#EasterWeek: Peeps Cookie Bars

26685618_10155993373291948_4409902930968397778_o

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Earlier this year Firecracker wanted to make some cookies. My husband grabbed one of my cookie cookbooks (Cookies: Over 300 Step-By-Step Recipes For Home Made Baking). They selected more of a bar than a cookie, but we ran with it. Little tip for ya: Don’t try cutting out train shaped cookies from this bar, just let it be and cut it into rectangles.

The cookie bars were an almond cookie base, topped with jam, and marshmallows.

Now, my kids LOVE marshmallows. I’m talking bribery-status treat level here!

The cookies were quite fun and incredibly sweet. I had used a huckleberry jam from Knott’s Berry Farm.

I knew I had to try them again for Easter using Peeps!

I can’t recall having Peeps since making my famous (hey, the recipe was published in the Chicago Tribune last year!) Peeps Lemon Drop Martini FOUR years ago.

Peeps seem to get a bad rap (wrap?) these days. They’re one of those “love ’em or hate ’em” types of foods. Whatever. They’re delicious, and my kids, no surprise, quite enjoyed them. I’ll be sure to grab a small pack for their Easter baskets this year.

I used the bunny shaped Peeps because once cut in half, they’re thin enough to layer on the cookie bars. And to avoid any gruesome looking cookies, I used a pineapple and apricot jam instead of strawberry.

To make the cookies you first make the cookie base and let it cool. Then you top it with your jam before layering on sliced marshmallows. You need to cut them in half and place the cut side down to ensure they’ll stick. You then pop them back in the oven under the broiler.

Now, our oven has been busted pretty much since we moved into this home two years ago. The oven is older and runs into an “overheating” error that fails at a mere 350 degrees F. To work around the error we have to have the fan on the microwave running and the kitchen window open. Additionally, anything over 375 degrees F requires that nothing be on top of the stove, too. That means, I don’t get to use my broiler, so my marshmallows don’t get the toasty golden look to them (the Peep bunny faces did melt creating the allusion of toasted marshmallows). Ah well.

Peeps Cookie Bars for #EasterWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook (1)

Peeps Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C superfine sugar
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 C ground almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • approx. 1/2 C jam
  • 1 pkg (3 oz) bunny Peeps

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″x9″ cake pan (option to also line with parchment paper/foil).
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest with an electric hand mixer. Add in the vanilla, almonds, and egg until combined. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt until a dough is formed. Spread dough evenly in prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Spread jam over the baked cookie base.
  4. Cut Peeps in half horizontally and place, cut side down, on top of the jam. Return to oven and broil until marshmallows are golden.

Peeps Cookie Bars for #EasterWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other Easter recipes:

Brussels Sprout Potato Cakes by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Candied Lemon Zest Jalapeño Deviled Eggs by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Carrot Cake Cookies by Daily Dish Recipes

Curried Deviled Eggs by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Dried Cherry and Almond Scones by Family Around the Table

Easter Egg Sugar Cookies by The Redhead Baker

Eggs Benedict Breakfast Bake by Cookaholic Wife

Greek Lamb Keftiko by Caroline’s Cooking

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Roasted Pork Loin with White Wine Sauce by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Maple Apple Baked Oatmeal by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Peeps Cookie Bars by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Easter Bread Cheesecake – Pasca by All that’s Jas

Spring Veggie Crudités with Fresh Pea Hummus by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Vanilla Bean Mocha Biscotti by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Vegetable Breakfast Casserole by Simple and Savory

Rainbow Marshmallow Treats

Last month I shared how I’ve been developing my own curriculum when it comes to holiday themed school units for my preschoolers (with a lot of help from Pinterest).

It’s time now for me to share something from our St. Patrick’s Day “studies.”

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. 

St. Patrick’s Day was only a big holiday for me when we lived in the FL panhandle because my best friend was (I mean, she still is) Irish and we celebrated 4 SPDs together in a row. Quite fun.

I admit I know nothing really about the holiday. Yes, I could go google that right now, but I’m not going to; let’s be real.

But hey. I ordered two books to fit the holiday off Amazon (funnily enough the library didn’t have materials left for me to check out!) and we’ve read them 8 times today (aka yesterday). Guess they’re a hit: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover! and Ten Lucky Leprechauns. (Personally, I prefer the latter.)

Firecracker absolutely loves rainbows so I knew we’d have to focus on the “pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow” idea of the holiday. He doesn’t get it. (Hey, I don’t either, kid.) But a rainbow activity and craft – he’s all for it.

We made rainbow paper chains and learned about how staplers work – quite an interesting machine! “I’m very curious about the stapler.” These cute crafts act as my prop for the star of the show – the Rainbow Marshmallow Treats.

Rainbow Marshmallow Treats #StPatricksDay | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Think Rice Krispie Treat made with Trix cereal.

I know marshmallow treats made with Lucky Charms are incredibly popular this time of year, and rightfully so, but I wanted to go a slightly different route this week. They’re definitely fun, festive, and applicable more than once a year – they’d be great for birthday parties!

Rainbow Marshmallow Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 bag mini marshmallows
  • 1 box Trix cereal

Steps:

  1. Melt butter and marshmallows in a large pot over medium heat. Stir until smooth.
  2. Remove from heat and fold in the cereal, mixing until cereal is fully coated.
  3. Press into a greased casserole dish and let set before cutting into squares.

Rainbow Marshmallow Treats #StPatricksDay | Sew You Think You Can Cook

M&M Cookies

I’ve been homeschooling Firecracker (and by proxy, Treat) this school year, which is why things have slowed down quite a bit around here in the blog-o-sphere.

But I’ve really been enjoying it!

I’ve been following a curriculum I purchased last summer, but mixing it up somewhat drastically to fit certain themes or occasions in our lives. For example: We actually started with units 9 and 16 instead of 1 and 2. We actually just did unit 2 in January!

And now that we have somewhat of a routine with how the units are organized, I’ve been venturing out and creating my own units, too! All of the units I’ve developed are centered around the holidays.

We’re currently on, you guessed it, Valentine’s Day!

And I’ve been getting really into this least favorite holiday of mine. I’ve been cutting their sandwiches and cheese slices into hearts for lunch and we’re crafting up a storm.

We even made Valentines for our long distance family members. (The photo below was sent from my beautiful sister-in-law and shared with her permission.)

img_2202

I found the idea for the Valentines on Pinterest. The boys loved having me paint their hands, saying it tickled. (Mega crafting milestone for my boys!) I cut the yarn to be the length of their arm span. The boys each picked the background color for each of their Valentines depending on who they were being sent to! It was fun to watch their little minds work in decision mode.

img_2158-2

Inside their Valentine boxes were a couple of appropriately colored M&M cookies. We sent so many cookies that there was only one cookie leftover for the 4 of us to share. (I ran out of brown sugar to make more – tragedy! Seriously. I have got to hit up a grocery store, like, ASAP, so I can make more of these cookies for us!)

M&M Cookies | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

I don’t think I’ve ever baked cookies that involved melted butter before, I was skeptical. But using melted butter made the mixing of these cookies insanely easy – no stand mixer required! I love the use of brown sugar in cookies, I think it gives the cookies a great depth of flavor. And of course, holiday colored M&Ms provide the perfect texture to these soft and chewy cookies.

This recipe makes approximately 21 cookies.

M&M Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 C M&Ms

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with silicone baking mats, parchment paper, or spray with cooking oil.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugars until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla, mixing until fully incorporated.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, switching to a spatula for easier mixing. Fold in the M&Ms.
  5. Spoon onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes, until the edges are golden. Let cool on baking sheets.

*This recipe is adapted from Kristyn at https://lilluna.com/giant-chewy-mm-cookies/*

M&M Cookies perfect for Valentine's Day | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Marshmallow Peanut Butter Cookies

A long time ago I made these peanut butter cookies studded with chocolate chips and marshmallows.

I took some photos.

Those photos stayed on my camera.

Those photos that stayed on my camera got deleted by my toddler. (You can read about that story here.)

I’d already signed up to share said cookies with my blogging friends in celebration of National Peanut Butter Day.

The real bummer silver lining here, is that I had to make these cookies again.

I remember wishing the cookies had more marshmallow and less chocolate, so I did just that.

These cookies are delicious.

I made them massive. No particular reason. Just because I could.

If you like peanut butter cookies, whip up a batch of these bad boys as soon as you have some marshmallows on hand. (Evidently not all grocery stores have marshmallows, but that’s a story for another day?)

Marshmallow Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1 C creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 C mini marshmallows

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and vanilla until fully incorporated.
  3. Add in the flour and baking soda. Mix until combined and a cookie dough forms. Fold in the marshmallows with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  4. Roll cookie dough into balls and place onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes, until cookies are browning and marshmallows melted. Let cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

*This recipe is adapted from Julie at https://www.tablefortwoblog.com/fluffernutter-cookies/*

Marshmallow Peanut Butter Cookies for #NationalPeanutButterDay from Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Be sure to check out these other recipes for National Peanut Butter Day:

3 Healthy Peanut Butter Smoothies by Bear & Bug Eats

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce by Everyday Eileen

Marshmallow Peanut Butter Cookies by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls by The Freshman Cook

E.T. Cookies by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Easy Peanut Butter & Chocolate Swirled Fudge by Cookaholic Wife

Easy Peanut Butter and Banana Croissants by Jonesin’ For Taste

Fluffernutter Macaron by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

My Family’s Favorite Peanut Butter Cookie (recipe remake) by Family Around the Table

No Bake Peanut Butter Cup Pie by Soulfully Made

Nutter Butter Ice Cream Cone Cookies by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Granola Squares by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie Bowl by Simple and Savory

Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oatmeal by Frugal Pantry

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Sheet Pan Pancakes by Kate’s Recipe Box

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Peanut Butter Mocha Cupcakes by Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

Peanut Butter Mousse Parfaits by The Redhead Baker

Honey Peanut Butter Popcorn by The Gingered Whisk

Peanut Butter Snowballs by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Peanut Ginger Pasta by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Thai Inspired Noodles by A Day in the Life on the Farm

 

Boston Crème Blondies

Sometimes I’m really on top of it.

And sometimes I’m posting one year’s football fare the following January.

I’ll let you decide which way this post is leaning!

Do you even remember who played in THE pro football game of 2017?

I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the food photos still stored on my camera.

The answer: New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. The winner: New England Patriots with a score of 34-28. No, I did not remember the result of the game, thankfully the Internet knows everything.

To celebrate the big game, I thought it’d be fun to cook something associated with each team. For Atlanta, I went with something peach. (Peach Chipotle Meatballs you’ll be seeing next week.) For New England, Boston Crème Blondies!

blondies (Wal)

Just look how little that baby boy is!!

Boston Crème Blondies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/3 C softened butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided use
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp sugar, divided use
  • 4 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 1/4 C semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C heavy cream

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8″ x 8″ baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the brown sugar, butter, and 1 tsp vanilla. Add the egg and mix until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the creamed butter mixture and mix until incorporated.
  4. Press blondie batter into the prepared pan and bake 20-22 minutes. Cool.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 3 tbsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Add the cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
  6. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine milk and 3 tbsp sugar. Bring to a gently boil.
  7. Temper the egg yolks by adding 1/2 C, slowly, to the egg yolks, stirring constantly. When warm, pour the eggs into the saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Spread over the blondie base. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
  8. Make the ganache: Put chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 20 second increments, stirring, until the chocolate is melted. Allow ganache to cool only slightly, pour over the blondies. Let set before cutting into bars. (Option to cut squares first and drizzle with the chocolate.)

*This recipe is adapted from Holly at https://www.spendwithpennies.com/boston-cream-bars/*

Boston Creme Blondies | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

#BundtBakers: Christmas Bundts

4ae7b-bundtbakerspost#BundtBakers is a group of bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bundt cakes with a common ingredient or theme. This month Sneha of Sneha’s Recipe asked us to bake a Christmas Bundt.

Every year my husband’s office has an all floor potluck the week of Thanksgiving.

This event is massive.

Every conference room gets transformed into a buffet of delicacies.

Employees and their families are all encouraged to attend and participate. Everyone is given a room to start in and after that you’re allowed to checkout the other rooms.

The rooms all have a theme, too. There are two traditional Thanksgiving rooms (last year I brought Papa’s Sweet Potato Casserole ). There’s an American room (thinks barbecue, wings, and chili), and Asian room (which is most popular and I’ve yet to even pop my head into it!), a European room, two dessert tables, a kids room with hotdogs and pizza, and more.

This year I told my husband to sign us up for a dessert so that I could share a bundt cake! He sent me the massive spread sheet and I searched for a dessert that I could fill with this month’s theme. Lemon bundt cake was my answer. I wasn’t originally thinking lemon, but I made it work!

I made a Cranberry Surprise Inside Lemon Bundt.

I unloaded about half a can of Pam into my beautiful bundt pan and it still stuck! I did my best to piece it together, crossed my fingers, and had my husband pick up a store bought lemon bundt cake as back up.

Come the morning, the cake had set together well enough that I figured, why not just bring it anyway. The boys and I, naturally, had to taste it first and it passed all approval ratings.

In my indecisiveness on bringing the cake or not I ran out of time to make a frosting, but, as you know by now, I don’t like frostings anyway.

Lemon Cran Bundt (kids)

Cranberry Surprise Inside Bundt Cake

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1 bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries
  • 2 1/2 C sugar, divided use
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 C cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/4 sticks butter, cubed, at room temperature

Ingredients for syrup:

  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 C lemon juice

Steps:

  1. In a pot, heat cranberries and 3/4 C sugar over medium-high heat until it reduces down to 1 1/4 C, 15-20 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heavily grease a 10 C bundt pan.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, milk, lemon zest, and vanilla. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, remaining 1 3/4 C sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat in the cubed butter. Add the wet ingredients in 3 batches, mixing until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl.
  5. Fill bundt pan 2/3 full with batter. Spoon in the cranberry filling, making sure it doesn’t touch any of the edges. Top with remaining batter. Bake 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly.
  6. In a small saucepan, dissolve 1/4 C sugar in 1/2 C lemon juice over medium-low heat. Set aside.
  7. Poke the cooked cake, still in the pan, with a skewer and pour the syrup over the top. Let cool at least 10 minutes before unmolding onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely, wrap, and set overnight.

*This recipe is adapted from https://www.keyingredient.com/recipes/153248/lemon-cranberry-bundt-cake/*

Lemon Cranberry Inside Bundt Cake for #BundtBakers from Sew You Think You Can Cook

You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have created this month:

Almond Nougat Bundt Cake by Nunca es demasiado dulce

Bundt de Noel by All That’s Left Are The Crumbs

Baileys Hot Chocolate Bundt Cake by Making Miracles

Cinnamon Bun Bundt by Living the Gourmet

Chestnut Praline Coffee Bundt Cake by The Queen of Scones

Christkindl Gluhwein Bundt Cake by I Love Bundt Cakes

Eggless Semolina Tutti Fruity Cake by Sneha’s Recipe

Gingerbread Bundt Cake by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Italian Cream Bundt Cake by Palatable Pastime

Mini Chocolate Ganache Bundts with Peppermint Crunch by Cookaholic Wife

Maple Walnut Bundt Cake by Bizcocheando

Pineapple Upside Down Bundt by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Polenta Bundt Cake by Katin špajz

Rich Chocolate Bundt Cake with Cake Truffles by Sweet Sensations

Sorrel Mini Bundts by Passion Kneaded

Spicy Gingerbread Bundt by Food Lust People Love

Xmas Bundt Cake by La mejor manera de hacer

Hot Cocoa Cookies

I was going to take my sweet time in writing the blog post for these cookies, until last Thursday happened.

Last Thursday I attended a cookie swap mom’s night out with my MOPS group. <link>

There were prizes awarded for best decorated and best tasting.

Guess who brought the best tasting cookie?

If you’re thinking, “Well if it wasn’t you than this is a terrible story.” You’d be right. It was me!

I had shared a Facebook video of some chocolate cookies with marshmallows and chocolate icing and sprinkles on my Facebook page with the caption “I know what I’m making for this year’s cookie exchange!”

And I did! And they were fantastic! They literally taste like a rich cup of hot chocolate, the real stuff.

So now I’m typing this post up on my phone in the Whole Foods parking lot while the boys take a late afternoon nap.

This recipe makes 39 cookies.

Hot Cocoa Cookies

Ingredients for cookies:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 bag (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Mini marshmallows (2-3 per cookie) or 20 large marshmallows

Ingredients for icing:

  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/4 C hot water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles

Steps:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat melt the butter and chocolate. Let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until combined. Add in the melted chocolate and mix well. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients. Refrigerate an hour to over night.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with silipat mats.
  5. Using a tablespoon measure scoop batter and roll into balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets and gently flatten. Bake 12-15 minutes, until they just start to set.
  6. Meanwhile, cut marshmallows in half.
  7. Remove cookies from the oven and press 4-6 mini marshmallow halves or 1 large marshmallow half on top of each cookie, cut side down. Return to oven for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Allow cookies too cool on the baking sheets.
  9. Make the icing: Combine ingredients and spoon over cooked cookies. Decorate cookies with sprinkles before the icing sets. Allow the finished cookies to cool 30 minutes before storing and serving.

*This recipe is adapted from Glory at http://www.glorioustreats.com/2013/12/hot-cocoa-cookies.html*

Hot Cocoa Cookies | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com