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No Bake Peanut Butter Puffs Bars #biggcerealmovies

No Bake Peanut Butter Puffs Bars - Peanut butter, peanut butter candies, peanut butter cups, and peanut butter puff's cereal!

No Bake Peanut Butter Puffs Bars - Peanut butter, peanut butter candies, peanut butter cups, and peanut butter puff's cereal!

I hope that everyone had a great 4th of July weekend!  We were busy spending time with friends, going to a Colorado Rockies game, getting in a good hike, going on a bike ride, and getting to watch fireworks.  It was so much fun, but kind of exhausting at the same time!  I kind of need a nap just thinking of all that we accomplished in the last 3 days.  Or at least a good solid week of relaxation!  Or maybe just movie night, where I can doze off a little :)  Make sure you get to the bottom for a great giveaway that involves free movies!

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Fudge #SundaySupper

Fudge 4 thumb

Holidays are all about family, friends, and tradition.  Today, Beate from Galactopdx is hosting this #SundaySupper “Home for the Holidays” event. We are all sharing recipes and traditions from our families.

In my family we have a tradition of making fudge every Christmas Eve.  We don’t make it any other day of the year, just the 24th.  It has to be one of my all time favorite holiday treats.  You can often find me sneaking pieces Christmas morning while we are opening presents.  This is the recipe we have been making in my family forever.  I believe it was originally from the back of the marshmallow fluff jar, but I am not completely sure.  You can easily add nuts if that is your thing, but I am a purist and like it without.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, and enjoy your time with family and friends.  I am taking a couple days off from the blog, but will be back with lots of appetizer ideas for your New Years parties.

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Butterfinger Blondies

Butterfinger Blondies

Butterfingers have to be one of my favorite candy bars, and Blondies are one of my favorite desserts.  It only seemed natural that they come together in one glorious dessert.  This used up the last of my leftover Halloween candy, which is probably a good thing.  It is really hard to walk past, and not just grab one of those Butterfingers.

My poor family didn’t get to try these.  I had one, ok maybe two, to test of course.  Then I gave them straight to a friend.  Even my husband, who doesn’t like chocolate would have loved these.  Peanut butter base, with Butterfingers mixed in, and then topped with a Butterfinger frosting.  Pure heaven!  I debated about putting the frosting on, but in the end I am happy I did.  The first half of the one I tested, didn’t have Butterfinger in it :(  I decided to remedy that, the frosting would be made.

Trust me when I say that you need to try these.  I am thinking about going to buy more candy, just to make these to share with my family.  They were that good.

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Kit Kat Butterscotch Brownies

Kit Kat Butterscotch Brownies 3

I am pretty sure brownies are my all time favorite dessert. And the fudgier the better. I actually pinned this recipe forever ago, but then forgot about it. Then a friend (who pinned it from me) made them for something, and posted them on Facebook. It brought it all back, and I had to come up with a reason to make them. She raved about them, so I knew they were going to be good.

We had girls weekend in Denver a couple weeks ago, and I knew brownies was the perfect thing to make.  I mean girls need to have some killer brownies, while drinking wine and playing games in a hotel room, right?  These have a super fudgy brownie layer, topped with Kit Kat, and then topped with butterscotch.  Kind of over the top, but oh so good!

The girls loved these brownies.  If you don’t have Kit Kat, I think Snickers, Twix, or even Butterfinger would be great here.  I am sure you have tons of candy still around from Halloween, so get creative :)  I can’t wait to make this brownie recipe again, I might have just found a new base brownie recipe, it was so good!

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Peanut Butter Polka Dot Bars

reese's bars 3 (1 of 1)

Thanks for all the birthday wishes to my 7 year old yesterday!  I let him read my post from yesterday, and he got a huge smile on his face.  He is shy, but loved being the center of attention for a day.

As promised today I bring you what he chose for his birthday treat.  He isn’t much of a cake kid, so I knew that wouldn’t be his choice.  I showed him probably 100 desserts from my Pinterest boards, and let him pick.  He knew he wanted peanut butter and chocolate (takes after his mom), so at least we narrowed the choices a little.  In the end, I think it was the Reese’s Pieces that won him over.

Unfortunately I waited until the last minute to make these, and the store I went to did not have mini Reese’s Pieces candies.  So I had to go with the full sized version.  I am sure they taste the same, you just don’t get the full “polka dot” effect.  He had a tiny one after dinner last night, and said he made a good choice.  Really, how can you go wrong with peanut butter, oats and chocolate?  He picked his birthday dinner to be at Red Robin, and wanted them to sing to him this year, so he filled up on ice cream before we got home.  Looks like the teachers or my husbands co-workers are going to benefit tomorrow :)

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Cookie Dough Truffles

cookie dough truffles

Cookie Dough Truffles

I make truffles for Christmas every year.  They are a sinful treat that I love, and they always impress.  I always make a few packages to giveaway as gifts.  I usually stick with a few classics…mint, armaretto, and plain chocolate.  This year though, I am changing things up a bit!  I will still make the tried and true ones, but I am throwing a couple new ones in there.  I love cookie dough, who doesn’t?  My in laws are coming this week, and my father in law just might like cookie dough more than I do.  So I knew I just had to make these for him.

These definitely do not disappoint!  If you like cookie dough, you HAVE to make these!  They are egg free, so there are no worries about eating raw dough.  It is a good thing I put a giant portion of these in the freezer right away, because they are really hard to stay away from! This recipe is very easy.  You can follow this one, or if you have a favorite dough it is very easy to adapt.  Just omit the eggs, add in some milk for moisture, and you are ready to go!  Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffles anyone?  They would be amazing too!

cookie dough truffles

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Caramel Cashew Clusters

Jen over at The Three Little Piglets is hosting 12 Days of Cookies!  How fun does that sound?  She shared her Holly Wreaths here last week, and today I get to share with you my Caramel Cashew Clusters!

I was contacted by Oh! Nuts a couple weeks ago to see if I was interested in trying some of their nuts for my holiday baking.  I made these great cookies with Macadamia Nuts, and then wanted to do something a little different with the Cashews.  This is my version of a childhood favorite we used to get every Christmas.  It is super easy to make too!

Please go check it out, and tell Jen that I said Hi!!  She also has a great giveaway going on, you won’t want to miss!

Twix Peanut Butter Brownies

Let it be known (not that it was a secret before), I like peanut butter and chocolate together.  I have seen so many different versions of peanut butter and chocolate brownies floating around.  Some have peanut butter cups, some have just peanut butter, others have peanut butter chips or other candy.  Well I had to jump on this bandwagon, late to the party or not!  I didn’t want to have to go shopping though, so I raided my pantry.  Guess what I found?  Two Peanut Butter Twix candy bars from my son’s Easter Basket.  As any parent out there, I ration the candy my son eats.  So we end up with a lot of it on a shelf in our pantry.  Every once in awhile I go through and clean it out.  Now I am going have reason to do it more often.  There are yummy treats in there, that should be turned into wonderful desserts! 

Twix Peanut Butter Brownies
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 Twix Peanut Butter Candy Bars

Mix together chocolate and butter.  Add in sugar and eggs, and stir until well combined.  Add flour, salt and baking powder.  Mix until just combined.  Chop the candy into small pieces.  Fold into the batter. 

Pour into a prepared 8×8 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Cool, and enjoy!

Homemade Milky Ways

Milky Way’s are one of my all time favorite candy bars.  Since I have started blogging I have seen people making all sorts of candy and crackers and other stuff I never would have thought you could do at home.  So when I was trying to come up with something to give my son’s teacher at the end of the year, I figured I would give these a shot!  I had already made Peanut Butter Cups, why couldn’t I tackle these!
They were really pretty easy, aside from the dipping part.  Dipping is easy, just very tedious, and never looks as good as I want it to.  But these did taste very good.  You do have to be careful when melting the caramel.  If you go for a few seconds too long you get very chewy caramel.  I would know, that is exactly what I did.  Sorry Mrs. E!!!  I would have started over, but I was out of caramels, and didn’t have time to go to the store to get more.  They still tasted really good, just chewy! 
Milky Way
1 bag milk chocolate chips
3 Tbls Evaporated Milk
1 container Marshmallow Fluff
1 (14 oz) bag of caramels, unwrapped
3 Tbls Evaporated Milk
Milk Chocolate for Dipping (about a pound)
Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for about 45 seconds.  Stir to completely melt all the chocolate.  If you need to microwave further, do for very short periods – you do not want the chocolate the burn.  Stir in the marshmallow fluff and the evaporated milk.  
Pour this into an 8×8 pan that is lined with foil, and sprayed with non-stick spray.   Place this in the fridge to harden while you work on the next step.  
Put the caramels and the rest of the milk in a bowl, and microwave until they are melted.  Start with 45 seconds, and then stir.  If needed heat for longer, checking every 15 seconds.  Once nice and smooth, pour over the chocolate mixture.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  
Once firm, remove from the pan and cut into desired size.  Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, and get to dipping!  I set it on a baking sheet, and then placed it in the fridge to harden.  
My son had one when the chocolate was still a little melty, and he said they were one of the best things ever!  My husband took the leftovers to work, and they got rave reviews as well.  I will be making these again for sure, but next time I will keep a better eye on my caramel melting!

Peanut Butter Cups

 
It is officially summer break!  I now have a 1st grader, really?  When did that happen?  We wouldn’t have made it here if it wasn’t for my son’s teacher, Mrs. E!  She was awesome!!  I don’t know how I could ever thank her enough.  I handed over my son to her for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week.  Yes, it is her job, it is school, but she really cares for the kids.   It really was like every kid in the class was one of her own. 
So what do you do at the end of the year to thank her for all her caring and hard work?  Make her candy!  I figure another coffee mug, or Best Teacher nik-nak is the last thing she needs!  So what do I do? I do what I do best, take to the kitchen.  I made Peanut Butter Cups and then my version of a Milky Way (coming soon).   I think the handmade gifts, food or otherwise, really show someone you care.  I hope that is what she got out of it as well!
These are actually super easy to make!  No dipping of chocolate required!  The recipe makes about 36 mini cups, and from start to finish (minus the hardening time at the end) it took me less that 30 minutes.
Peanut Butter Cups
½ cup Peanut Butter
½ cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tbls Butter
Pinch of salt
2 cups Milk Chocolate
1 Tbls shortening
Line a mini muffin tray with liners. 
Put peanut butter, butter, and salt into a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for about 20 seconds, just to get it soft.  You don’t want the butter melted.  Stir in the sugar until it is well combined.  
Melt the chocolate and the shortening together over a double broiler. 
 
Fill the bottom of each muffin liner with a teaspoon of melted chocolate.  Top with about a teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture.  Finally, cover each one with more chocolate.  
Set in the fridge to harden.  This makes about 36 peanut butter cups.  I did mini, but you could easily use a regular muffin tin, and make larger ones!