Peanut Butter Honey “Bee’s Knees” Pie

Can we talk about TV for a minute?  For my birthday, Jesse got me a Kindle Fire.

I was super excited to have an ebook reader, but then I learned that it comes with a month of free Amazon Prime… That includes the free streaming…

Instead of voraciously reading the classics like I originally intended to, I’ve been watching Downton Abbey.  I get it, I’m like 5 years too late.  But I’m loving it.  To further my recent TV obsession, on Friday night I made Jesse watch 3 episodes of “Orange is the New Black.”  Awesome.

So since I like being late to the party, let me tell you about something I made for a party a while back.  You remember the Peanut Butter Throwdown, right?

I made White Chocolate Wonderful Ice Cream

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But I also made pie, because pie is always a good idea.

pies

Let me tell you about one of them because you know what else is a good idea? Pretzel crusts.

Along with being obsessed with multiple TV shows, I’m also really into pretzel crusts.  I love the salty and sweet combination, so in pie form it takes it to a whole new level.

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Peanut Butter Honey Pie

1 1/4 cup pretzel crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Bee’s Knees peanut butter
4 oz cream cheese, softened
7 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
4 tbsp honey

First make your crust by mixing together pretzel crumbs, butter and sugar.  Press into a 9” pie dish and place in the freezer until ready to use.

Next, beat together peanut butter, cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk.  Beat 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream until if holds firm peaks.  Fold whipped cream into peanut butter mixture until combined.  Set aside.

Beat remaining 1 cup of whipped cream.  Once it start to form peaks, add in 4 tbsp honey.

Next assemble the pie.  Spread peanut butter mixture into the pie crust.  Top with honey whipped cream.  Chill for a few hours.  Serve cold.

Ok now you can forgive me while I go crawl into bed to watch more Downton Abbey.

Which shows are you into these days?

I also recently discovered Catfish.  That’s totally amazing…

White Chocolate Wonderful Ice Cream

This week has included a lot of eating.  Jesse and I have our birthdays within a week of each others, which means a lot of celebrations happen at one time.  Now I like to think of birthdays as more than just your birthday.  It really should be a week long celebration.

We started on Monday with an outdoor movie at the Segerstrom Center.  Like any good girlfriend/foodie, I had to pack a picnic…

picnic

I tried to include healthy things, because sometimes we all need some balance.  But see that PB&J chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s.  OMG delicious.  Also, those mason jars are filled with wine (the movie was Mulan, adult grape juice is totally acceptable).  Wondering about the sandwich…

sandwich

Turkey and Cheddar with spinach on a pretzel roll with lots of dijon mustard.  Epic.

Wednesday was Jesse’s birthday for real (you probably remember my ridiculously cheesy blog post.  You’re welcome.).  We went to the Boiling Crab for dinner, where I ate an entire pound of shrimp on my own.  I also made him a creamy pumpkin pie

creamypumpkinpieBecause on your birthday you should get what you want, even if it means pumpkin pie in July.

So as you can tell, there’s been a lot of eating.  But while I’ve been busy eating and celebrating, I’ve also been doing other types of photographing.  Did you know sometimes I take pictures of people?

IMG_0568Needless to say, I haven’t had a lot of time to make things and photograph them for blogging purposes.  So while I take a break before making more exciting new things that I can blog about, let me tell you about something I made a while ago… Remember the Peanut Butter Throwdown?  Oh yeah you still have a few more days to enter the giveaway

Well I was super excited to made dessert for that gathering.  And thus this was born:

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White Chocolate Wonderful Ice Cream

1 cup White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy (a few minutes).  Add half and half and whisk until combined.  Transfer to a saucepan, turn flame on to medium/low.  Continue to stir until mixtures starts to thicken (about 10 minutes).  Lastly, stir in white chocolate wonderful peanut butter and stir until combined.

Keep stirring until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Then chill for bit until mixture is cold.  Put in your ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions.    Just before ice cream is done, drop in white chocolate chips.  Freeze for a few more hours to set, then serve!

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I had to give this away for fear that I would eat the whole thing in a day.  True story.   It doesn’t matter how sugar loaded I am, there’s always room for ice cream.  Don’t you think?

So go ahead and make this.  Think of me and the fact that my birthday is on Tuesday.

Also, Don’t forget to enter the Peanut Butter & Co. Giveaway to win 6 free jars of Peanut Butter!  Click here to enter!  Don’t be a meany! Share it with your friends so they can get some peanut butter love too!

Peanut Butter Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

When a friend comes to visit from across the country, they deserve a treat.  When a friend says she wants a dessert with bacon, you oblige and make these:

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My friend Liz loves bacon more than anyone I know.  We have that bond of former roommates so I know the lady loves meat  (no pun intended, get your mind out of the gutter).

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Lucky for her, bacon in dessert is totally having a moment, or is that just me?  If you haven’t had bacon in a dessert yet, you need to try it asap.  Start with these cookies…

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Peanut Butter Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 slices of bacon, fat reserved
1/4 cup softened butter
*
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted PB)
1 cup chocolate chips

In a pan, fry bacon over medium heat until very crispy.  Reserve fat and allow to cool completely.  Chop bacon and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Beat together butter, peanut butter and bacon fat (*note if you don’t want to use bacon fat, you can just use 1/2 cup of butter and omit the bacon fat).  Add sugar and beat for an additional minute or two.  Add egg and beat for an additional minute.  Add flour and baking soda (and salt if using) and beat until almost combined.  Lastly, fold in chopped bacon and chocolate chips.

Form dough into walnut-sized balls, place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 10-13 minutes or until golden on the edges.  Allow to cool completely and serve!  Makes about 2 dozen cookies (or maybe more… I wouldn’t know because I ate a ton of the cookie dough).

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If your friend loves bacon but isn’t a fan of peanut butter… not to worry, I have a solution for you:

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Bacon Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Not into cookies (we won’t talk about how blasphemous that is…) but feeling the need to put bacon in a dessert?  How about this Chocolate Pudding with Peanut Butter Mousse and Maple Candied Bacon?

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Equally delicious and bacon-y.

How do you feel about bacon in desserts? Do you love it? Hate it? Is it over-rated? Never tried it?  Tell me!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie in a Pretzel Crust

This blog post was original a dramatic complaint about how my life isn’t perfect.  I just re-read it, and I feel dumb, capricious and immature.  Because I realize all the things I worry about are trivial.  There are far more serious things in life than the fact that I have a pile of student loan debt, a mean comment from a reader or a little bit of back pain.

Last week, I thought I was having a terrible week.  Things kept going wrong, or so it seemed.  But I was wrong.

This week is far more terrible, because terrible things didn’t happen to me.  They happened to my loved ones, and that is a million times worse.

So in those moments when I feel like my life is crumbling, like a pie crust that doesn’t have enough water to help it stick together, food is important.  Those moments are when pie is essential.

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Really though.

Even if you don’t eat it, because by now I know turning to food when things aren’t going well is wrong, make the pie and give it away.

Give it to a loved one who isn’t having the best day, or a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time.

Pie doesn’t heal all wounds, but it helps.

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie in a Pretzel Crust

1 1/4 cup of pretzel crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth natural
4 oz cream cheese, softened
7 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
1/2 cup + 3 tbsp strawberry jam

First make your crust by mixing together pretzel crumbs, butter and sugar.  Press into a 9” pie dish and place in the freezer until ready to use.

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Next, beat together peanut butter, cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk.  Beat 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream until if holds firm peaks.  Fold whipped cream into peanut butter mixture until combined.  Set aside.

Beat remaining 1 cup of whipped cream.  Once it start to form peaks, add in 3 tbsp of strawberry jam.  If you want to avoid clump, blend your jam before adding it to the whipped cream.  Set aside.

Next assemble the pie.  Spread half of the jam on the bottom of the pie crust.  If it’s hard to spread, feel free to add a little water or blend it to make it smooth.  Next spread on half the peanut butter mixture, then another layer with remaining jam. Top with remaining peanut butter mixture.  Transfer whipped cream to piping bag and pipe strawberry whipped cream onto the pie, alternatively you can just spread it.

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Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight and serve cold to someone special.

This is comfort food to the max, because sometimes we need a little comfort and a big hug.

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Butterscotch Cookies

This is what happens when you are cheap and you go to the grocery store hungry.

Ok that’s not really what happens.  What happens is you buy butterscotch chips that are 50% off, then rack your brain for 2 weeks trying to figure out what to make with them.  Don’t worry if this happens to you make cookies.  Cookies are generally a good idea.

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Butterscotch Cookies

adapted from Food Network

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, cream together brown sugar, butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Beat in egg and vanilla extract.  Add whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt until almost combine.  Fold in butterscotch chips.

Form dough into golf ball sized balls, place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and flatten slightly.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden on the bottom.  Place on a cooling rack to cool.  Then serve!

Makes about 20 cookies.

In other news, these cookies were the first thing I made in my new kitchen.

Then I roasted vegetables, made another avocado pie and make an EPIC birthday cake for a co-worker’s bday tomorrow.

Slowly but surely, I’m catching up.  What should I make next?

Milk Chocolate Brownie Pie with Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Crust

Remember when I told you to look forward to pies?  Well I didn’t make you wait long.  Here it is.



And let’s be honest about this.  Not all pies are pretty, but even if they’re not pretty they can still be tasty.  Let’s call it functional, not beautiful.  I’m pretty certain this pie won’t get as many pins as other ones.

You know what makes this even more functional: it’s easy.  Not that other pies are hard to make but with this one, you don’t have to deal with rolling a crust, peeling or chopping fruit, making a topping or even pulling out the hand mixer.

This pie is essentially chocolate chess pie.  However, no one seems to know what that is (not even me really…).  So my original intention was to call this Chocolate Milk Pie, because to me, it tastes like chocolate milk in a pie form.  But when I took it to work everyone kept calling it brownie pie.  I guess that might be a more accurate descriptions.

Hence…

Milk Chocolate Brownie Pie with Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Crust

adapted from Chocolate Chess Pie

For Crust:

4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp peanut butter
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup powdered sugar

For Filling:

4 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
5 oz evaporated milk (you can buy 5 oz cans)

Pre-heat oven to 325F. Prepare the crust.  Melt butter and peanut butter together in a bowl.  Add sugar and graham cracker crumbs.  Combine and press into a 9inch pie dish.  Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

Mix all the ingredients.  Pour filling into the pie dish.  Place use a pie shield or line the edges with aluminum foil (this really is crucial).  Bake 45 minutes to an hour or until the top is cracked but the inside still looks gooey.

Allow to cool completely and serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream (optional).

The inside will be ooey, gooey and lovely.  I can guarantee you’ll love it, even if it’s not the most visually appealing.

But you know what is totally appealing (aside from this pie of course)? Birthday countdowns.

Boyfriend’s birthday in 1 week. My birthday in 2 weeks.  That means lots of pie/cake-making is on the way.

FYI, I’m totally okay with making a birthday cake/pie for myself.  Is that weird?

Date Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m nearly fully convinced that peanut butter is the most amazing thing there is.  It goes with pretty much anything.

Peanut butter and jelly. A classic.

Peanut butter on celery, pretty much the only thing that makes celery palatable.

Peanut butter and chocolate.  Divine.

Peanut butter and banana. Mouth-watering.

These are pretty much the basics.  But my newest obsession: peanut butter and dates. Words can’t even describe…

Even better, peanut butter + dates + chocolate.  A guaranteed winning combo.

Give it a try, in cookie form that is.

Date Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 cup chopped dates

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cream together butter, peanut butter, sugar.  Beat in egg.  Add flours, baking soda and salt and mix until almost combined.  Fold in chocolate chips, peanuts and dates, careful to not overmix.

Place golf ball sized amounts of dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.  Cool on a cooling rack.  Serve and enjoy! Makes about 24 cookies.


Double Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the blogs I read.  There are some I read strictly for photo or recipe purposes and others for the content.  More often than not, the blogs I read for content are based on someone’s life.  Apparently, I’m nosey.

So I started thinking about my own blog.  Is it one of those look at the photos and recipe blogs or more of a read the content and know the person type blog?

Once upon a time I wrote about my life, my semi-obsession with health and fitness, and school.  I had a different boyfriend, I was in grad school and I didn’t eat meat.  That was years ago.  Somewhere along the way, that stopped.

Nowadays, I don’t really tell you about things like wine and painting with my sister and my friend.

I don’t usually talk about the fact that last week I signed up for 24 Hour Fitness and was stared at for being the sweatiest person in the room.  I firmly believe if you still look cute after your workout you weren’t working hard enough.  True Story.

Or that I went to the Artisan Food and Arts Festival with my sister, brother-in-law, and this guy, who I have yet to give a blog nickname (not that I can’t just call him by his name, Jesse, like I do in real life):

and ate some amazing food from Kogi.

Recently, my blog has been all about the fatty and delicious recipes that are more fun to write about and photograph than sharing the healthy meals I try to consume on a regular basis, but sometimes I miss documenting the healthy, tasty things I make.

So lately, it’s been a lot of recipes like this

Because chocolate and peanut butter are winners, and because sometimes I like reading blogs just for the recipes.

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

inspired by Epicurious

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar + more for rolling
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup oats

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl combine butter, peanut butter, sugar and egg.  Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, and stir until just combined.  The dough will be pretty dry.  Add chocolate chips and oats and knead it all together until combined.  Form dough into about 30 tbsp sized balls, roll in sugar and lay onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Press dough down to flatten.  Bake about 8 minutes or until the edges are cooked but the center is still soft.

They key to these is to make sure they’re not over-baked.  If they’re over-baked, they’ll be hard and dry.  If slightly under-baked, they’ll be chewy and rich.  In other words, delicious.

Delicious is right, and I hope my blog stays that way, but it might go in a different direction too.  So maybe my blog will have to be both.  A little bit of Karla and a lot of food.  All mixed together.

Let’s just hope that as I approach my 400th post, I don’t decide to share 400 things about myself like I did on the 100th

What do you think?

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Mousse Filling and Peanut Butter Butter Cream

I think this title has the record for the number of times “butter” is in a blog title.  I’m totally cool with that.

I’m also cool with this

Peanut Butter and Chocolate is pretty much one of the most amazing combinations on the planet.  My mother would disagree, but I think 90% of America would think these cupcakes are amazing.  Fact.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Mousse Filling and Peanut Butter Butter Cream

using Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup  Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used almond milk and it was a-okay!)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
2 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 + 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 stick of butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350F.  Combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  In another bowl, combine eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Once it’s just about combine, stir in cup of boiling water.  Pour 1/4 cup batter into about each lined cupcake pan (makes about 30).  Bake 15-18 minutes (depending on your oven) or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove cupcakes from cupcake pan immediately and place to cool on a wire rack.  Allow to cool completely.

Make mousse filling.  Using a hand (or stand) mixer, whip heavy cream.  Gradually add in 1/4 cup powdered sugar as it starts to form soft peaks.  Beat until stiff, careful not to overwhip.  In another bowl, beat together cream cheese and 1/4 cup of peanut butter until smooth.  Fold in whipped cream.  Chill for about half an hour (you can put it in the freezer to speed this up).

Next make peanut butter butter cream.  Beat together peanut butter and butter.  Add in powdered sugar (and some vanilla if you’d like) until it reaches a thick enough consistency for frosting, add milk if necessary.  If you’d like you can also add some cream cheese to the frosting.  It turns out great!

Using a sharp pointed knife, cut out a small circle from each cupcake.  Transfer mousse to a ziploc bag and cut off an end to make a sort of piping bag (or put it in a piping bag if you’re fancy pants like that).  Pipe some mousse into each cupcake.  Next frost as desired (pipe or spread).

Keep them in the fridge until ready to serve.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate is a sure-fire crowd please-r.   I took them to an office party.  They were a hit.  Who doesn’t love a delicious chocolate cupcake with a peanut butter surprise?

The Most Amazing Peanut Butter Banana Pie Ever!

Hi friends!  It’s pretty much been forever, but I’m back in California so things can get back to normal!

In the past few weeks, quite a bit has happened.  I graduated!  I have a Master’s! Woo!

My hat didn’t fit on my head.  Such is life.

Then I came back to California and my sister and I made the most amazing pies EVER!

Truth.

Okay so one sorta melted.  No biggie.

AMAZING Peanut Butter (or Nutella) Banana Pie

inspired by Joy the Baker’s No Bake Peanut Butter Tart

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or Nutella or other nut butter)
4 oz cream cheese, softened
7 oz (1/2 can) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup heavy cream for whipping
1 banana, sliced
1 tbsp butter
1 prepared graham cracker crust
1 cup cool whip or other whipped cream for topping

In a pan, melt butter and fry banana slices until golden (you can probably skip this step and just use fresh bananas, but the crispy fried banana was pretty delicious).  Arrange fried banana on the bottom of the prepared graham cracker crust.

Using a mixer (or a strong  arm) mix together the cream cheese, peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk.  Once combined, set aside.  In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it holds solid peaks.   Then fold together the peanut butter mixture and the whipped cream.  Once combined (don’t over mix), spoon the mixture into the pie pan, top with whipped topping and chill for a few hours before serving.

We made two, one with nutella and one with peanut butter.  They were both a hit, but I won’t lie: the peanut butter one is to die for!

You should probably go make it now.  You won’t regret it.