Food Bloggers Recipe Swap: Peanut Butter & Nutella Brownies

I am back with a Food Bloggers Recipe Swap assignment! By opting in for March, I committed myself to being assigned a blog, finding and recreating a recipe from that blog, and then sharing it with all of you, my dear readers.

I don’t think the assignments are a secret either, and should I choose, I could search through the assignment list and figure out who is digging through my recipe index, but I won’t spoil the surprise. 🙂 (Because my assigned blogger already posted her recipe, I can share that Sarah of Cook at Home made my Balsamic Glazed Beef Roast with stunning photography.

I love the posting leniency afforded in this challenge. As long as I get my post completed by the end of the month, life is peachy! I definitely used that to my advantage this month! It seemed like a busy blogging month for me and my posting of today’s deliciousness just had to wait.

This month I was assigned the blog The Olive Blogger written by Melissa. Melissa started blogging as an outlet for her creativity and to keep her “brain happy.” She has a fabulous balance of savory and sweet recipes on her site and my secret Pinterest board was a perfect split. From Kale and Breadsticks to Brownies and Mug Cakes.

When I noticed that the days on the calendar were quickly passing by, I had to go with a quick recipe that didn’t use anything not currently in my kitchen. The brownies won out! (It wasn’t until just this moment that I realized this recipe was from one of Melissa’s Food Blogger Recipe Swaps. Oops! I recall seeing that when I checked out the recipe the first time and wouldn’t normally have pinned it to my secret board but I guess this one got past me.)

wesleyYou guys. These brownies are to die for! Unfortunately, even though I had a giant tub of Nutella in my pantry, I was a little bit shy of 1 1/2 C. I supplemented with some creamy peanut butter, Probably about about 3-4 tbsp worth. Peanut butter does have a strong flavor and made these brownies taste just like a Girl Scout Tagalong cookies. But in brownie form. Which makes them that much better!

I’ve remedied my lack of Nutella on my latest grocery trip. And I’m highly tempted to exhaust the entire jar on more of these brownies. They’re that good. (The photos… are not.)

Peanut Butter & Nutella Brownies


  • 2/3 C flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 C Nutella
  • 1/4 C peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8″ x 8″ cake pan.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, Nutella, peanut butter, and vanilla with an electric hand mixer. Add the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake 25 minutes.

*This recipe is adapted from



Butterbeer Blondies

A Harry Potter week wouldn’t be complete without a recipe playing off the iconic beverage of Hogsmeade!


Butterbeer is a favorite drink of all Hogwarts students and patrons of the Three Broomsticks. When Universal Orlando opened up their Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there was a lot of recipe development to bring J.K. Rowlings’s drink come to life for us Muggles to enjoy.

There are countless copy cat recipes floating around the internet, but I’ve yet to try my hand at any. The use of butter extract weirds me out a little bit to be honest. A lot of butterbeer insipred desserts also use the ingredient, so when I found this blondie recipe without even a splash of butter extract I knew I had to try it!

I’ve made these blondies twice now.

img_0765My sister-in-law came down from Northern California to spend a day with the boys and I put her and Firecracker to work baking!

I thought it’d be fun to bake them in the cast iron skillet. Unfortunately the edges puffed up a considerable amount and there weren’t really enough decent squares to be cut out of the center to take the effort of setting up my Harry Potter photo shoot.

We’re still not sure what to blame: over mixing, Firecracker’s enthusiastic dump of baking soda, the use of cast iron, or my pulverization of Boo-terscotch M&Ms instead of butterscotch chips.

The blondies were incredibly addictive though and every time I found myself in the kitchen (which is often when you’re a food blogger) I grabbed a bite or two.

I knew I had to make them again. I decided to use a 9×9″ square cake pan instead of my cast iron skillet. I also took the extra time to hand chop the M&Ms instead of using the food processor. Oh, and Firecracker didn’t get to help me with batch 2.

The edges still puffed up! But I did have more salvageable area to work with. I, again, ate the entire second batch of blondies all by myself.

Butterbeer Blondies | Sew You Think You Can Cook |

Last week I found a butterscotch soda, so I picked up another bag of those Halloween M&Ms. I will be making these blondies one more time! Maybe this time I’ll share?

Butterbeer Blondies


  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp cream soda
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 C flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 bag (8 oz) white Boo-tterscotch M&Ms, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×9″ cake pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add the egg, vanilla, and cream soda, then mix until combined.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add to the stand mixer and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Fold in the chopped M&Ms. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake 45-50 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly. Allow blondies to cool before cutting.

*This recipe is adapted from Tracy at*

Butterbeer Blondies | Sew You Think You Can Cook |

CIC: Cashews and Coffee


I can’t believe I am actually posting with the Crazy Ingredient Challenge today! I loved seeing the winning flavor combination of Cashews and Coffee but simply kept forgetting about actually making my dish.

I immediately though of a play on a frappuccino, because you hear coffee you think Starbucks (or at least I do since my best friend is a store manager). I really wasn’t sure how to make that happen and simply pushed it out of my mind. But then I saw a commercial for cashew milk last week and this month’s challenge came screaming back to me. To be that guy in the almond milk commercials, “I don’t know what it tastes like so I don’t want to try it.” It’s not that I don’t want to try it, it’s that I don’t want to be stuck with a half gallon of cashew milk if I don’t like it!

Back to the drawing board and I thought of brownies. I know a lot of people add instant espresso to their chocolate desserts to intensify that chocolate flavor. And I only have a measly two recipes for brownies on this site. It’s a dessert I tend to forget about, but absolutely adore when I have them. These rich, fudgy brownies are studded with salty cashews for a perfect late night craving buster.

Fudgey Cashew Brownies


  • 7 tbsp butter
  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp instant espresso coffee
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 C chopped cashews


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 (or 9×9) pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Place butter, chocolate, espresso powder, and salt in a large glass bowl over a double boiler. Warm over low heat until butter and chocolate are melted together. Remove from double boiler (and heat).
  3. Mix in the sugars until combined. Mix in the eggs and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the flour until there aren’t any lumps. Fold in the cashews.
  4. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake 22-25 minutes, until the brownies are set. Place pan on a cooling rack. Let brownies cool before cutting.

*This recipe is adapted from Yvonne at*

Fudgey Cashew Brownies for Crazy Ingredient Challenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge click on the link below.

S’more Brownies

Hey, there! I’m jumping on the summer s’more obsession bandwagon. And I’m not ashamed by it one bit. There’s a reason the s’more is the most popular summer food trend. Ooey-gooey melty chocolate and marshmallow. Sitting around a camp fire with family and friends. Enjoying warm weather and late nights. Getting all messy and not giving a care about it in the world.

Unfortunately not all of us have access to a backyard fire pit, but that doesn’t mean we can’t partake in the fun! Make these brownies and you’ll be transported to your favorite childhood memory.

S'more Brownies

You can follow the recipe below, or feel free to take a semi-homemade philosophy and use a boxed brownie mix! Just don’t skip out on making the graham cracker crust. I wonder if you can even fill two pie crusts with the brownie batter and turn these s’more brownies into s’more brownie pies!

S’more Brownies


  • 15 graham crackers, divided use
  • 2 1/2 C sugar, divided use
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 C mini marshmallows
  • 3 chocolate bars


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Crush 12 of the graham crackers into crumbs. You should have about 1 1/2 C of crumbs. Combine crumbs with 1/2 C sugar and 6 tbsp melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9×13″ pan and bake for 7 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together 2 sticks softened butter with 2 C sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla extract.
  5. In a bowl whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, and salt. Add to the stand mixer and mix until incorporated.
  6. Pour batter evenly over graham cracker crust. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Break chocolate bars and remaining 3 graham crackers into bite size pieces. Top brownies with chocolate, crackers, and marshmallows. Bake another 10 – 15 minutes.
  8. If you have leftovers, they’re best reheated in a toaster oven for a few minutes until chocolate and marshmallows are again melty and gooey.

*This recipe is modified from Nikki at*

S'more Brownies

Eating the Bible: Dark, Dark Nights

Chapter 10 of Exodus is littered with references to darkness – three of the plagues the affect the Egyptians involve the dark (locuts the block the sun, darkness, and death of the first born at night). These plagues serve as a reminder that God controls the Light.

And they obscured the face of all the land, and the land became darkened. Exodus 10:15

I chose this passage to remind us that even in moments of darkness we can look to God to bring the Light. Darkness, and Fear, can test one’s will. During Lent we’re strengthening our faith in God and strengthening our ability to fight the Darkness.

Rena created these adorable Hidden Treasure Midnight Brownies made with dark chocolate and golden sprinkles inside. I interpret these sprinkles as the light that can be found in the dark and that out of the dark there will always be light.

Hidden Treasure Midnight Brownies


  • 1 stick butter
  • 3/4 C dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease a muffin tin.
  2. Melt together butter and chocolate using whatever method you prefer (microwave, double boiler, etc).
  3. To the chocolate add the flour and sugar. Use an electric hand mixer to combine.
  4. Beat together eggs and egg yolks and add to the chocolate and mix until combined.
  5. Fill muffin cups halfway, top with sprinkles, then spoon over remaining batter.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes until edges are set and the centers still soft. Let cool 2 minutes before gently removing from the pan.

*This recipe is adapted from Eating the Bible by Rena Rossner*

Midnight Brownies

As you can see, I didn’t get the “lava cake” effect Rena achieved. I think I over baked my brownie-muffins. However, the dark chocolate brownie was a perfect texture of crusty on top and fudgy in the center. The sprinkles I added, although not visible provided a gentle crunch factor to the brownie.

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