Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes

Last year I made Nutella Swirl Cupcakes and since then I’ve wanted to try a chocolate and peanut butter version. A fall birthday was the perfect occasion to try these out. This is an easy recipe, especially if you use a cake mix. (I won’t tell.) I should have done a better job taking photos of the process, but I promise it’s simple.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes

Ingredients

Your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe (grab a mix and take it easy)
1/2 cup peanut butter

  1. Line cupcake tray with liners and preheat oven according to your chocolate cake recipe
  2. Fill each with 1/3 full with batter
  3. Soften peanut butter for 10-20 seconds in a ceramic dish
  4. Spoon a nickel-sized amount of peanut butter on top of the batter
  5. Swirl with a toothpick
  6. Repeat each layer one more time
  7. Bake according to your chocolate cake recipe

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes-Yum!

I added chocolate frosting, but these are great on their own as well! What other combos do you think would be good for the swirl technique?

Pumpkin Brownies

October

Okay, I admit it, I’m one of those girls. You know, the one that just can’t get enough of pumpkin. A recent trip to Trader Joe’s included:

2 boxes of pumpkin bread mix
pumpkin granola
pumpkin cream cheese
6 cans of pumpkin

…and that was holding back.

The cashier asked me what I was planning to do with all that pumpkin. Well, first off were these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies I discovered last year.

My most recent endeavor was pumpkin brownies. It’s a great easy baking recipe, you only need three ingredients. Thank you, Pinterest.

Pumpkin Brownies

DSCN2470

Ingredients 

Boxed brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli)
1 can of pumpkin
½ tsp of pumpkin spice

1.       Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9×9 pan with foil, lightly spray.

2.       Mix ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

3.       Pour in your pan and bake for 40 minutes.

These will be a little gooey, but depending on your brownie mix you may want to start off baking for 30 minutes and check in.

So easy, so good!

The brownies were a great dessert to follow these Butternut Squash Spinach Lasagna Rolls. So many great fall flavors!

Do you have any pumpkin recipes to share?

Buckeye Bars

It’s fall and if you live in Columbus it’s better known as Buckeye football season. This city lives for this time of year. Football season also brings an excuse to eat fantastic snacks. Our claim to dessert fame is the buckeye, a chocolate and peanut butter treat that resembles the nut. Just as tasty and way easier are Buckeye Bars. I’ve made these for years and they’re one of my most requested treats.

Buckeye Bars

Buckeye Bars

Ingredients 

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cup powered sugar
1 bag chocolate chips (I use cacao 60%)
3 tablespoons cooking oil

1. Soften in microwave and mix together peanut butter and butter.
2. Stir in graham cracker crumbs and powered sugar. Mix well.
3. Pat mixture into bottom of 9 x 13 pan.
4. On low heat, melt chocolate chips and stir in oil.
5. Pour over crust and refrigerate for several hours.
6. Cut into bars and enjoy!

Cheer on the buckeyes with these!

Easy Baking: Raspberry Brownies

I may have jumped the gun a little on my last post saying so long to winter. During the first week of April I was still wearing my winter coat and today I woke up to temps in the thirties. Those little details aren’t holding me back from spring fever. Here are a few favorites for April:

Hills Market Downtown: Just blocks from my office, it’s so nice to shop for local goodies here.
Red Pepper Pasta with Mushrooms and Spinach: This pasta was my favorite thing I’ve cooked in recent memory.
The Edible Balcony: Planning my garden with help from this book. This is the first time I’ve had some real outdoor space so I’m looking forward to my own veggies, herbs and flowers!

This time of year I want fast and easy recipes and these Raspberry Brownies are one of my go-to recipes that I try to always have the supplies for. The end result is delicious gooey squares with a great raspberry flavor. Bonus, you don’t have to feel quite as guilty eating these brownies. Next time you find yourself at Trader Joe’s, pick up some Reduced Guilt brownie mix and raspberry preserves so you’ll be ready the next time you’re having a chocolate craving.

Raspberry Brownies

Raspberry Brownies

Ingredients

1 cup light sour cream

1/4 cup applesauce

1 box Trader Joe’s Guilt Free Brownies

1/2 cup raspberry preserves

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and spray an eight inch square pan with cooking spray.

2.  In a large bowl, mix together the sour cream and applesauce. Add the brownie mix and stir until combined. Fold in the raspberry preserves with a spatula. Pour the batter into the pan.

3.  Bake 35 minutes.

So Long, Winter

I think it’s almost safe to say so long to winter here in Ohio. Almost–it’s currently snowing. I actually like the cold weather and snow, but I’m happy to welcome the sun back to my life. The season did result in a lot of baking. My favorites were the Oreo Truffles and a new spin on Peanut Butter Blossoms. I finally tried a lava dessert for the first time and while it wasn’t bad, there’s definitely room for improvement.

Kitchen chalkboardHeart blossoms

Easy Baking: Peanut Butter Blossoms

Here’s an easy baking secret of mine: Betty Crocker. I love Peanut Butter cookies and I have yet to find a recipe that’s as moist as the Betty Crocker mix. When it comes to making my beloved PB blossoms it’s easy and thanks to Pinterest, I made them with Dove dark chocolate hearts for Valentine’s Day.

Aside from baking I spent the winter doing a lot of cooking. For several reasons I’ve been working to become a five day vegetarian. I’ve tried some fantastic new recipes and have enjoyed eating healthier.

Here are a few of my current favorites:

Avocado Pita Pizza with Cilantro Sauce from Two Peas and Their Pod
Creamy Avocado Pizza from Two Peas and Their Pod (I add goat cheese to mine)
Slow-Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas from the Kitchn

Spring is my favorite season for sweets, so it’s a good thing I’m eating so many veggies. Easter candy is the best. Reese eggs, Cadbury eggs–Yum! My absolute favorite are the Hershey Candy Eggs. I may stockpile these. And of course, I can’t forget Girl Scout Cookies! When I bite into that first Thin Mint it’s hard to believe I go most of the year without them!

What are looking forward to most about spring? 

On another note, if you have a few minutes, please vote for me in the TOMS Ticket to Give contest. This is the amazing opportunity to go on a Giving Trip!