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

 

Peanut Butter Crepes

Last month we went strawberry picking. Battling traffic for 2 1/2 hours (one way) for 50 minutes of picking time was absolutely worth it! These strawberries had the sweetest scent I’d ever sniffed. We had 4 1/2 pounds of strawberries making the road trip back home with us. Some green bell peppers, green beans, cherry tomatoes, and local honey hitched a ride, too.

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I’d put out a request to some of my local SoCal bloggers for their best strawberry recipes. And then, I didn’t use a single one! These strawberries barely made it a week. (To be fair, I froze about a third of them right away.) When something is just that good you almost don’t want to waste it as an ingredient. Instead, I decided to do crepes for dinner, filling them with our freshly picked strawberries.

I was quite hesitant with the crepe batter. It’s essentially all egg white and some peanut butter. I thought, “There’s no way!” But, I found the recipe from Natural Noshing’s Secret Recipe Club reveal of my dear friend Tara’s blog. I told myself that, if two people can succeed with these crepes, then it’s bound to work!

The first crepe is always a throw away – me, I ended up with a severely burnt crepe due to a child required my immediate attention. I told myself, “one more try”. And if it doesn’t work, I’ll throw in a bunch of flour and just make regular pancakes. Plan B was never needed. The only problem is that this recipe doesn’t make very many crepes! However, the use of peanut butter actually makes them filling and satisfying enough to feed 2 (and a half) people. You can always stretch out the crepes with whatever fillings you decide.

My crepes were filled with softened cream cheese, cinnamon sugar, and fresh sliced strawberries. Stuart filled his crepes with Nutella, fresh sliced strawberries, and honey. Firecracker had his with Nutella and fresh sliced strawberries.

Other filling options could include banana, jelly, chocolate chips, and/or maple syrup.

Peanut Butter Crepes

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole egg
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter

Steps:

  1. Using a hand mixer, whisk the egg and egg whites until frothy. Add in the vanilla, sugar, and peanut butter until smooth.
  2. Pour 1/4 C batter into a small greased skillet. (I used 1-2 tsp butter between each crepe) Swirl the pan around to create an even crepe. Once the surface bubbles flip and cook another minute. Remove, repeat with remaining batter.
  3. Serve with desired fillings.

*This recipe is adapted from Nora at https://naturalnoshing.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/peanut-butter-crepes-with-cinnamon-cream-cheese-filling-grain-free-src/*

Peanut Butter Crepes  Sew You Think You Can Cook

And if you need an idea for all those leftover egg yolks, might I suggest chocolate frozen custard?

Homemade “Kit Kat Bars”

Before I get into today’s recipe I feel compelled to explain why I put “Kit Kat Bars” in quotations. It’s for the same reason these don’t get the tag “Copy Cat.” The Kit Kat you buy in the red wrapper does not contain nuts, this homemade version gets its goodness from Nutella. But seriously, have you ever actually smelled Nutella? And have you ever smelled a Kit Kat? Samesies!

There are a lot of “copy cat” Kit Kat recipes out on Pinterest that use a wafer cookie for the filling. This recipe uses Nutella and crushed corn flakes to get that wafer effect and it’s delicious! We could just eat that filling and forget about the chocolate. I would suggest using whatever chocolate quality you prefer, I used bittersweet chocolate.

Stuart pointed out that this recipe would work much better as truffles, forming that filling into balls and then dipping into the chocolate as my chocolate to filling ratio was way off. (User error though – I’m sure the recipe is fine.) Another option would be to make half the chocolate and spread that out, let it set, then make the filling, and top it off with the rest of the chocolate for a more traditional “sandwiched” Kit Kat Bar.

Much like the Reese’s Cups from yesterday, these melt so are best kept in the fridge. And they actually taste better the next day(s)! My husband has banned me from making them again, because you open the fridge, you see a tray of Kit Kat Bars staring at you, so naturally you have to take one. Happy Halloween, right?

Homemade “Kit Kat Bars”

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (a scant 1/4 C)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 C Nutella
  • 2 C crushed corn flakes (3-4 C whole)
  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate, broken
  • 1 3/4 C heavy cream

Steps:

  1. Melt chocolate chips and 1 tbsp butter over a double boiler. Remove from heat and mix in the Nutella. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before stirring in the corn flakes. Spread mixture onto a 9×13″ baking sheet. Set in the fridge.
  2. Melt chocolate into heavy cream over a double boiler. Pour over Kit Kat Bar filling. Set in fridge until firm. Cut into bars.

*This recipe is adapted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony*

Homemade Kit Kat Bars | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

The D.C. Zoo + Honey Aebleskiver

Yesterday I mentioned that over Memorial Day weekend we took a road trip to D.C. to visit Tara (of Tara’s Multicultural Table) and her family. We’ve known this wonderful family for almost 10 years! Tara’s husband went to Auburn with my husband and me. It wasn’t until we were both stationed in the FL panhandle together that we became close friends. This year will be the first 4th of July since 2010 when we won’t be together, so we had to fast forward that weekend to Memorial Weekend instead!

family photos

On Saturday we headed into the city to check out the zoo. Did you know that there are a LOT of people in D.C.?!

It was a beautiful, warm day and a lot of the animals were finding shelter away from prying eyes. The first half of the day was spent trying not to run over toes with the strollers and seeing empty habitats. But then all the frustration was forgotten when the tiger was highly active, running around his habitat and jumping in the water. We really felt sorry for him – as the only active animal at the zoo he received a lot of attention from “roaring” and yelling children. His tail was twitching and his gaze kept moving up towards the source of the noise. We were able to get some incredible pictures though and the little man woke up in time to see the tiger. I got the moment I was hoping to have watching him notice the tiger and like it! (War Eagle!)

tigerOn Sunday after a trip to the farmer’s market (documented yesterday) I got to do what I’ve missed most – cooking with a friend. I’ve been watching Evan help Tara in the kitchen via text messages and blog posts and it was so sweet to see him in action. He helped us whisk the eggs, pour the vanilla, and manned the stand mixer. All while my little man was being entertained by alphabetic fridge magnets.

cooking

During #BrunchWeek one of my fellow bloggers posted a recipe for Nutella Aebleskiver. I immediately shared the recipe with Tara because (a) she loves Nutella anything and (b) I thought she had one of those fancy aebleskiver pans. She didn’t… at the time. Within half an hour she’d ordered one, saying it’d been on her Amazon wish list for quite some time. Happy Mother’s Day to her!

aebleskiver pan

We made two different flavors, the suggested Nutella and honey. We decided that I’d photograph and blog the honey and she the Nutella. That was another fun moment for me, getting to use her photography set up! Their house doesn’t let in much light and the window that lets in the most light is upstairs. Right by the window she has a table set up and has made a few different painted boards. She has a butcher’s rack complete with different napkins, placemats, and other specialty cookware. Evan even has his own space out of the way where he can color while Tara takes her wonderful food photography. Tara has much more patience and dedication than I when it comes to photography (I just step outside, weather permitting, and snap up to 5 photos).

honey aebleskiver | sew you think you can cook

For the Aebleskiver recipe, please check out Tara’s post from yesterday.

BBQWe had such a great time going to visit Tara and her family, and getting to meet our Goddaughter, Claire! We’d been needed to get away and a road trip was just what we needed. The drive to Virginia was beautiful, lots of hills, mountains, and greenery. On the way back, in the middle-of-nowhere WV, we stopped for BBQ on the side of the road. It was so good, and it was the little man’s first BBQ – he absolutely loved it and ate about a quarter of my pulled pork.

girls and boys

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Nutella Coffee Cake

As promised I have another April Food Network Magazine recipe.

The first Monday in April kicks of National Baking week. And April 7th is National Coffee Cake Day. Two birds, one stone.

In every edition of their magazine, Food Network features a “Mix & Match” concept. Whether it’s a cake, bread, pasta, or something else. I really like this concept as they provide for you the basics of a recipe but allow you to be the mastermind behind which flavors you want to combine. It’s a great way for new recipe makers to learn how to adapt recipes to suit your tastes while still having the “science” at hand.

This month: Coffee Cake. I opted to use cocoa powder and oats in my topping and chocolate-hazelnut spread as my filling. I did contemplate making a raspberry coffee cake instead – and I just might! But when I flipped through this page it was Nutella that was on my mind – so that’s what I went with. But while making it my sweet tooth started putting up a fight, requesting raspberry instead. Too bad sweet tooth, you lost the battle to my pantry items. And while I write up this post my stomach is growling waiting for the cake to come out of the oven. Let me tell you, it smells fantastic – the cinnamon in the topping mixed with the chocolatey filling… is my hour up yet? (for the record there are 10 minutes remaining – I just hope it’s really ready!)

Nutella Coffee Cake

Ingredients for topping:

  • 3/4 C flour
  • 2/3 C brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 C rolled oats

Ingredients for cake:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C yogurt (original recipe called for sour cream, but I didn’t have any)
  • 8-10 tbsp chocolate-hazelnut spread

Steps:

  1. Make the topping: whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Using your fingers, break the butter into small pieces and combine with the topping. After combined add the cocoa powder and oats. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8″ square cake pan with foil and grease.
  3. Make the cake: In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a the bowl of a stand mixer beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add in the vanilla.
  5. Incorporate a third of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once combined add 1/2 C of yogurt/sour cream. Add another third of the dry ingredients. Once combined add the last 1/2 C of yogurt/sour cream. Add in the final third of the dry ingredients.
  6. Assemble the cake: Place half of the cake batter in the prepared cake pan. Spread the chocolate-hazelnut spread and top with remaining batter. Top the cake with the topping from step 1. (Note: I did not use all of the topping.)
  7. Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife comes out cleanly.
  8. Allow cake to cook for 5 minutes and remove the cake from the pan by the foil. Serve your cake with some fresh fruit and a cup of coffee!

Nutella Coffee Cake 1

Now that my cake is out of the oven I might suggest using a 9×9″ cake pan instead. My personal opinion – the cake was too tall. With a shorter slice of cake you could eat a bite with both topping and filling. Additionally, with a larger cake pan size I would have used more of the topping!

Nutella Coffee Cake

Stuart declared this better than any coffee cake you can buy at the grocery store bakery and now expects it every weekend. (Yea, good luck with that!)

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