flour.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Allow to cool on sheet before removing.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Now I don’t want to seem judgmental, but I’ve noticed something that bothers me about society today.  We’re sometimes too conscious about food.  Food-snobs, diets, fads.  They drive me a little nuts.

Now I must admit, I am blessed to be a thin individual.  It does help that a lot of my work backstage keeps me active and rarely sitting behind a desk for hours on end.  I’ve done mini diets, often after holiday seasons full of cookies, to shed a few extra pounds.  But some diets and attitudes towards food I just don’t get.  What I’ve always been taught is eat in moderation, but eat.  Have a treat every now and then, a little bit of chocolate when you really want it often satisfies a craving that may leave you grumpy or end up eating everything in your pantry.

These cookies I made aren’t something that you should apologize for eating one… or a whole plate.  Really, don’t apologize for eating to me at all, I like feeding people.  They are delicious, melt-in-your-mouth, and have protein (a little bit but it still counts).  The recipe is from Joy The Baker and it’s gluten-free!

Peanut Butter Ginger Muffins

Ever since I saw this recipe I’ve been longing to try them.  Almost a month ago I had stumbled across some crystallized ginger in the Asian aisle in the grocery store and had to get a box.  R tried some straight from the box and decided it was not for light snacking, as the ginger was more concentrated than when it’s fresh, but agreed that it would add a zing when baked with.

While they were baking the peanut butter and ginger filled the kitchen with a rich, spicy, toasting scent.  The taste even better.  The peanut butter provides a hearty taste will the ginger added spice.  A good breakfast if you have an upset stomach but still want to start the day off right.  I wouldn’t make anything larger than a regular muffin size, since the ginger is quite strong.  They are a nice muffin to wake up to when you want flavor without much sweetness.