Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies

Um.... My two favorite things in a cookie? YES PLEASE!

[A random speech - because you've come to expect that from me]:
You may notice that I prefer to BAKE than to COOK. In this world, there are cooks and there are bakers. The bakers are in charge of dessert and generally fattening everybody up. The cooks are in charge of sustenance and basically whipping up the everyday eats that keep us alive. You can guess which I consider to be more valuable, yet here I am trying to adapt to fill both roles. Let me just indulge myself here and give into my natural inclination. Which is, of course, to bake loads of delicious treats that I certainly should not be eating and/or feeding my children for breakfast.


1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk


1/2 cup peanut butter (+ maybe a little more - I had to add a bit more to make it manageable)
1/2 cup powdered sugar


1/2 cup chocolate pieces (I used Ghirardelli's 60% cacao)
1 Tablespoon butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tablespoons milk


1. Beat butter, shortening, and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat for several minutes on medium-high. Beat in cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Batter will be very thick. Add milk, a tablespoon at a time, until batter is desired consistency (you may not need the full amount).
2. Drop cookies onto cookie sheets. Press your thumb into the center of each ball.
3. For peanut butter filling, mix peanut butter and powdered sugar (add another tablespoon or so of peanut butter if the mixture is too thick to stir). Drop a rounded teaspoonful of peanut butter filling into the indentation in each chocolate cookie.
4. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
5. Meanwhile, make chocolate frosting. Melt chocolate pieces and butter in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and blend with electric mixer until smooth. Add milk during mixing to keep the frosting at a smooth, mix-able consistency.
6. Spread frosting over cooled cookies, covering the peanut butter filling.
7. Try not to eat all of the cookies by yourself. At least not all in one sitting.

Green Smoothies

 I adjusted this recipe a little each time and took advice from some friends who are on the "green smoothie" bandwagon, and now we have a base recipe that is a keeper! Troy and Brooklyn STILL eat it, which is more than I can say for my first few versions after the first try.

I first discovered this new craze via the wonderful world of Pinterest. Smoothies? + Vegetables? My kids eat smoothies! And they do not eat vegetables. Surely we can come to an agreement here...

I have to admit, when I pulled out the blender and then... stuffed it full of fresh spinach... I was skeptical. I mean, well just look.
Yum, right?

So I hit "blend" or something else with a pulverizing description to it and came up with this.
Then we drank it.

It was a WIN!
WOW, you wouldn't believe how much like spinach this does NOT taste! No really! It was truly delicious. I made a couple alterations to the first recipe I found and liked it much better.

Here ya go.

6 oz fresh spinach, kale, or collard greens
8 oz frozen raspberries or strawberries ( I used strawberries)
1-2 ripe bananas (fresh or frozen)
1-2 cups milk
1/2-1 cup yogurt (if using plain yogurt, add honey or sugar)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup grape juice
1/4 cup flax seed meal (optional)
6-8 ice cubes (also optional, if the banana was not frozen and/or if you like a more icy consistency)

Place all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. Some people prefer to blend the greens and water first, then add the other ingredients, but I've found it makes no difference for me!