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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Steps:

  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 http://www.theoliveblogger.com/2017/01/18/easy-nutella-brownies/

brownie

 

#MuffinMonday: Cherry Chocolate Muffins

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#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins to brighten their Mondays. There isn’t a theme to #MuffinMonday posts so anything goes, as long as it’s a muffin!

You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page.

I had planned on being creative with my muffin offering today with an original recipe. That particular recipe still has some tweaking to do so it’s going to have to wait for its grand debut.

Instead, I rushed to the handy dandy 50 Muffins booklet from one of my Food Network magazines.

These Cherry Chocolate Muffins can’t even pretend to be a health food. These are a dessert muffin, 100%. And they’re absolutely delicious!

I wasn’t wanting the kids to have any of the chocolate deliciousness before dinner, but they managed to sneak away with a muffin during their photo shoot. Hey, you all know by now that I love including photos of kid-approved recipes being eaten by the cute (yes, I’m biased) children, so who was I to stop them?! Following the snapping of the camera, the muffins were taken away.

img_5996Firecracker helped bake these muffins with a sweet friend. I sent 3 home with her. She claimed she wasn’t going to share them with her husband because they were too good. I’ll have too follow up on that report. I brought 6 over for a pizza night at another friend’s house. Her kids were picking the crumbs off the muffin liners. Seriously, guys, they’re that good. I left the rest for Treat and my husband, as Firecracker and I were off to the airport the next morning to reunite with our best friends from Ohio, who now live in Texas.

With all the insanity, it’s amazing I’m getting this post typed up for this month’s Muffin Monday! I’m quite thankful for the crazy long travel day and the early bedtime from both of my boys. “Are you trying to set a world record for speed typing?” asks my husband. Told you I’m cutting it close!

This recipe makes 15 muffins.

Cherry Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 C mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 3/4 C flour
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 C frozen cherries, thawed, drained and chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12-15 muffin cups with liners, or grease.
  2. Put butter and chocolate in a microwave safe dish and melt, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the cherries.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and extracts.
  5. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry, then stir in the melted chocolate and butter.
  6. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Bake 24 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly.

*This recipe is adapted from Food Network Magazine*

Cherry Chocolate Muffins for #MuffinMonday from Sew You Think You Can Cook

And don’t forget to check out these other muffin recipes:

Apricot Pistachio Matcha Muffins by Farm Fresh Feasts

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Cherry Chocolate Muffins by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Garlic Onion Muffins by Passion Kneaded

Muffins Florentine by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Strawberry Yogurt Muffins by Food Lust People Love

Countdown to 2017: Most Popular

unnamedWe’re polishing off the year with the five best recipes of 2016.

I skipped yesterday’s Best Slow Cooker Recipes because, believe it or not, I didn’t blog a single one! I’ve used my Slow Cooker plenty but always remaking something or not finding the dish blog worthy. Ah well. There’s always next year.

This blogging countdown party is hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes.

2016 was an interesting blogging year for me. I’ve struggled to find my rhythm ever since our move in the spring. We’ve been in California 8 months now, I can’t keep using the move as an excuse! We are enjoying California living and are looking forward to the boys growing and the opportunities we have for exploring the West coast.

I’ve been contemplating whether or not I want to continue blogging. It’s hard not getting caught up in the numbers. I’m part of a lot of blogging groups and some support groups on Facebook. Comparing my little piece of the internet to all of these other “more successful” bloggers brings me down a little bit. I’ve taken a step back from those pages and am just enjoying being me.

It’ll be fun (hopefully?) to look at my annual stats from WordPress.

Well, it could have been fun, however the annual stats report hasn’t come in yet (as of 8:30pm PT on 12/30) and I’m hitting “schedule” on this post soon! If the report comes in and I’m available, I’ll edit this post as needed.

Sew You Think You Can Cook was viewed 40,349 times – that’s 2,535 more times than last year! Definitely not as big a jump as between 2014 and 2015, but my social media presence has been gaining great ground. My Facebook page has reached over 1,000 followers; if you’re one of them I thank you – keep clicking and please keep sharing!

Last year, the majority of my referrals came from Foodgawker. I’ve been quite proud of my photography skill advancement this year thanks to my new macro lens (sure, it’s still got ways to go), but the time and effort I’ve been able to expend towards submitting to Foodgawker and other similar “food porn” sites hasn’t been up to what it used to be. My acceptances have had a higher percentage, but I’m simply not submitting as often as I like or should. I’ll work on getting my images into more public spaces in the future.

This year, my most popular referrer were search engines (mostly Google and Bing), funnily enough though I don’t know what people are searching to reach me!

I’m fairly positive that my busiest day of the year was December 1st when I wrote about having lost our Christmas ornament box. Thanks to fellow military spouses who connected to my pain and shared my post on their own Facebook pages. It was my highest grossing Facebook post ever, reaching over 2,000 people alone! While I don’t think we’ll ever get our box of Christmas memories back, I’m blessed to have the people in my life who can help me make new memories and remind me that it’s still just “stuff.” I was touched when I received a surprise package from my mom’s step-sister with a kind note, a brand new Auburn ornament, and a sweet book for the boys.

And now for the top five recipes of 2016, these are in ranking order:

  1. BBQ Pulled Pork Pasta: A perfect way to use up leftovers!
  2. Carolina BBQ Pulled Pork: A tangy spin on slow cooker pork!
  3. Pot o’ Gold Cookies: Save these addicting cookies for St. Patrick’s Day!
  4. Chocolate Cherry Brownie Pie: This decadent pie was one of my favorite desserts this year, too!
  5. Cappuccino Crinkle Cookies: Save these caffeinated cookies for the adults!

Top 5 posts of 2016 | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

To see more popular recipes click here: An InLinkz Link-up

#ChoctoberFest: Cocoa Butter Granola

Dislcaimer: I received products as part of #Choctoberfest for review. All opinions and statements are my own.

#Choctoberfest

I’m happy to be back for the final day of #ChoctoberFest to remind you it’s your last chance to enter the amazing giveaway thanks to our fabulous sponsors. One of those sponsors, Caveman Coffee, provided product that is the star of my recipe today.

caveman-coffee-logoCaveman Coffee was founded by three athletes (I can’t wait to share this information with my husband when we reunite this weekend!) who joined forces with a master coffee roaster from Albuquerque to create sustainable and naturally grown coffee. Their coffee beans are hand-picked and wet-processed before roasting.

In addition to coffee they have other paleo-friendly products, including Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, and Green Tea.

cc-packageI received a bag of White Gold coffee beans and a bag of cocoa butter as part of #Choctoberfest. I’d never worked with cocoa butter before and was quite excited to explore its possibilities. I honestly didn’t even know what to expect! In my mind I was picturing something along the lines of a nut or seed butter (after all, cocoa is a seed). Contrary to my perception, cocoa butter is better used as an oil or dairy butter substitute, with a slightly chocolaty aura. The best part is that it’s a healthy vegan option that doesn’t involve coconut which I’m allergic to!

I decided to make a granola using the cocoa butter, but my head is already reeling with more ways to use the product. I’m dreaming about some rice krispie treat action… Caveman Coffee suggest stirring it into their hot coffee for a mocha inspired beverage.

This granola is addicting and perfect for topping your morning yogurt with some fresh strawberries. It can be used in any way you’d use a sweet granola – in cookies or pancakes and atop ice cream. I tested it out as my morning cereal and while it does work, the min chocolate chips make it a little “odd,” but the oats were fantastic with the addition of cool milk.

Cocoa Butter Granola featuring Caveman Coffee Cocoa Butter for #Choctoberfest from Sew You Think You Can Cook

My boys quite enjoyed the granola as well. Even my Treat who doesn’t like oatmeal quite enjoyed the sweetened oats when paired with strawberries and vanilla yogurt. However, when given a cup to himself, Firecracker simply picked out the chocolate chips.

Cocoa Butter Granola

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C cocoa butter
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 C old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 C mini chocolate chips

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Place cocoa butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted. Remove from heat and stir in the oats, tossing to coat.
  3. Spread oats onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. Allow oats to cool before tossing with the chocolate chips.

cocoa-butter-granola-for-choctboerfest-from-sew-you-think-you-can-cook

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more chocolate recipes today:

#ChoctoberFest: Cocoa Crusted Baby Back Ribs

#Choctoberfest

 I knew I wanted to do something savory to share during #ChoctoberFest. I thought about making a chili and could’ve sworn I had something saved on my Pinterest account. While searching I came up empty handed (looks like I’ll have to develop a new recipe this winter!). However, while I was searching I discovered baby back ribs with a cocoa spice rub. Conveniently, I had a rack of ribs in my freezer. Winner!

What wasn’t a winner – making these ribs in a small kitchen on a hundred degree day without air conditioning. I guess I should’ve looked at the forecast of the week before thawing my baby back ribs.

These ribs didn’t need a barbecue sauce, but I did have some extra rub which could maybe be used in a sauce. I’ll need to remake these ribs for my husband and might explore with developing a savory chocolate barbecue sauce. (Or, who knows, maybe someone will be doing the hard work for me during this two week event?)

Yes, I made these ribs while I was home “alone.” Alone being a term that doesn’t ever apply to me anymore. Or at least, not for quite some time. And while, sure, I’d love just a couple of hours alone, I wouldn’t trade my ability to stay home with my two young boys for anything!

The boys wouldn’t touch the ribs the day I made them. But, we ate off of the rack the entire week, using the meat in quesadillas, in sandwiches, and on nachos. I was a little skeptical on how the flavors of the cocoa would mesh with cheese, but it was delicious! And the kids had zero problems eating the ribs in a more comfortable medium.

The cocoa rub has an earthy, warm, comforting quality. Using unsweetened cocoa powder means you’re not getting a sweet flavor – the sugar in the rub is what creates a crust to the meat. With chili powder you get a hint of the flavors you’re accostomed to with barbecue, but the cocoa gives it that something unique yet familiar. I highly encourage you to branch out and give this rub a try.

Cocoa Crusted Baby Back Ribs

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 3 lb baby back ribs

Steps:

  1. Whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, and spices in a bowl. Generously rub the ribs all over with the cocoa spice rub. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove ribs from the fridge 2 hours before cooking.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Bake ribs in a casserole dish 40-50 minutes, until tender. Remove.
  5. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Transfer ribs to a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake another 20 minutes, flipping halfway.

*This recipe is adapted from Saveur at http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Cocoa-Rubbed-Baby-Back-Ribs*

Cocoa Crusted Baby Back Ribs for #ChoctoberFest from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more chocolate recipes today:

#ChoctoberFest: Chickpea Cocoa Dip

#Choctoberfest

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I think today’s offering might be my favorite recipe of my #ChoctoberFest menu.
Friends of ours brought this chocolate hummus dip to Firecracker’s birthday party and it was a huge hit. Kids and adults alike couldn’t get enough of it! I’d been dying to make it at the house and here was my perfect opportunity.
I was a little nervous that Firecracker wouldn’t go for it, as homemade hummus is not “real” hummus and he won’t touch it if it’s not out of a store bought container. However, as this dip doesn’t have tahini it’s not technically a hummus variation anyway, it’s simply a sweet bean dip.
I got him to help me in the kitchen and simply told him we were making chocolate. He couldn’t be more ecstatic. He absolutely loves to help in the kitchen and his current favorite phrase is “need any help?” almost to the point of annoyance, but I do want and need to encourage this helpful attitude!
I broke out the step stool and had him push the buttons on the food processor. (Treat looked on in anticipation.) He kept informing me it was ready in his impatience to eat some chocolate. He did a fabulous job waiting until after I took some photos before I handed him his own little snack kit of dip, pretzels, and apple slices.
chickpea-cocoa-dip-for-choctoberfest-so-easy-a-kid-can-make-it
chickpea-cocoa-dip-for-choctoberfest-kid-approved
If you’re looking for a guilt-free way to satisfy that chocolate craving, I encourage you to break out the food processor for this snack.
Chickpea Cocoa Dip
Ingredients:
  • 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Steps:
  1. Place garbanzo beans in a food process and pulse a few times. Add the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. Enjoy with pretzels and fruit.
Chickpea Cocoa Dip for #ChoctoberFest from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Don’t forget to enter our giveaway and be sure to check out the other bloggers who posted more chocolate recipes today:

#FoodieExtravaganza: Chocolate

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It’s the first full week of October that means it’s time for another #FoodieExtravaganza!

Before I get into my schpeal about this wonderful group I have to take a moment and FREAK OUT. It’s OCTOBER. It’s the month that my baby boy turns ONE. How did this happen? You’d think having gone through it once already, I’d be prepared for it this time around. Nope!

Okay, sorry about that.

Within #FoodieExtravaganza, each month we take turns hosting and selecting a foodie holiday associated with that month. This month we’re celebrating anything and everything chocolate. Kathleen of  Fearlessly Creative Mammas is our spectacular host today.

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe from our favorite cookbook Brunch at Bobby’s so why not share these chocolate blintzes we made an embarrassingly long time ago. These crepe-like pancakes are folded around a chocolate ricotta filling. I opted to leave my chocolate chips whole instead of chopping them up and my husband and I had differing opinions on that technique. I enjoyed the bonus crunch that the chips provided, but he thought it made those bites a little too chocolate-forward.

Chocolate Blintzes with Chocolate Ricotta Filling

Ingredients:

  • 1 C ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/3 C + 1 tbsp cocoa powder, divided use
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C diced strawberries (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 2 C milk
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Steps:

  1. Combine the ricotta, powdered sugar, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips (option to chop them) and strawberries. Cover and refrigerate 1-8 hours.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until pale. Add in the milk and melted butter.
  3. In another bowl, sift together the flour, remaining cocoa powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, stirring until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 2-24 hours.
  4. Pour 1/4 C batter into a small greased skillet. (I used non-stick cooking spray between each pancake) Swirl the pan around to create an even pancake. Once the blintz bubbles in the center, flip and cook another minute. Remove from skillet and fill with 2-3 tbsp of your filling. Fold blintzes like you would an enchilada.

*This recipe is modified from Brunch at Bobby’s*

Chocolate Blintzes with Chocolate Ricotta Filling for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other chocolate filled recipes:

Holy Mole Pork Stew from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Triple Chocolate and Cream Trifle from Fearlessly Creative Mammas

2 Kiss Cupcakes from Sneha’s Recipe

Chocolate Lovers Dream Cake from Cookin and Craftin

Kahlua Chocolate Cake from Making Miracles

Queen Anne Squares from Tara’s Multicultural Table

Hot Fudge Cheesecake Brownies from Cookaholic Wife

Nutty Chocolate Fudge from Basic N Delicious

Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars from A Day in the Life on the Farm

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole from Caroline’s Cooking

Simple Chocolate Cake from Passion Kneaded

Chocolate Rugelach from Hardley a Goddess

Crispy Chocolate Surprise Balls from G’Gina’s Kitchenette

Marshmallow Turtle Bars from Food Lust People Love

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins from Not Too Shabby Gabby

If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.