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Friday, September 6, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Pie

I work with an attorney who has access to really great tickets to my alma mater's football games.  He also LOVES Peanut Butter Cups and pie.  So I combined the best chocolate pie filling I've got with the best peanut butter filling I've found and  made him a custom PB Cup pie.  (This recipe actually makes two pies - so I had one take to work for him and one for my family to enjoy.  Win/win).  This pie was  a hit at work, everybody who got to try it loved it.  And if my bribe was successful I should be enjoying the homecoming game from the 50 yard line next week :-)

Kirk's Peanut Butter Cup Pie

2 Nine or Ten inch pie shells.  I used pastry, but a graham cracker or cookie crust would be fantastic as well.

Chocolate layer:
3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 oz. baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs

  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  • Beat in the chocolate and vanilla. 
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating each for four minutes (this step is very important to get the silky texture you want in this layer).
  • Spoon half the chocolate filling into each pie shell and refrigerate while you prepare the peanut butter layer.
Peanut butter layer:
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
8 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • Beat the peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.
  • Fold in the whipped topping.
  • Divide the mixture between the two pie shells, layering it on top of the chocolate.
  • Top with chopped up mini peanut butter cups.
  • Refrigerate at least three hours before serving.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Why I've been baking less during the past year.

I love to bake.  I love to eat what I bake.  And my body has paid the price.  Last summer I finally decided to get serious about losing the excess weight I've accumulated over many years, and that meant baking less frequently.  I haven't done anything drastic to lose weight - no pills or surgery or crazy low calorie diets.  Just upped the exercise (a lot!) and tracked what I eat to stay within a reasonable calorie limit.  So I do still bake, and I do still eat yummy stuff - but I  had to cut it down a bit!  I will be posting more delicious treats as the weather cools and I'm able to use the oven more comfortably, but did want to share the difference a year of mindful eating and steady exercise can make.  I'm about halfway to my goal weight now:

Grandma and Violet

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rhubarb Cake

Yesterday we had a dinner guest, and that's always an occasion calling for dessert.  Since I have plentiful rhubarb growing in the garden I wanted to use it, but didn't have time to make a pie.  This cake ended up fitting the bill perfectly, and our guest liked it so much that she happily took several pieces home and asked for the recipe.  That was pretty impressive considering that she had never heard of rhubarb before!


3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter

1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups finely chopped fresh rhubarb
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan.

Mix the dry ingredients together, then cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.  Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in the egg and vanilla.  Add the salt and soda.  Beat in the flour alternately with the buttermilk.  Stir in the rhubarb and nuts.  Pour the batter into the greased baking pan.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake.

Bake 45 minutes.

We enjoyed this served with sweetened whipped cream.  It would also be great served warm with ice cream.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spring = Rhubarb!

The snow has finally melted, the lilacs are blooming, sun is shining....and my rhubarb plant is thriving.  Time to enjoy this unique taste of spring.  Here's a yummy snack idea to take advantage of the rhubarb that is at it's peak right now.  These are like the bar cookies I usually make with peach or apricot jam, and I think they are even better with rhubarb.  My son enjoyed these for snacking as well as for breakfast with a big glass of milk.


3 cups fresh rhubarb, diced
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups oats (quick-cooking or regular rolled oats)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Filling:  Combine ingredients in a saucepan and cook until thickened, stirring frequently.  This will take about 10 minutes.

Crust:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all ingredients until combined and crumbly.  Press 3/4 of the mixture into an ungreased 9x13 pan.  Pour the rhubarb filling over the crust.  Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture evenly over the top.  Bake 30 minutes.  Let cool before cutting into squares.  Refrigerate the leftovers.

Monday, March 11, 2013


After this week's time change, my  husband was a very sleepy guy.  Because of the effect of "springing forward" on the computers at his job he was up most of the night, but still got up for church in the morning.  He really earned a Sunday afternoon nap.  While he snoozed in a chair I thought it would be nice to make his favorite cookies to show my appreciation for what a hard working guy he is. He really loves Snickerdoodles so I happily started to get everything out to make them,  then discovered that I was out of the cream of tartar those cookies require. We did have some peanut butter on the shelf so I decided that peanut butter cookies would still make him a happy man when he woke up.  As I mixed the dough I realized that there was no reason  the cinnamon-sugar coating that makes Snickerdoodles so yummy shouldn't be delightful with peanut butter too.  The result was these cookies that my eleven year-old son named "Snickerbutters".  These were a  hit with both of my guys.


1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1-1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cinnamon sugar

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Beat together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, butter and egg.  Stir in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • Shape the dough into balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar.  Place on ungreased baking pan and bake for 10 minutes.

Friday, February 22, 2013

More muffins!

I'm getting ready for a weekend away with friends, and decided to take some muffins so we can have a quick breakfast before a snowshoeing activity we have planned.  I had some cranberries in the freezer and it's snowing, so some comforting winter flavors seemed in order.  The muffins turned out moist and yummy.  Give these a try.

Orange Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

Makes 24 muffins

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup brown sugar (NOT packed)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons orange zest
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Spray 24 muffins cups with baking spray or use paper liners.

Heat cranberries with one tablespoon of water until the cranberries burst open.  Mash slightly with a fork.

Beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil and orange zest until smooth.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, spices and salt.  Pour the liquid mixture over the dry mixture, then mix together with a spoon just until moistened.  Fold in the cranberries and their liquid.

Spoon into the muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Apple-Raisin Bran Muffins

This winter I've been paying more attention to what I eat - guess it's time to get more "mindful" about such things.  So there's been less pie and more high fiber/nutritious food being made around here.  My favorite breakfast lately has been a bran muffin.  Gosh, I must be getting old!  I have been making and freezing the Raisin Bran muffins I posted a few months ago, which I can grab and quickly microwave in the morning.  Then I found another muffin version which is my new favorite.  The original recipe came from a box of Western Family brand Raisin Bran cereal.  These also freeze beautifully and microwave from frozen to "oven fresh" in about 30 seconds.

Apple-Raisin Bran Muffins

Makes about 18 muffins

1 1/2 cups raisin bran cereal (if you don't like raisins, use plain bran cereal)
2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large or 2 small apples, peeled and chopped finely (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray muffin pans with nonstick spray.  Combine the cereal, milk, oil, eggs and vanilla and let stand for 10 minutes.  Stir to break up the cereal, then stir in the apples and nuts.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.  Add the cereal mixture all at once to the flour mixture and stir just until moistened, it will be a thick batter.  Spoon into the muffin pans and bake 16 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on rack.