PB & J Gooballs

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These are a great little snack when you’re on the go and need some protein. Or when you are pacing around your house with a small baby and have only one hand to get sustenance. Also good for children as a wee treat when they come home from school (although if you’re going to feed these to children under 1 year of age, replace the honey with maple syrup or something else, because botulism ain’t a joke). They were called “snack bites” on the website where I got the original idea but I think GOO BALLS is a way better term. So gooballs they will be. These ones taste like a peanut butter and jam sandwich, but you can pretty much customize these however you would like.

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Your basic ingredients are as follows: 1 cup oats, 1/2 cup peanut butter (or sun butter, or whatever), and 1/4 cup honey. The rest is up to you.

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I added in a few tablespoons ground flax, for health reasons.

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And a handful of Reese peanut butter chips, for non-health reasons.

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And some freeze-dried raspberries, because I had them on hand and they’re tasty as heck. Any dried fruit will do, provided you cut it up pretty small.

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Assemble all your dry ingredients. I crumbled the raspberries in my hand so they were smaller.

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Tip in the wet ingredients.

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Stir!

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Chill that for about 30 minutes, then take it out and roll a couple tablespoons’ worth of it into a ball. Repeat until you run out.

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Store these suckers in the fridge to keep them firm and less sticky. ENJOY!

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies 15You’ll have to forgive the photo quality here: I mixed the dough in the dead of night and then made the cookies at the crack of dawn so they’d be a nice birthday surprise for the Pie.  This dough is very soft so I would recommend baking your cookies from frozen(or at least chilled). Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies 1

Start with 1/2 cup butter and cream that together with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies 2Now crack in 2 eggs, tip in 2 teaspoons vanilla, and scoop in 2/3 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, up to you). Beat the crap out of that. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies 3

In another bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or just cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg), and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Tip that into the other stuff and mix it until a soft dough forms.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies 4Add in 1 cup oats and 1 1/3 cups peanut butter chips (that’s basically a whole package). Mix, mix, mix! Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies 6

Roll the dough into golf-ball-sized chunks, set them on a baking sheet, and freeze them (or don’t – but this is what I did in order to keep the secret).

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies 8Once they’re frozen, transfer them to an airtight freezer bag if you’re not making all of them right away. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies 10

When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F and set your cookie balls on a baking sheet – leave a decent amount of space between them. If the dough is soft, squish the cookies a bit to flatten them. If not, then shove them in the oven for a while and squish them after about 5 minutes. I baked these for about 12 minutes, until the bottoms were a dark brown and the tops were golden. Leave them to solidify on the pan while they cool and then leave them on a table for your husband to discover when he wakes up in the morning.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies 11Cookies for breakfast? Yes please! Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies 12

Nutella Blondies

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For the end-of-year potluck for our softball team, the Pie elected to make these ooey-gooey sticky-sweet masterpieces. If you’re in the mood for a serious sugar overload, then this one is for you. The original recipe makes one 8″ x 8″ pan of thin squares. We doubled it to create a slightly thicker version in a 9″ x 13″ baking pan, so the recipe below reflects that.

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Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter your pan. Line it with parchment paper and butter it again. Because of course you need the extra grease in this recipe.

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Now, melt 1 cup butter (I know, that’s a lot of butter) and set it aside to cool a bit until it’s not molten.

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Pour the slightly cooled butter into a big bowl with 2 large eggs, 2 cups brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons vanilla extract. Whisk that together until smooth.

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Plop in 2 cups flour and stir until combined.

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Next add in 2 cups peanut butter chips, or half peanut butter chips and half chocolate chips (we ran out of peanut butter ones). Stir that up.

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Spread your dough/batter into your pan. It’s easiest to spread into the corners if you butter your hands and press down.

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Next, heat up 2/3 cup Nutella (or comparable chocolate hazelnut spread) and pour it in long lines on the surface of your blondie batter.

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Use a skewer or knife to drag the hazelnut spread horizontally across and through the batter to create a marbled pattern.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, and then set on a wire rack to cool completely. These will look slightly underbaked, but they’re supposed to be gooey. So when it’s cool, cut it into small squares and enjoy!

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Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

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The Pie LOVES peanut butter, but is not a huge fan of peanut butter cookies. I maintain that this is because he has not yet found the perfect recipe.  This one comes courtesy of Fake Food Free’s sojourn into a summer cookbook and I like the looks of it. I took these babies camping with us (with some Oatmeal-Raisin Scotchies) and they were perfect for the outdoors.

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Start by creaming together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar.

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This picture is blurry because I was so excited about peanut butter cookies.

Then add in 1 egg, 1 tablespoon half and half (or light cream), and 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until combined.

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Sift in 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 3/4 teaspoon baking soda and stir to combine completely, until you get a nice dough (TRUTHBOMB: I forgot the baking soda. Until like, wayyy later. You should always use a leavening agent when you make cookies – to avoid hard, terrible hockey puck cookies – so if you forget, sprinkle the soda evenly over the whole surface of your dough and then stir it in like crazy).

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Then tumble in like a full cup of peanut butter chips.  Or half a cup, which is what the recipe says. Or whatever. There are no Ingredient Police in my kitchen.

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Chill the dough for at least half an hour.

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Preheat your oven to 375°F and line some baking sheets with parchment paper.

Drop the cookies onto the baking sheet in little balls. Flatten them with the palm of your hand and use a fork to make that peanut-butter-cookie-crosshatch on the surface.

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Bake for 9-10 minutes, until the edges are starting to brown. The cookies will look underbaked but that’s totally fine, as they’ll continue to bake on the baking sheet once you take it out of the oven. That’s why you leave the cookies on the sheet for at least five minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely and then scarf those babies down.

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I gave some to my parents in these super cute treat bags because they babysat Princess Gren for the weekend.

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Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

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The Pie, like many boys out there, has a strong addiction to peanut butter.  He’s not a huge fan of peanut butter cookies, feeling that they’re often too dry, but this recipe was odd enough that he thought we should give it a shot.

For this, in addition to peanut butter, we’re also going to use peanut butter chips.  The Hershey’s Kitchen recipes are great because they tell you to just go ahead and use a whole package of those chips.  We’re also going to use this whole 320g back of pretzels.  The recipe calls for 4-5 cups broken pretzels and so I thought 5 cups was too much and would use the whole bag but I ended up regretting my decision and I should have done the whole lot.

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Anyway, break up your pretzels until you have about 5 cups broken pretzel pieces.

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Now, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together 1 cup softened butter with 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and keep going until it’s all lovely and fluffy.

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Then add in 2/3 cup peanut butter (I used smooth but I bet this would be good with crunchy) and beat that up as well.

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Next toss in 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and mix until combined.

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In another bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon baking soda and then add that gradually to the rest of your dough in the mixer.

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Finally, stir in 1 2/3 cups peanut butter chips (this is a whole 300g/10oz package, by the by).

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Now grab some of your lovely dough and roll it into a small ball about 1 1/2″ wide.  Mine in this shot is a little on the big side.

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Roll the ball of dough in your pretzel pieces and gently press the pretzels into the dough.  Flatten the ball slightly onto your baking sheet.

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I made these ones too big and they took forever to cook (and I could only do eight per sheet) so I made the rest of them significantly smaller.

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Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are light brown around the edges.  They don’t expand or flatten much.  Let them cool on the cookie sheet before removing them to a rack to cool completely.

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Salty and sweet.  A hit as always.