Cherry, Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp

When it comes to desserts, B is a big fan of anything strawberry-rhubarb related, especially pies, crisps and cobblers. I, on the other hand, are more of  a cookie fan – especially good chocolate and white chocolate chip cookies. Opposites attract? Perhaps (after all, as B says, I have more of a “sweet tooth” and he has a “meat tooth”). But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good crisp every so often.

Since strawberries, cherries and rhubarb are all in season (yay for summertime!) I decided to pair them all together for this recipe. The tanginess of the rhubarb goes great with the sweetness of the cherries and strawberries and the color of the fruit mixed together is simply gorgeous! Confession: I’ve now made a variation on this recipe THREE times this summer. Does that mean I’m now more of a fan of cookies than cobblers/crisps/etc? No … but this IS good! Definitely scroll down below the recipe for some notes to see other ways to make this delicious recipe.

Cherry, Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp

Here’s what you need:

  • 8 Tablespoons cold butter, sliced into tabs
  • 2 cups pitted cherries, sliced in half
  • 2 cups strawberries, cut in half (or cut smaller if you have really big berries – I like all my fruit to be about the size of the rhubarb)
  • 2 cups of rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pecans

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or butter.
  2. Toss rhubarb, strawberries and cherries with white sugar and spread in baking dish.
  3. Put butter in a food processor along with brown sugar, flour, oats and nuts and pulse until it is completely combined, at least one minute. It will look like a dough and no longer be separate. This is the topping.
  4. Crumble and spread the topping over the fruit and bake about 40-45 minutes or until it just starts to turn brown.

Notes:

  • You can make this with a variety of fruits, just make sure that you have 5-6 cups of fruit total. Got more cherries than strawberries? That’s fine! A cherry rhubarb crisp is delicious on its own. And, cherries and strawberries together work nicely also. If you’re doing more sweeter fruits (like strawberries) than rhubarb, you may want to cut down on the sugar, though.
  • The topping can be made with just walnuts, just pecans or a mixture of both. I prefer a mixture of both or just pecans.
  • For the topping, you must mix it well enough so it forms almost a dough. A few times I’ve made something like this but made the topping more crumb-like and it does not hold up well in baking.
  • What’s the difference between a crumble, crisp and cobbler? Why is this a crisp? Because the topping contains oats! See more, here. #nowyouknow

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like rhubarb?
  • Prefer fruit desserts or chocolate desserts?

Disclosure: Northwest Cherries provided me some cherries to sample. All reviews and opinions are my own.

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

B loves anything cinnamon sugar flavored. Snickerdoodles? Yes. Cinnamon buns? Definitely. Cinnamon French toast? Of course! Cinnamon donuts? Yes. So when searching for a different type of dessert recipe and I stumbled across these, I knew I had to make them. The warm cinnamon sugar doughy bites and sweet dipping sauce? Omg. I swear, I made them for B…not me. Not at all.

Regardless who they were for – they were SO delicious. If you have a potluck to go to and want to impress with a delicious finger-food-friendly dessert, I highly recommend you make these. They’re best eaten the day of, so get baking now!

 Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites
Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites (inspired by Cooking Classy and Cook Craft Love)
Here’s what you need for the pretzels:
  • 2¼ tsp active yeast
  • 1¼ cups warm milk
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 3 cups flour, plus up to 1/4 more for sprinkling/working the dough
  • ¼ cup baking soda

For the coating:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
For the Dipping Sauce
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs half & half
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Here’s what you do:
  1. Combine warm milk, add honey and yeast in a mixing bowl. Whisk together and let rest for about 10 minutes until the mixture starts to get bubbly.
  2. Add flour to mixing bowl and mix with dough hook attachment until combined. Once the dough has combined, continue to knead on low until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. Dough should be soft and somewhat sticky.  Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm or room temperature environment for 1 1/2 hours or until nearly doubled in size.
  3. Fill a 4 qt pot with water and bring to a boil and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Shape dough into a ball. Cut the ball into 4 quarters and roll each quarter into a log about 16-18 inches inches long. Cut each log into about 3/4 in-1 inch bite-sized pieces.
  4. Slowly add baking soda to water about one Tablespoon at a time – don’t add it all at once or you may boil over. Place about 8 dough balls into boiling water at a time and boil for 30 seconds. Remove dough from boiling water and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to dry. Do this until all pretzel bites are boiled
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or other nonstick paper and add bites to cookie sheet, evenly spaced.
  6. Bake at 450 degrees for 9-10 minutes or until brown.
  7. While the dough is cooking, feel free to make the dip. Cream together cream cheese, butter, half and half and powdered sugar until dip reaches your desired thickness.
  8. Remove bites from oven and allow to cool for 8-10 minutes. After cooled somewhat, dip the bites into melted butter and roll in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Enjoy with the dip!
 Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites and cream cheese dipping sauce

Peanut Butter Banana Bread (a.k.a. GLORIOUSNESS)

Apparently this is the summer of me baking breads. It started with strawberry bread. And then blueberry lemon bread. And this week? Peanut butter banana bread. That’s right – peanut butter + banana, baked into a dessert-like bread.

It tastes as good as it sounds (but not was good as it looks – sorry the pictures are not that good. The bread is just not photogenic with my phone camera).

If you like peanut butter and/or bananas, this bread is for you. Even if you don’t really like bananas, but enjoy dessert/quick breads, this is for you. It’s moist (#sorryimnotsorry) and dense, with  the perfect amount of sweetness to make it a great snack, breakfast, or dessert. Promise me you’ll try it out sometime, okay?

 

peanut butter banana bread_i crashed the web

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperatre
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (+1 Tbs flour, which you’ll use below)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips, tossed in 1 Tablespoon flour

For glaze (optional):

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk (I used a little over 1 TB to achieve the consistency I liked – an I had only coconut almond milk on hand and it was perfect!)
  • 1 tablespoon  peanut butter

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugar.
  2. Add eggs and mashed bananas. Combine with an electric mixer.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture.
  4. Mix in peanut butter chips tossed on flour
  5. Spray loaf pan with Pam or other cooking spray. Pour banana batter into greased loaf pan.
  6. Optional – sprinkle additional peanut butter (or chocolate!) chips on top of uncooked loaf.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  8. To add glaze, let cool for 30 minutes or until cool to the touch. Whisk together sugar, milk and peanut butter and drizzle on top of bread. Enjoy!
peanut butter banana bread_i crashed the web

enjoy!

Oatmeal Heath Bar Cookies

I think Heath Bar should also be called the Forgotten Candy. I LOVE love LOVE Heath Bar. It’s one of my favorite candies. Growing up, Heath Bar Crunch Ben & Jerrys was my favorite ice cream and was almost always in my family’s freezer (yes, I know I’m lucky). But it’s also a candy I forget about when I think of candy. If I’m craving something sweet and want to buy candy, too often I’ll choose something like a peanut butter cup, peanut M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces – and leave Heath Bar forgotten. So, this is an ode to my favorite, forgotten candy bar- Oatmeal Heath Bar Cookies. These are based one of my favorite recipes – Special K cookies – but have a few different ingredients.

Oatmeal Heath Bar toffee Cookies - i crashed the web

Oatmeal Heath Bar Cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 c. uncooked old fashioned oats
  • 2 c Special K cereal
  • 1 c. Heath Bar, chopped into pieces (OR buy a bag of Heath Bar that’s pre-diced/crumbled and ready for baking)
  • 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

Here’s what you do:

  1. Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix Special K, oats, Heath Bar and chocolate chips. Set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugars until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg is added.
  5. Stir in flour mixture slowly, mixing well.
  6. Stir in oat mixture and mix with wooden spoon until well blended.
  7. Make tablespoon sized scoops on greased baking sheets.
  8. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes.

Got a chocolate lover in your life? These aren’t THAT chocolatey so you may want to add more chips. OR chop up a HERSHEY’S bar and add to batter as well! That’s what  did for the one in the pic above.

Oatmeal Heath Bar Cookies omg - i crashed the web

 

 

HERSHEY’S KISSES Stuffed Pretzel Chip Cookies

I’ve been on a baking spree lately. Seriously, it seems like all I think about all day is baking. And running. When I’m going to bake or run next. I think I may have a baking addiction? Or a brunning addiction? (Baking+Running)

That’s why when Influenster sent me a J’Adore Vox Box, featuring a HUGE family-sized package of HERSHEY’S KISSES, I knew I had to bake with them. I mean, after I opened the bag and devoured a few for  breakfast before a run a sensible dessert, I realized I should probably bake with at least some of them. So I did what any blogger would do – I made a Pinterest board for inspiration – and then decided just to pretty much make up a recipe. And thankfully, they came out.  They came out beautifully!

kisses

NOM NOM

Looking for a pretty easy recipe that’s a fun surprise (hey, you don’t know the KISSES are there until you take a bite!)? Or simply want an excuse to buy a lot of HERSHEY’S KISSES? In any case, enjoy!

HERSHEY's KISSES Stuffed Pretzel Chip Cookies - i crashed the web

HERSHEY’S KISSES Stuffed Pretzel Chip Cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 c. uncooked old fashioned oats
  • 1 c. Special K cereal (optional, but I love the extra crunch)
  • 1 c. crushed pretzels
  • 1 c. chocolate chips or chunks or whatever chocolate you have on hand
  • 1 bag HERSHEY’S KISSES, unwrapped (I used about 30 .. or about less than half of my family sized bag)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix Special K, oats, crushed pretzels and chocolate chips. Set aside.
  3. Beat butter, vanilla and sugars until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg is added.
  5. Slowly stir in flour mixture, mixing well.
  6. Stir in oat-cereal-pretzel-chocolate mixture and combine with batter, mixing with a wooden spoon until well blended.
  7. Refrigerate dough for about 30 minutes, until chilled. This helps the batter from spreading.
  8. When dough is ready, make about tablespoon sized balls and flatten them with your hand. Gently press Kisses in middle of flattened dough, and wrap dough around it so all you see is a cookie blob (yes, scientific term) and no chocolate is showing. Place dough-covered Kisses on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  9. Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes.
beautiful!

beautiful!

Some thoughts on this recipe:

  • I LOVE chocolate covered pretzels, and crunch in my cookies, which is why I added the pretzels. You could likely leave them out.
  • I bet this would be just as good with some other fun flavors of KISSES – I haven’t baked with the caramel ones but I imagine those would be AMAZING.
  • I had a few of the mini KISSES on hand and I decided to make some smaller cookies. Just so I could eat 2-3 at a time without REALLY eating 2-3 cookies, right?

DISCLOSURE: I received this giant family size package of HERSHEY KISSES (and some other cool products in the J’Adore Vox Box) products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. If by testing them they wanted me to eat or bake with them, then they succeeded. But I think it was a win-win, don’t you agree?

Questions for you:

  • How much do you bake? Lately it’s been 1-2x a week. I know, I have a problem. At least my running is closer to 5-6 days a week 🙂 It’s when they switch that I’ll get worried.
  • Are you a sweet/salty fan? Yup! Which is why I love pretzel M&Ms, chocolate covered pretzels, peanut M&Ms, etc.
  • What’s your go-to baking recipe? I used to be a cupcake baker – but it seems that I’ve gotten myself into a cookie-baking frenzy.
  • Is it Friday yet? Sadly, no. But Happy Hump Day!

Cereal Peanut M&M Cookies (and they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day!)

I’m a big fan of cookies that feature everything. That’s right – I said it – everything. I love compost cookies, monster cookies, an all those cookies that tend to be stuffed with pretty much everything in your pantry.

These aren’t quite everything-in-your pantry cookies, but they’re close. They feature Special K, granola, oatmeal, coconut, peanut m&ms … and more. Which is why I’m calling them Cereal Peanut M&M Cookies. And because breakfast cookies sounds too healthy. These are based one of my favorite recipes – Special K cookies – but have a few extra ingredients.

cereal peanut M&M cookies for valentine's day - i crashed the web

Cereal Peanut M&M Cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 c. uncooked old fashioned oats
  • 1 c. granola (try homemade granola or even your favorite store-bought – this time I used TJ’s vanilla granola)
  • 2 c Special K cereal
  • 3/4 c unsweetened coconut
  • 1 c peanut M&Ms
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips

Here’s what you do:

  1. Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix Special K, oats, granola, coconut , M&Ms and chocolate chips. Set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugars until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg is added.
  5. Stir in flour mixture slowly, mixing well.
  6. Stir in oat mixture and mix with wooden spoon until well blended.
  7. Make tablespoon sized scoops on greased baking sheets.
  8. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes.
batter for cereal cookies ... look at that granola and those m&ms!

batter for cereal cookies … look at that granola and those m&ms!

peanut M&M cereal cookies for valentine's day

Want to make them extra special for an upcoming holiday? Add colored sprinkles and M&Ms. For example, I used the Valentine’s special M&Ms and added some red sugar crystals to the dough before baking and POOF! They’re perfect for Valentine’s Day – which is ONE WEEK AWAY!

peanut M&M cereal cookies for valentine's day

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies Ever

It may sound cocky – or a little too strong – but I swear to you these are the best peanut butter cookies ever. They’re soft in the middle, crunchy on the outside, and oh so sweet. The original recipe came from my beloved Magnolia Bakery cookbook and I haven’t looked back since. The first time I made them, I shared them with a few of B’s friends and his friend Steve even commented, “These are the best peanut butter cookies ever.” And Steve himself is a good cook/baker!

peanut butter cookies - i crashed the webAnyway, don’t just trust me — or Steve — you should make these yourself.* The below recipe is with slight modifications, but I promise you won’t be disappointed.

peanut butter cookies - i crashed the web

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I omitted this because I used salted butter)
  • 1/2 c butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup your favorite peanut butter (I’ve made these with creamy JIF peanut butter and with chunky natural Smuckers. In the case of the crunchy, I just cut down on the amount of peanuts I add in the end)
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar + 3-4 TB sugar for rolling the dough
  • 1/2 c packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TBS milk (I used the only milk I had on hand- unsweetened almond coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c peanut butter chips
  • 3/4 c chopped peanuts (If using chunky peanut butter, you can use less nuts here, probably 1/4 c)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter together until creamy.
  4. Add sugars and beat until smooth. Add egg, milk and vanilla extract and mix well until fluffy.
  5. Add flour mixture in about 1/2 c at a time and beat thoroughly.
  6. Stir in peanut butter chips and peanuts.
  7. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into a bowl of 3-4 TBS granulated sugar.
  8. Place cookie balls onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, at least two inches apart. Using a fork, push down on dough balls and lightly indent the balls with a criss-cross pattern. Do not flatten cookies too much – you don’t want smooshed cookies!
  9. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. Cookies may seem soft and underdone but DO NOT OVERBAKE. They will bake a little more out of the oven and be PERFECT.
  10. Cool cookies on cookie sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Mouth watering yet? All you need is a glass of milk and you can enjoy these yourself. *Or better yet- I will MAIL YOU these cookies! That’s right – as I mentioned earlier this week, I’m participating in a blogger bake sale, to benefit Jordan’s Family Foundation. Since it’s for a good cause – what’s stopping you?

Who wouldn't buy these for a good cause?

Who wouldn’t buy these for a good cause?

Some modifications:

  • Use 1 c. semi-sweetened chocolate chunks instead of the peanut butter chips for a more chocolatey flavor
  • Not a huge chocoholic? Use 1/2 c. peanut butter chips, 1/2 c. semi-sweetened chocolate chips for a peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
  • Flatten cookies out with your hand and omit the fork crossing step. Then press halved peanuts (outer side facing up) to the top of the cookie. That’s what I did on the second photo above.