Friday, April 22, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Shortbread Bars (aka PB Twix)

 I found this recipe on Our Best Bites (a fav of mine), and knew right away that I wanted to try them.  But, the spouse and I are trying to cut back on our sugar and eat better so we can both get our post baby bods back.  But then we were planning on having our Church's missionaries over for dinner and I decided we needed a dessert.  So I decided to make half a batch so there wouldn't be too many leftovers (especially with candy crazed Easter on the Horizon!).  These little buggers took a little longer to make than I had anticipated, so they spent some time in the freezer (leave yourself some time to make these-believe me they are worth it!).  While making them I was worried that they weren't going to turn out to be what me and my taste buds had envisioned,  But as soon as we tried them I knew it was love.  There were seriously sooo good.  After sampling, the man of the house said they wouldn't make it to tomorrow, and they almost didn't!  The addition of the Reeses instead of just plain chocolate made these amazing!  If you have a free afternoon, I would suggest giving these a try!

This is a day after pic (of the last one) so it isn't the best example.  If you want a good representation, check out the finished product on Our Best Bites!  And I'll be sure to get a picture before we inhale our next goody!-And next time I make these I will be sure to watch the chocolate a little more closely!


1 c. salted butter at room temperature
1 c. powdered sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. caramels (1 14-oz. package Kraft caramel or 2 c. homemade caramel)
1-3 tablespoons cream (1 if using Kraft caramels, 3 for firmer or homemade caramel)
3 cups mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (about 1 1/2 11-oz. bags)


1. Preheat oven to 300. Grease a 9×13″ pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, flour, and vanilla until the mixture comes together.
3. Lightly press the shortbread dough into the pan. Prick with a fork to prevent the crust from bubbling.
4. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden.
5.  When cooked, run a knife around the edges of the bars. Allow to cool completely.
6. Combine the caramels and cream in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring each minute, until the mixture is smooth.
7. Spread evenly over the cookie crust, then place the pan in the refrigerator and chill for 30-60 minutes or until the caramel is solid.
8. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the unwrapped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups until melted and smooth (Mine were past the smooth point but not yet burnt, so be careful!!!), stirring each 45 seconds.  Spread over the cooled caramel.
9. Place in refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until the chocolate layer is solid.
10.  Cut into squares and serve!!!  (store in a cool/dry place, like your fridge)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Best EVER Homemade Brownies

Sorry, I know it has been a while, but I have been a little busy with this.  #2.  And boy do we love him!-Though I think big sister is his biggest fan!

This next recipe I found on Buns in My Oven.  I am SO glad I found this recipe and blog.  I was looking for a brownie recipe and stumbled upon this one.  I have always been "ok" with homemade brownies, always preferring the boxed stuff.  But these were so chocolatey (and a little rich), that I will have to make them again.  I don't think any homemade brownies could ever taste boxed, but that is the beauty of these.  They hold their own, and have their own fantastic flavor that goes perfect with some hot fudge and ice cream...and sprinkles...and nuts. I have finally accepted homemade brownies, they are different, and with these, that's ok.

Ingredients: (I cut the recipe in half and cooked it in an 8x8-but feel free to make a full batch!)

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 baking dish.
2. In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely. Stir in sugar and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow sugar mixture to boil.
3.  Pour butter mixture into a large bowl or stand mixer, beat in cocoa powder, eggs, salt, baking powder, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
4. Stir in the flour and chocolate chips until well combined.
5. Pour into greased pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out mostly clean. The edges should be set and the center should still look slightly moist, but not uncooked.  Cool on a wire rack.
6.  Cut and ENJOY!