Saturday, August 17, 2013

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter
 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
 1 cup white sugar
 1 cup packed brown sugar
 2 eggs
 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 teaspoon baking powder
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  1. Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in eggs.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into batter. Put batter in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. Roll into 1 inch balls and put on baking sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown. Do not over-bake.

Peanut Butter and Banana Bread

Cooking spray
1 1/4 cup(s) (5.35 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1/2 cup(s) creamy peanut butter (do not use "natural")
2/3 cup(s) sugar
3 large ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1/2 cup(s) chopped walnuts or chopped pecans (optional)
1/2 cup(s) miniature chocolate chips (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mist a 5 x 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt with a fork. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat the peanut butter and sugar together until well blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in the mashed banana and eggs; mix well.
  3. Using a wooden spoon or flexible spatula, stir the flour mixture into the peanut butter–banana mixture, mixing until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula if needed. Stir in the chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips, if using.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan and gently smooth the top with the flexible spatula. Bake 45 minutes. Cover the pan loosely with foil and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes in the pan.
  5. Remove the bread by running a paring knife around the inside of the pan to loosen it, then inverting the pan to release the bread onto a wire rack. Carefully turn the bread right-side up and cool completely. Slice and serve. Wrap any leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and foil; keep at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Additional granulated sugar
About 36 Hershey's® Kisses® Brand milk chocolates, unwrapped

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. 
  2. In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder until dough forms.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in additional granulated sugar. On ungreased cookie sheets, place about 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Immediately press 1 milk chocolate candy in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack.

Peanut Butter Bars

Peanut Butter Bars I Recipe

1 cup butter or margarine, melted
 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
 2 cups confectioners' sugar
 1 cup peanut butter
 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
 4 tablespoons peanut butter

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter or margarine, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners' sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a metal bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Spread over the prepared crust. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

30 Minute Homemade Soft Pretzels


1 and 1/2 cups warm water (lukewarm, no need to take temperature)
1 packet active yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
4 - 4.25 cups all-purpose flour + more for the counter surface to knead (or mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour)
1 large egg
course sea salt for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir with a spoon until fairly mixed, about 1 minute. Some clusters of yeast will remain. Add salt and sugar; stir until fairly combined. Slowly add flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough is thick. Continue to add more flour until dough is no longer sticky. Poke the dough with your finger - if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes and shape into a ball. With a sharp knife, cut ball of dough into 1/3 cup sections. This measurement does not have to be exact - use as much or little dough for each pretzel as you wish - the size of the pretzel is completely up to you.
  4. Roll the dough into a rope with an even diameter. My ropes were twenty inches long. This measurement will depend how large you want the pretzels. Once you have your long rope, take the ends and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape. See above for link to visual instructions.
  5. In a small bowl, beat the egg and pour into a shallow bowl or pie dish. Dunk the shaped pretzel into the egg wash (both sides). Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes at 425F degrees. Turn the oven to broil and bake for 5 more minutes to brown the tops. Watch closely to avoid burning.
  7. Allow to cool and enjoy. Serve warm or at room temperature. Pretzels may be stored in an airtight container or zipped top bag for up to 4 days (will lose softness). Pretzels freeze well.

*If you'd like to make cinnamon sugar pretzels, mix 1 Tablespoon cinnamon and 1/3 cup sugar and coat pretzels instead of using salt.

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Peach Dumplings

Photo: Peach Dumplings - Oh My Gosh, I've died and gone to heaven!!!
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2 whole large peaches
2 8 oz cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1-1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
cinnamon, to taste
1 1/2 cups orange juice

Peel and pit peaches. Cut both peaches into 8 slices. Roll each peach slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.
Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over peaches. Pour orange juice around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Adapted from Pillsbury Peach Dumplins recipe:
2 whole large peaches
2 8 oz cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1-1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
cinnamon, to taste
1 1/2 cups orange juice

  1. Peel and pit peaches. Cut both peaches into 8 slices. Roll each peach slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.
  2. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over peaches. Pour orange juice around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Adapted from Pillsbury Peach Dumplins recipe:

Friday, August 9, 2013

Pork Chops with Apples, Onions, and Sweet Potatoes

4 pork chops
 salt and pepper to taste
 2 onions, sliced into rings
 2 sweet potatoes, sliced
 2 apples - peeled, cored, and sliced into rings
 3 tablespoons brown sugar
 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Season pork chops with salt and pepper to taste, and arrange in a medium oven safe skillet. Top pork chops with onions, sweet potatoes, and apples. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Season with 2 teaspoons pepper and 1 teaspoon salt.
  3. Cover, and bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until sweet potatoes are tender and pork chops have reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

Roasted Vegetables

1 small butternut squash, cubed
 2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
 3 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
 1 red onion, quartered
 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
 1/4 cup olive oil
 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
 salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the squash, red bell peppers, sweet potato, and Yukon Gold potatoes. Separate the red onion quarters into pieces, and add them to the mixture.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together thyme, rosemary, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss with vegetables until they are coated. Spread evenly on a large roasting pan.
  4. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring every 10 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through and browned.

Sweet Potato Burritos

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
 1 onion, chopped
 4 cloves garlic, minced
 6 cups chickpeas, drained
 2 cups water
 3 tablespoons chili powder
 2 teaspoons ground cumin
 4 teaspoons prepared mustard
 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
 3 tablespoons soy sauce
 4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
 12 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Heat oil in a medium skillet, and saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in beans, and mash. Gradually stir in water, and heat until warm. Remove from heat, and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce.
  3. Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the warm flour tortillas. Top with cheese. Fold up tortillas burrito style, and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, and serve.

Peach Pie Recipe - Butterscotch Peach Pie

Peach pie recipe is made with brown sugar, peaches, butter, lemon juice, and other ingredients.
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
  • 3 1/2 cups sliced peaches
  • pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • dash salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Place peaches in pastry-lined 9-inch pie plate. Combine the brown sugar, flour, and salt in a saucepan. Add butter. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice then pour over peaches. Make a lattice-style top crust. Bake at 425° for 25 to 35 minutes.

*To make a lattice top crust, cut dough into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Arrange dough strips across top of filling. Form the lattice by arranging more dough strips at right angle to first set of dough strips, weaving the strips if you wish. Trim dough strips even with the overhang on bottom crust. Tuck ends of dough strips and overhang under; press to seal. Crimp edges.

Peach Dumplings

Dumplings are spooned onto boiling peaches in syrup. This dessert is similar to cobbler, but simmered on the stovetop.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 to 3 cups fresh sliced peaches, or frozen thawed
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream, more or less
  • cinnamon sugar, optional
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup sugar, butter, and hot water. Add peaches and bring to a boil. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon of sugar, if using; stir in milk or cream to form a stiff batter. Drop large spoonfuls of batter onto the boiling fruit. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Spoon out dumplings and fruit into bowl. If desired, sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar and serve with cream or ice cream. Serves 4 to 6.

Fresh Peach Crisp Recipe

Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh peaches, peeled, pitted
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup soft butter

Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Preheat oven to 375°.
Slice peeled, pitted peaches into the prepared baking dish. Sift together the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon into a medium bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over peaches in baking dish. Bake at 375° for 45 to 50 minutes, until topping is golden brown and peaches are tender. Serve peach crisp warm with cream or whipped topping.

Peach Salsa Recipe

This recipe calls for peaches, but you could easily use nectarines. Habaneros work well in this salsa, in place of the jalapeños, but watch out, they're hot!

·         4 ripe but firm yellow peaches, chopped (skin on or off, your choice, skin on makes for better color, but if skin is too thick or fuzzy you may want to peel first)
·         2-3 Tbsp chopped shallots or onions
·         2-3 jalapenos, chopped (stem, seeds and ribs discarded)
·         Juice of a lemon
·         2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
·         2 Tbsp grated ginger
·         1 teaspoon sugar
·         Salt and black pepper to taste


1 Put the chopped peaches, shallots, and jalapeños in the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients. Pulse 2-3 times, just enough to get most the pieces small and to well combine the salsa. Do not liquefy it.
2 Place salsa into a bowl and cover. Let stand for an hour before serving to give the ingredients time to meld.

Serve with chips, with fish, pork, or chicken.

Pepper Cheese Dip

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup small dice onion
2 tablespoons minced jalapenos
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 cups corn kernels (frozen, canned or fresh) 1 cup roasted poblano pepper, chopped
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped (green parts only)
4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces monterey jack cheese, grated
3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon ground ancho chili pepper (sprinkle this just after the corn is added) (optional) salt cayenne pepper Directions: 1 Preheat oven to 375°F. 2 In a 10-inch sauté pan set over a medium high heat, add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes. 3 Add the jalapeños and the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. 4 Add the corn and sauté for 5-6 minutes. 5 Remove the corn, jalapeños, garlic, and onion mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and blend well. Season the dip with salt and cayenne pepper. 6 Place in a casserole dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the dip begins to bubble. 7 Serve with your favorite chips!

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  • 1½ cups ripe peaches, diced (4-6 depending on size)
  • 1 cup tomato, diced (about 2 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño, finely minced (about ½)
  • ¼ cup yellow pepper, small dice (substitute red or green pepper if you’d like)
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder or other chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • for spicier version add more jalapeño or cayenne powder or other ground pepper to taste
  1. Mix all ingredients together well. Serve right away, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sweet Potato Casadia

1 large sweet potato
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 package stir fry rice, prepared per package directions
olive oil
cayenne pepper
fresh spinach
1 onion
lime juice
Mexican cheese
4 large tortillas

sour cream and salsa to taste

1. Follow package directions and prepare stir fried rice.

2. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil in pan. When warm, add onion and whole cayenne pepper. Remove pepper to suit your taste. Cook onion lightly and remove from heat before it is completely soft.

3. While everything else is cooking, microwave sweet potato for five minutes. Remove from microwave and mash, stirring in 1/4 teaspoon cumin.

4. Once everything is ready, put tortilla in skillet to brown. Smear 1/4 sweet potato mixture on half of the tortilla. Layer rice, cheese, spinach, cilantro and a dash of lime juice. Fold tortilla over in half and serve, cutting again through the middle. Add sour cream and salsa to taste.

Yield: 4