#98) Peanut Butter Bombs

An extra-large version of an old favorite!

Do you remember when I told you how much my fam jam and I love any and all peanut butter combos in this post right here?  Well, I wasn't lying...  And no matter how much we all enjoy the new creations we dream up and create, we do have an old favorite that we keep going back to again and again and again - Peanut Butter Balls.  I have made that recipe so often that over time I've gotten it just right ;) but that's not to say there's no room for improvement!

In previous stabs at this delectable little concoction I've managed to find the best ingredients, proportions, and methods to get the best result, but there's something to be said for the old adage "bigger is better."  I normally use 1 tablespoon of peanut butter filling for these guys, but this time around I opted for an ice cream scoop, upping the filling to 1/4 cup!

The reaction from most taste-testers was two big thumbs up, but one of them, who shall remain nameless in the hopes of avoiding any persecution for the forthcoming opinion, did think they were too big and the amount of filling was a little too much of a good thing... I will respectfully disagree haha :)


2 cups smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup puffed rice cereal
1/4 tsp salt
2 - 2 1/2 cups icing sugar

2 cups chocolate chips
2 tbsp shortening

14 salted peanuts


- In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, and vanilla.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Stir to combine.
- Stir in puffed rice cereal and salt.
- Add icing sugar in stages until filling reaches dough-like consistency.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Using an ice cream scoop (1/4 cup), scoop filling onto parchment-lined cookie sheet.  This recipe made 14 for me.  Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
-  Remove scoops from freezer and set aside while you melt together chocolate and shortening in double boiler.
- Using two forks, dip each scoop into chocolate and place back on the parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Place one salted peanut on top of each scoop right after its been dipped.
- Using your fork and the remaining melted chocolate, add some decorative chocolate splatter on top of the peanut butter bombs.
- Let chocolate set and serve :)


#97) Sticky Cinnamon Buns

Ooey, gooey cinnamon buns that are finger-lickin' good :)

Cinnamon buns seem to be one of those things everyone likes.  I don't think I've met anyone who can say they dislike cinnamon buns.  I mean, it's a sweet and spicy filling surrounded by fluffy dough...  What is there not to like?

The only real debate I've ever had about cinnamon buns was about what goes best on top.  You can get them smothered in a sweet vanilla glaze, covered in a thick cream cheese frosting, pure and plain with no topping... the list goes on.  The only option I can say I could do without is the one with NO topping.  Come on!!!  A big ol' cinnamon bun is just crying out for you to put something, anything on top :)

Well in this version I've gone with a brown sugar caramel topping that produces a sticky and sweet cinnamon bun.  Some taste-testers thought the caramel topping was a tad too sweet, while others thought it was down-right addictive.  So there you have it, the ago-old debate about what goes best on top of your cinnamon bun continues ;)

Some notes on the recipe:

- It was ridiculously humid the day I made these and I think that had a huge effect on the elasticity, or lack thereof, of my dough...  Let's just say I got my arm workout in that day.  On the same note, if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, use it!

- I have made this recipe with both regular and quick rise yeast.  I prefer the regular yeast.  It may take more patience, but it produces are much more delicate finished product.

- Make sure not to cook the butter and brown sugar for the topping.  You just want to melt it, as rising the temperature too much will change the consistency of the caramel once it cools.


1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour
1 package quick-rise yeast
2 eggs, beaten

- In small saucepan over low to medium heat, warm sugar, milk, butter, and salt until butter is melted.  Heat to 120-130°F (drinkably warm, if you don't have a thermometer).
- Mix together flour and yeast in large bowl.  Add warm liquids and mix with wooden spoon.
- Add beaten eggs and mix until dough is soft, slightly sticky, and comes away from the sides of the bowl.
- Turn out on to lightly floured surface and knead for 7-10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place in greased bowl, cover with towel, and let rest 10 minutes.  Dough will not rise at this point.

Filling (& Assembly)


1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon


- Roll out dough to 18'x14' rectangle.
- Brush with melted butter, leaving 1/2" border.  Reserve remaining melted butter.
- Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon in small bowl.  Sprinkle over the buttered surface.
- Roll into a tight log along the long edge.  Pinch seam together.  Brush reserved melted butter on top and sides of log.
- Prepare topping (see below).
- Cut into 15 equal slices and place cut side down into pan.
- Let rise for 1 hour.  Should double in size.
- Bake at 375°F for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let stand in pan for 3 minutes then invert on serving platter or ridged cookie sheet.  Scrape any remaining caramel from baking dish onto the cinnamon buns.



3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar


- Melt butter and brown sugar together in small saucepan over low heat.  
- Pour into 9"x13" baking dish.


#96) Peanut Butter Cookie Brownies with Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting

Move over "Plain Jane" brownies, there's a new "Queen B." in town!

I have professed, often and loudly, my love for brownies here on the blog and anyone who has perused my past recipes would have picked up a somewhat blatantly obvious adoration for any possible chocolate and peanut butter combination.  What you probably wouldn't pick up on is that this pure love of brownies, chocolate, and peanut butter is a family thing, meaning my dad, my brother, and my son also love this addictive combination.  (My mom is on the fence about it, so we are on the fence about her... Joking mother!)  So it goes without saying that when we are all together there really is no other option for sweet treat flavor combos.  If you'd like to check out some of our past chocolate and peanut butter sweet treats, click here.

Now on to the details behind the new "Queen B." of the brownie world - a chewy brownie made with 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate filled with pockets of barely baked peanut butter cookies slathered in a dreamy peanut butter chocolate frosting and sprinkled with crushed salted peanuts!  Are you hooked yet?

There are a few steps involved and it takes great restraint to not eat the batter and lick every utensil you use along the way, but it will be well worth it when you take an all-encompassing bite of the finished product :) So dive in and give them a go, you'll be glad you did!

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough


1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder


- Mix together butter, sugar, brown sugar, milk, and vanilla.  Stir in peanut butter.
- Add flour and baking powder.  Mix until incorporated.  Cookie dough will be loose.
- Refrigerate 15-30 minutes, until firm and can be rolled into balls.
- Roll chilled dough into balls (1 tablespoon per ball); you should get 11 total.  Place on cookie sheet lined with wax paper and freeze for 30 minutes.

*While cookie dough balls are freezing, clean up those dishes and make the brownie batter :)

Chewy Brownies


1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp butter or margarine
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp flour


- Line 8"x8" baking pan with foil and coat with spray oil.  Preheat oven to 325°F. 
- Melt chocolate and butter together in microwave-safe bowl at 25 second increments, stirring well after each interval.  Set aside.
- Beat eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla with hand mixer until pale.  Stir in melted chocolate and butter.
- Gently fold in flour, mixing just until no white streaks remain.  Do not over mix.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Remove peanut butter cookie dough balls from freezer and place 9 of the balls in the brownie batter, evenly spaced.  Cut the last two balls in half and fill any voids in the batter.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out with some sticky batter remaining.
- Let cool in pan for 5 minutes then, using the foil edges, lift the brownies out of the pan and let cool completely on cooling rack.

Now on to that frosting...

Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting


3 tbsp butter or margarine, softened
1 tbsp peanut butter
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp milk


- With hand mixer on low, mix together butter, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and vanilla.
- Add icing sugar gradually.
- Add milk until you reach the desired consistency - spreadable :)
- Spread evenly over top of cooled brownies
*To have a smooth surface to spread the frosting over I inverted the brownies onto a platter and spread the frosting over the "bottom" of the brownies.
- Sprinkle with 1/4 cup crushed, salted peanuts.

And there you have it, ladies and gentleman.  The "Queen B." of brownies...  or maybe that should be "Queen PB" :)