Mar 25 2014

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Jam Bars #chocPBday

Right now is the beginning of the best day ever – Chocolate Peanut Butter Day! Hosted by Carla of Chocolate Moosey and Miriam of Overtime Cook, more than 30 bloggers are sharing their favorite chocolate peanut butter recipes, ranging from cookies and bars to scones and muffins. Follow the hashtag #chocPBday on social media and join us with your favorite chocolate and peanut butter recipes. Want to find all the recipes in one place? Follow our Pinterest board. We are also teaming up with OXO, King Arthur Flour, and Peanut Butter & Co. to bring you three fabulous prize packs. If you love to bake, you don’t want to miss entering!

chocolate chip peanut butter jam bars

We have a whole lotta chocolate peanut butter love going on today! Make sure you check out all these other fantastic offerings and Pin them to save for later–you’re going to want to try them all!

chocolate chip peanut butter jam bars

And, of course, my recipe. Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Jam Bars.

Because I wanted a cookie bar that evoked memories of childhood, while being just a little more sophisticated. Chocolate and peanut butter chips stud this peanut butter cookie crust and topping, hiding a layer of cherry jam that is simply amazing. I say this serves 16–it’s more like 2. It might be a good idea to double the recipe and prepare in a 9″x13″ pan instead. I won’t judge you. Peanut butter and chocolate are good for you, right? (I keep telling myself that, anyway…)

chocolate chip peanut butter jam bars

5.0 from 2 reviews

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Jam Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cookie
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups King Arthur Flour white whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 large cage-free egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup peanut butter chips
  • ¾ cup cherry jam
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8″x8″ baking dish and line with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang to grip and remove the bars after they’ve cooled. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar. Beat until creamy, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the egg and beat until well-incorporated, at least 1 minute.
  5. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  6. With the mixer on medium low, gradually add the flour mixture. Mix until almost incorporated, then add the chocolate and peanut butter chips. Mix until incorporated.
  7. Press half of the cookie dough in the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread over that the jam.
  8. Grab handfuls of the remaining cookie dough and break it up over the top of the jam so you have crumbles everywhere.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden in color.
  10. Cool completely, then grab the edges of the parchment paper and lift straight up to remove from the pan.
  11. Cut and serve.

chocolate chip peanut butter jam bars

I want to send out a HUGE thank you to our sponsors for Chocolate Peanut Butter Day. Thanks to them, 3 of you will be receiving some pretty amazing prize packs! Be sure to follow them on social media:

OXO: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube

King Arthur Flour: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Peanut Butter & Co: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest| Instagram | YouTube

Yup, that’s right, there are 3 big prizes available today. Because it wouldn’t be a celebration without prizes!

chocolate peanut butter day prizesPrize Pack #1: OXO Baking Tool Set: One 3-in-1 Egg Separator, One Bent Icing Knife, One Brownie Spatula, One Cake Tester, One Cookie Spatula, One Cupcake Icing Knife, One Cupcake Corer, One Egg Beater, One Stainless Steel Measuring Cups, One Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons, One Medium Cookie Scoop

Prize Pack #2: King Arthur Flour ingredients: One bag of all-purpose flour, one package of Guittard bittersweet chocolate disks, and one bottle of pure vanilla extract

Prize Pack #3: Peanut Butter and Co. package including: one Dark Chocolate Dreams 6-pack, One Variety 6-pack, and One 31 Days of Dark Chocolate Dreams cookbook.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will be picked from random draw. Giveaway ends Monday March 31 at 11:59 PM. The winners will be notified via email and have 24 hours to respond. If not, the prize is forfeited and another winner will be chosen.

Enter in the Rafflecopter box below for your chance at all this goodness. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: OXO, King Arthur Flour, and Peanut Butter & Co. are providing the prizes for this giveaway, free of charge. I received no product or compensation from these companies for this post. All opinions are my own.

Mar 17 2014

#FromLeft2Write: The Divorce Papers and Pondering What’s Left Behind

The Divorce PapersThis post was inspired by the novel The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger. Young lawyer Sophie unwillingly takes her first divorce case with an entertaining and volatile client in this novel told mostly through letters and legal missives. Join From Left to Write on March 18 we discuss The Divorce Papers. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

What do we leave behind when we’re gone?

It’s kind of a morbid question, I know. But hear me out. What would someone find out about us someday if they ever went looking? It used to be the legal papers were all that remained. The things you’d find in your Town Clerk’s office: birth certificate, marriage certificate, deeds and mortgages, (god-forbid, foreclosures and lis pendens), name change certificates if you divorced and reverted to your maiden name… Who were your parents? Where were you born? Which houses did you own? How much were they assessed for? How much did you pay in taxes? Did you ever get any Zoning variances or special exceptions? Was that deck constructed with a Building permit? These are the remains of a life. These are the building blocks, residing eternally on record, that the people who come after us will have available to them to reconstruct our lives. Or, it used to be that way. Because anyone who uses the internet knows that the internet is forever. And there’s a whole lot more of our lives preserved now, whether we like it or not.

There’s a meme going around on the internet that goes something like I’m so happy I was young and stupid before the internet. One moment of insanity can now be captured for all to see and even if you delete it from one of your multiple social media accounts, that doesn’t mean it goes away. There are many heads to cut off this beast. And you never really know who has shared your content, who has right-clicked and saved something to their own computer for future use. You just don’t know who is reconstructing your life, even as you live it. And it’s a little frightening, when you think about it.

Someday, when my daughter is a teenager and starts wondering who her parents are, she’ll have more than a yearbook photo and silly farewells trapped in a book that hasn’t been cracked in decades at her disposal. She’ll be able to see every selfie I’ve taken in bars with friends. She’ll have access to the dream vacations and desired home renovations I’ve collected on Pinterest. And all those Twitter chats I’ve participated in will show her how boring her mom can really be. There will be so much information at her fingertips that she’ll likely get bored and move onto something more interesting, like writing her name in hearts with the latest boy band object-of-desire’s last name tacked on to hers. Life is no longer summed up; it’s transcribed. The full record is there for review, should anyone want it. Though I’m not sure who would want to rummage through it all.

More is not better. Sometimes, more is just more.

And now, a life that once had only its high points or highlights on file for future generations’ perusal will bog down the system with every inane thought and action that ever happened. Carrie has a case of the Mondays. Carrie is at Starbucks. Carrie went to the bar with her friend Crista. Carrie liked Brian’s picture of his lunch. It’s all there. And in some ways, it makes a life a little less special.

Guilty as charged.

What are your thoughts on a life viewed through the papers and information left behind?

Mar 14 2014

Chocolate Truffle Peanut Butter Egg Easter Pie & Giveaway #client #BunnyTrail

Disclosure: I received product from HERSHEY’S and a stipend from Global Influence for this post. HERSHEY’S is providing the product for the giveaway. All opinions remain my own.

chocolate truffle peanut butter egg Easter pie

My family has weird Easter traditions. My grandparents have been wintering in Florida for at least a decade now. Their return is generally sometime in April, which oftentimes means they’re still away when Easter falls. Not wanting them to feel left out, my mom started a new tradition 6 or so years ago: Fake Easter. Or Feaster, for short.

HERSHEY'S Easter CandyFeaster generally falls 1-3 weeks after Easter and is a time when my entire family gathers, welcoming my grandparents home for the summer. When I say entire family, I mean my parents, my siblings, their spouses, their kids, my aunts and uncles, cousins, their kids… Close to 40 of us, all together. It’s a big occasion.

HERSHEY'S Easter Candy

Yup, nearly 40 people gather in my parents’ home for antipasto and ham, mashed taters and green bean casserole, and lots and lots of dessert. My generation is usually in charge of that and we do it justice quite well. Cake, cookies, pies, and rice crispy treats–because Great Grandma always brought them. The feast goes on and on. It is Feaster, after all.

HERSHEY'S Easter Candy

Later comes the Easter egg hunt. When we were kids, our parents were less inventive–on Easter morn, we were greeted with baskets laid out on the hearth, overflowing with goodies. Now, they devise elaborate egg hunts in the yard for the grandkids, with tons and tons of loot. Stuffed animals for the little ones, art supplies for the older ones, and lots and lots of candy. It’s just not Easter without candy.

Chocolate Truffle Peanut Butter Egg Easter Pie

My favorite has always been REESE’S peanut butter eggs. Sure, the CADBURY Creme Eggs are pretty awesome, and their hard-shelled cousins are even better. It wouldn’t be Easter without a chocolate bunny in the basket. But give me all the peanut butter eggs and I’ll be a happy girl. THAT is the best flavor combination of all. Just don’t tell my kids that’s where their eggs have gone. As far as they’re concerned, they already ate them and forgot.

Chocolate Truffle Peanut Butter Egg Easter Pie

When I was asked to develop an Easter recipe featuring HERSHEY’S candy, I knew it had to have REESE’S Peanut Butter Eggs. It was only natural! And that’s where Chocolate Truffle Peanut Butter Egg Easter Pie came from. You only need a small slice, it’s just so rich and chocolatey, tempered by lightly-sweetened whipped cream and dreamy peanut butter. This is an awakening on a plate! Amazing!

Chocolate Truffle Peanut Butter Egg Easter Pie

Need more ideas for Easter? Check out CelebrateWithHersheys.com for lots of great holiday crafts and recipes! So many cute ideas that it’s hard to choose! (I adore this HERSHEY’S Foil Egg Wreath! Too bad it would melt on my front door…)

I can’t keep all this fun to myself, though. HERSHEY’S sent me a box full of the best Easter candy you can find–and they’re letting me give away the same to one of my readers. Yup, you can get your own instant Easter in a box! (I hope you’ll save the REESE’S Peanut Butter Eggs for this recipe!) Enter in the Rafflecopter box below for your chance at the bunny loot. (Open to U.S. residents only.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now, the recipe. Because I know you want your chocolate fix! Hoppy Easter! May your day be as sweet as can be!

5.0 from 6 reviews

Chocolate Truffle Peanut Butter Egg Easter Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A very rich pie that is sure to please anyone with a chocolate craving.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
Crust
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
Filling
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 Tablespoons organic corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 large cage-free egg yolks, slightly beaten
Topping
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 4 REESE’S Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Get out a 10-inch pie plate and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, microwave the butter for 1 minute, or until melted.
  3. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs with a fork until evenly coated, then press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the crust has browned slightly. Set aside to cool.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, corn starch, and salt. Set aside.
  6. In a 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the chocolate, milk, and cream for the filling. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly so the chocolate doesn’t burn.
  7. Once the chocolate has melted, whisk in the sugar mixture, continuing to heat until the mixture thickens and looks like pudding.
  8. Remove from heat and slowly add the egg yolks, whisking the whole time to keep the yolks from scrambling.
  9. Transfer filling to crust and spread evenly. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  10. When ready to serve, using a hand-held electric mixer, whip the topping heavy cream, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and salt until light and airy (try not to over-whip–it’ll look really dry if you overdo it).
  11. Scoop whipped cream and spread it over the top of the pie. Sprinkle with chopped REESE’S Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs.
  12. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

 

Mar 12 2014

Garlic Mashed Potatoes Pizza #client #SimplyPotatoes

Have you heard about Simply Potatoes’ 5 Ingredient Fix Recipe Contest?

All you have to do is come up with a 5-ingredient recipe featuring one of their products and submit it for your chance to win $3000! It doesn’t get any easier than that, so get yourself on over there and enter–I’d love to see one of my readers win!

Why do I love Simply Potatoes?

garlic mashed potatoes pizza
I am so unenthused about making dinner on weeknights. By the time I get home from work, all I want to do is park my butt on the couch and veg for a while. That isn’t fair to my family though. Anything that makes my night easier is greatly appreciated. That’s where Simply Potatoes comes in. Simply Potatoes are fresh potatoes that are refrigerated, but never frozen or dehydrated. They are made with only real ingredients and are sooooo easy to prepare. Especially for those recipes where “leftover” mashed potatoes are called for. What the heck are those? I don’t think I ever have leftover mashed potatoes. Thanks to Simply Potatoes, I don’t have to worry about that anymore!
garlic mashed potatoes pizza

So what would be my 5 Ingredient Fix?

My favorite pizza joint has this smashed potato pizza that is out of this world. I can’t eat there every day though. I recently started recreating my favorite pizza at home, now that I have Simply Potatoes by my side. I know, potatoes on pizza sounds a bit weird, but hear me out. Somehow, with the corn and the bacon, it all works out and becomes amazing. You could make just one pizza, but you’re kidding yourself. The first one will be gone in seconds and you’ll be wanting more. Make the 2 and even if you don’t need it all at once, you’ll have leftovers to carry you over. You’ll thank me.
garlic mashed potatoes pizza

Garlic Mashed Potatoes Pizza
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 10-ounce pre-made pizza crusts
  • 1 24-ounce package Simply Potatoes Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 6 Tablespoons canned white corn, rinsed and drained
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spread the garlic mashed potatoes over the 2 pre-made pizza crusts.
  3. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the potatoes.
  4. Sprinkle the corn over that. Top with the chopped bacon.
  5. Bake directly on the rack for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and potatoes are hot.
  6. Serve immediately.

Good luck with your own 5 Ingredient Fix!

And let me know if you win! I’ll be rooting for you!
garlic mashed potatoes pizza

For rules on how to enter the Sweepstakes click here.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Simply Potatoes. The opinions and text are all mine.

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