Monday, August 12, 2013

Reese's Peanut Butter Cupcakes

As I mentioned in my Triple Peanut Butter Monster Cookies recipe, Dave loves Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. So when I saw this recipe on Bakerella, I knew I had to make it for his birthday.

These are probably the richest cupcakes I have ever made. They are sinfully good.

I used the recipe to make 12 large cupcakes. It would probably make 18 to 24 regular sized cupcakes. I made half of the frosting from Bakerella's recipe and it was perfect for 12 cupcakes. If you were making more cupcakes or were making a cake you would want to double the quantities for the frosting below.

Adapted from Bakerella, makes 12 large cupcakes 


1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 bags (210 g each) Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup peanut butter


Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cake mix, eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down sides as needed. Fold in one bag of the peanut butter cups.

Pour the batter into the prepared paper liners. Make sure each cupcake gets at least one peanut butter cup.

Bake for 18 to 23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes completely.

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Whisk until the chocolate melts. Add the peanut butter and whisk until smooth.

Allow the frosting to cool and set for a couple minutes. Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting over the tops of the cupcakes. Roughly chop the remaining peanut butter cups. Gently press the chopped peanut butter cup pieces all over the top of the cupcakes. Place in refrigerator for about an hour to set before serving.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Nutella Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are good. Whether they are stuffed with Nutella or not.

The original recipe used muffin tins to bake the cookies, follow the link for instructions if you prefer to try that method. I found that they worked just fine on a cookie sheet.

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod, makes 12 to 18 cookies


1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
12 to 18 tablespoons Nutella


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheets with Silpat or parchment paper.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beating until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Take a large tablespoon of dough and flatten in the palm of your hand. Repeat with a second scoop of dough. Place a tablespoon of Nutella in the middle of one of the flattened dough. Place the second flattened dough over top and gently press together to seal in the Nutella. Don't stress about completely sealing in the Nutella, it does not leak excessively.

Bake cookies until lightly browned around the edges, about  12 to 14 minutes. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to cooling rack.

And then watch them disappear.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Swiss Chard or Kale Pesto

When our garden and CSA baskets hit full swing we are always overwhelmed by kale and swiss chard.  Now that I have found this recipe, we will no longer have a problem using up our leafy greens! It even works well with the ones that have been forgotten in the back of the fridge and started to wilt.

The pesto tastes fantastic tossed over pasta with sun dried tomatoes or in a simple pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and feta. I find it tastes even better cold which makes it a staple for lunches in our house right now.

It could also be served over grilled chicken, shrimp or vegetables. 

Adapted from Kitchenaid, makes approximately 2 cups


1 medium bunch (about 8 stalks) swiss chard or kale
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Remove the leaves from the stems of the kale or swiss chard. Discard the stems. Blanch the leaves in the boiling water for 15 seconds and then transfer immediately to a sieve. Rinse with cold water and allow to drain. Once the leaves have cooled, squeeze out as much water as possible. Don't be afraid to squeeze the leaves into a tight ball to do so.

Add the drained leaves, toasted pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, chopped garlic, lemon juice, basil, salt and pepper to a blender. Blend the ingredients for 10 to 15 seconds.With the blender still running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue blending until the mixture is well combined and even consistency.

Store in the fridge for up to a week.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Kale Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

I have been trying to branch out and find new recipes for the vegetables we get in our CSA basket so we are not eating sautéed kale and swiss chard every night of the week. This recipe is one of the better ones we have found. Plus since it is made with raw kale it will hold up for a day or two in the fridge. I love recipes that make good leftovers for lunches.

Adapted from Just A Taste, serves 4


2 pounds kale, washed and dried
1/3 cup toasted nuts, such as walnuts, pecans or pine nuts
6 slices bacon
2 tablespoons onion, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
Dried cranberries, optional
Blue cheese, crumbled, optional


Remove the stems of the kale. Roughly chop the leaves into bite size pieces. Place the kale in a large bowl and top with the toasted nuts.

Cook the bacon in a large pan over medium heat. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Reserve approximately 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the pan.

Return the pan with the bacon drippings to stove. Add the onion and garlic, saute for about 1 minute, until soft. Whisk in the vinegar, mustard and brown sugar, make sure to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

Remove the vinaigrette from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

Chop up the bacon and add it to the bowl with the kale and nuts. Toss the kale with the warm dressing. Top with the cranberries and cheese, if desired. Serve immediately.

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