Raspberry Almond Bars

Desserts, Recipes | September 28, 2016 | By

I don’t know what it is about the crisp Fall air that makes me want to be in the kitchen baking, every hour of every day. It doesn’t even have to be a recipe packed with fresh local apples or pumpkin, all though that is mainly what my heart longs for. It can be something simple and sweet, like these Raspberry Almond Bars.

Raspberry Almond Bars

Usually, I have to wait until naptime for the twins rolls around before I can even think about baking something. It’s not pretty when I am working on a recipe that needs a lot of attention and then a meltdown occurs. Of course my children are priority which means I may leave my mixer mixing with batter that was supposed to be “just combined”, oh well. Today I was able to bake these bars up in no time while the kids played. When I say no time I mean they do actually take time to bake but the prep work is quick and easy.

Raspberry Almond Bars 

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Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

Desserts, Recipes | August 28, 2016 | By

Whew….what a week! My husband has been working day and night which means I am totally on my own with Daniel, Mackenzie, and the semi house broken puppy, Jax. I am exhausted! Don’t get me wrong, I love being home with my kids and my heart is very full but I’m tired. People are always telling me how I am super woman and think I have my crap together at all times, well the truth is….I’m human and I get really overwhelmed sometimes. There I said it! Yes, having twins is a blast but it is also hard. Two kids the same age running around getting into things, and they do run in two different directions. And now Jax? She’s great but she’s a puppy. She nips, chews, barks, and pees everywhere. How come she doesn’t understand what toys are hers and what toys are the kids….oh yeah cause she’s a puppy!

So the other day, after putting the kids down for their nap, I thought “You know what…I’m going to bake. That will be relaxing and cheer me up”. At first I attempted Almond Raspberry Bars, a recipe I have made before and wanted to feature on the blog. Well, fail. I wasn’t patient enough to let the butter come to room temp so I nuked (microwaved) it. I carried on, telling myself it wouldn’t matter…but it did…it mattered a lot. They didn’t bake up and I threw them away. I have mentioned before that nothing irks me more than a baking fail. So after pouting for a little while, I saw a recipe for Lemon Poppyseed Cake. Yes! That sounds amazing…well after getting all excited I realized I didn’t have enough poppyseeds. Seriously? Fine! And it was in that moment that this Peanut Butter Sheet Cake came up on my phone. Hallelujah! You are the one! I will make you and you will be glorious. Lucky for me this cake was just what I needed.

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

I am totally in love with this Peanut Butter Sheet Cake. It was very easy to throw together and used ingredients I always have on hand. This recipe makes a gigantic sheet cake which is both good and bad. Good because a bigger cake is always better. Bad because I WILL sit there with a fork and eat all of said gigantic sheet cake. So what do I do when I don’t want to devour the entire thing in hopes of improving my mood? I get it the heck out of my house. I took some to my kids pediatrician, to my grandmother, and to my friend. Cake for everyone!

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

The cake itself is super moist. This is strictly a peanut butter cake. There is no messing around with any other flavors here. What else could you need anyways? After the cake bakes, you add a layer of the best homemade peanut butter icing ever! If you want, you can just make the icing and eat it by the spoonful, that would be fine to. No judgment here! It would be great to have a huge tub of that on hand for emergency situations! This is a twist on the beloved Texas Sheet Cake. So if you love that cake you will LOVE this!

I like to heat up my slice in the microwave for 30 seconds before I eat it so that icing starts to melt and the cake and the icing really become one….oh my word it is good! Also eating a few slices of Peanut Butter Sheet Cake is a pretty good way to relieve stress….feeling much better now 🙂

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • FOR THE FROSTING:
  • 1 stick butter
  • ½ cups peanut butter
  • 6 tbls. milk
  • 1 pound (3 1/2 cups) powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, baking soda, flour, and salt.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the butter, water, and peanut butter. Bring the mixture to a boil. Pour over the flour mixture in the bowl. Stir until just combined and add in the milk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  4. Pour the batter into a large cookie sheet (10X15X1in). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly while you make the frosting.
  5. Sift your powdered sugar into a large bowl. In a saucepan, bring the butter, milk, and peanut butter to a boil. Pour the mixture into the bowl over the powdered sugar and stir. You want a smooth icing. Spread the icing over the cake. Enjoy!

Notes

Source: user: cptwentworth on Tasty Kitchen http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/desserts/peanut-butter-sheet-cake/

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peanut butter sheet cake

 

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Desserts, Recipes | August 10, 2016 | By

I’m not trying to brag or anything but my vegetable garden this year is amazing! We have planted gardens in the past but to be honest I wasn’t that into it, it was more for my husband. Alex has always loved having a garden but gets too busy with work to give it the TLC it needs. It always begins with good intentions but in the end…..weeds, lots and lots of weeds. I don’t know what happened to change my heart but this year I was extremely excited to plant and be the main care taker of our garden. I am usually not a good plant mother. All plants in my care die, but not this year. This year I have watered and fertilized and picked vegetables at the peek of their ripeness. It has been so rewarding. The twins also love the garden. It has become part of our daily routine: wake up, eat breakfast, change clothes, and go tend the garden. I just love it!  

Our Garden 2016

Our Garden 2016

Our Garden 2016

We were a little over zealous when choosing what we wanted to plant and how many. We have 3 zucchini plants and that has produced more than enough. I have frozen some, given some away to good homes, and of course baked it into just about anything. I love zucchini bread so very much and it holds a special place in my heart but I wanted to try something different. I came across these Carrot and Zucchini Bars and knew they would be worthy of my homegrown squash.

Let me show you how to make these simple and delicious Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. First, you shred the carrots and zucchini into a bowl. Next, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey, and vanilla. Fold the shredded carrot and zucchini into the wet mixture and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir until they are just combined.

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Spread the batter evenly into a 9×13 inch pan (the original recipe calls for an ungreased pan but who wants to take a chance like that? I lined my pan with foil and sprayed it with non stick baking spray. You can never be too careful). Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Now it’s time to make the frosting! In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon peel, and lemon juice until fluffy. Spread over the cooled bars and serve!

These Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Lemon Frosting are a great summertime dessert using beautiful and seasonal produce. The bars themselves aren’t very sweet but that’s because the frosting brings the sweetness to this party. I will definitely be making these again in the near future since the first batch didn’t last long at all!

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Source: Tastes Better From Scratch

Ingredients

  • For the Bars:
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups grated carrot
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

Instructions

  1. To make the bars:
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Line a 9x13in pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with nonstick baking spray.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, honey, oil, and vanilla. Fold in the grated carrot and zucchini.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir until just combined.
  6. Spread the batter evenly into the prepare pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
  7. To make the frosting:
  8. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon peel, and lemon juice. The end result should be nice and fluffy. Spread on the cooled bars.
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Carrot and Zucchini Bars

 

 

Dimply Plum Cake

Desserts, Recipes | July 25, 2016 | By

I told myself I was going to wait until Fall to bring this Dimply Plum Cake recipe to you but I just couldn’t wait. The truth is, this cake is delicious no matter what time of year you make it, so why not now? This brown sugar cake is packed with aromatic flavors like cinnamon and orange zest. The plums bring both sweetness and tartness to the cake as well as keep it very moist (Did you know some people hate that word? Moist. I am sorry if you are one of those people but this cake is moist and I don’t know how else to say it).  I’m pretty sure if you put Fall in an 8×8 pan and baked it this is what it would look like. I’m not trying to put a rush on Summer or anything but Fall is my favorite season and I would like to take a moment and dream about the leaves on the trees changing colors, the crisp cool air, and most of all the delicious Fall baked goods, including this cake!

Dimply Plum Cake

I stopped at a produce stand after church a couple Sundays ago and found some beautiful plums that inspired me to make this cake. Usually when I find plums, they are hard as rocks and it takes days maybe even weeks for them to be ready to use, which really annoys me. But these plums were ripe, super ripe, and ready to go. While I was at the produce stand I think I even heard one say to me, “Emily, take me home and bake me into something”, so I was kind of forced into making this cake. Why just eat them on their own when you can cut them in half, take the pits out, and nestle them down into some delicious cake batter? They feel right at home down in that batter, like it’s where they were always meant to be.  

Dimply Plum Cake

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No-Bake Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares

Desserts, Recipes | July 11, 2016 | By

This past Wednesday we had a church cookout at my parents house. According to the first letter of my last name, I had to bring a side dish, and I did. I made the most glorious Hominy Casserole. So rich and creamy! But I couldn’t make just a side dish. Oh no, I had to make a dessert too. People have expectations of me and I need to keep up :). I was watching Trisha Yearwood’s cooking show, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, on the Food Network and saw these No-Bake Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares, and wow! Can I just say that I love Trisha (Yes, I feel as though we are on a first name basis). I used to sing, “She’s In Love With The Boy” while dancing around the living room with a microphone whisk. Oh what good times. Not only can that woman sing but she can cook too. Gotta love that. With this recipe she had me at No-Bake and again at Chocolate, and again at Pretzel, and again at Peanut Butter. I HAD to make these bars, so I loaded to twins up in the car and headed to the store to get me some pretzels!

No Bake Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares

These are so ridiculously easy to make and have very few ingredients. All you will need is: butter, pretzels, powdered sugar, peanut butter and milk chocolate chips. Ready for the directions? Combine the melted butter, crushed pretzels, powdered sugar and some of the peanut butter in a bowl. Spread into a lined 9x13in pan. Melt the chocolate chips with the remaining peanut butter in the microwave and spread on top of the first layer. Refrigerate for one hour and enjoy! See I told you, super easy.

No Bake Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares

These are basically like chocolate covered pretzels in the form of a bar with the added bonus of peanut butter. I don’t think a quick dessert gets any better. You don’t even need a plate and fork. Just grab a napkin (or not) and you are good to go. There were not many left after the cookout so I know they were a hit. I did make sure I kept a few at home so I could have them all to myself later. I ate way to many of these but I couldn’t help myself! And you probably won’t be able to either. 

No Bake Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares

No Bake Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares

 

No Bake Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares

No Bake Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares

 

No-Bake Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares

Ingredients

  • 12 tbls. butter, melted
  • 2 cups pretzel rods, crushed into crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup plus 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Line a 9x13 in pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with non stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the melted butter, pretzel crumbs, powdered sugar, and 1 cup of the peanut butter. Mix together until well combined.
  3. Press the mixture into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.
  4. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the 1/4 cup of peanut butter and the milk chocolate chips. Microwave in 30 second increments until its all melted. Stirring between each interval.
  5. Once smooth, spread on top of the peanut butter pretzel layer in the pan.
  6. Refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting into squares and serving.

Notes

Adapted from Trisha's Southern Kitchen on Food Network

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No Bake Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares