are you noticing a trend? i really love chocolate and peanut butter together (as seen here and here). well i’m always looking for new things to make my breakfasts quick, easy and different. i’m a huge fan of making things at the beginning of the week (breads, scones, muffins, granola). try as i may, i’m just NOT a morning person, so the quicker i can grab something on my way out the door, the easier my morning goes.
i had heard a few times about baked oatmeal and began to get curious about the breakfast. i love how oatmeal sticks to your ribs and keeps you full for so long, but sometimes i just don’t have time in the morning for the water boiling, mixing, heating, yadda, yadda and let’s be honest… if you don’t wash those dishes immediately, that oatmeal’s going to be stuck on there for a long, long time. so anyways, this seemed like an interesting alternative - baking the oats, mixing in some fun flavors and then eating the creation hot or cold. consider it a mix of a cake/muffin/granola bar/bowl of oatmeal. you can see why my interest was piqued!
i had seen recipes a few places, but sadly i forgot where they were. i finally kicked my butt into action after seeing a pumpkin version of the breakfast treat on julie’s blog, peanut butter fingers. she found the original recipe on chocolate covered katie - a blog i hadn’t previously read but certainly do now! that’s one of my favorite things about blogging - whenever someone links to someone else, i find a new one to read and love!
i didn’t have any pumpkin on hand, but i definitely will bookmark that idea for the fall when i want pumpkin EVERYTHING! based on the ingredients i had around, i made a chocolate peanut butter variation and it tasted like DESSERT! i also thought that i could use their recipe/serving size but for some reason was SO FULL halfway through that i’m going to say each recipe/loaf is enough for two servings. you might disagree, though :)
1/2 cup oats
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons sweetener (sugar, honey, Splenda, i chose agave nectar!)
1 1/2 Tablespoons natural peanut butter (i went with Teddie’s crunchy)
1/3 cup chocolate soy milk
1/2 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
[like i said, this recipe yields 1-2 servings… i think 1/2 this loaf, a banana and some milk makes a totally awesome and well-rounded breakfast!]
also, the instructions couldn’t be easier! first, preheat your oven to 375 and spray your ramekins or mini loaf pan with nonstick spray.
in a small bowl, combine alllll the ingredients and stir together until they’re well-mixed.
pour the mixture into the ramekin/loaf pan and bake in the 375-degree oven for 15-20 minutes. before removing, broil on high for 2-3 minutes.
slice it in half and serve hot or cold!
mm mm good!
click here for a printable version of the super simple recipe. thanks julie and katie for the idea :)
as i mentioned before, my grandma is on the mend and i wanted to send her diabetic-self a sugar-free treat. yes, i understand that processed peanut butter has sugar in it, but a little bit is okay for her and i know that she loves peanut butter. these are definitely way different from last month’s lightened up peanut butter chocolate chip cookies which are a little dryer, smaller, filled with oats, chocolate chips and crunch peanut butter.
i originally was planning to just make regular peanut butter cookies but when my unsweetened cocoa powder fell from the sky (read: a high shelf in my cabinet), i figured it was a sign to add that to the mix.
half this batch was already devoured by my coworkers and the other half is en route to connecticut to brighten up nona’s day. thank you, USPS, for being my carrier pigeon.
nonas are the best, don’t you think? i have so many great memories of weekends and school vacations at my grandparents’ house. while i can credit my papa with my love of sports (or at least the red sox), my nona and i share lots of our memories in the kitchen. whether we were making applesauce, borekas, monkey cookies or shake-n-bake chicken, the most important ingredient was always lots of love. (cheesy but true).
if you know my nona, are friends with her on facebook (yes, she is on facebook) or are related to her, you know how selfless and sweet she is. i’m proud to be her granddaughter every day and hope that i can one day take care of my family as well as she has taken care of hers.
hope you’re back to your old self soon, naners!
1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Splenda or granulated sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
[this recipe yields a little more than two dozen cookies]
before you get going, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
with an electric mixer, beat together the peanut butter and butter until smooth.
add the egg, honey and vanilla. mix again.
add the sugar or splenda and beat until it’s well-incorporated.
add the flour, baking soda and cocoa powder and mix until everything is blended.
i then used a soup spoon to measure out each cookie and then rolled it in my hands to make a ball.
then take a fork and gently press down to flatten and indent the cookies in a criss-cross pattern.
pop them in the 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes until risen and firm. let them cool on a wire rack before serving!
click here for a printable version of the recipe!
lilbit (as my nona calls me)
see this is what i love about baking, cooking and my food blog. i whipped these cookies up on thursday night to bring in for an office treat on friday. i then saw on facebook that my buddy mark had been having the worst day (read: wallet and phone were stolen and the only “light” at the end of the tunnel was a trip to lowell of all places for a hockey game).
hoping he didn’t have a peanut allergy, i grabbed a bunch of cookies (threw in some thin mints and tag-alongs for good measure), made a little feel better gift package and within five minutes, was off to work the hockey game and hopefully bring at least one good thing to his day. see what i mean? homemade treats, brunches and dinner parties make people smile and i like making people smile.
fast forward to wednesday, as i share this recipe with you: classic peanut butter cookie-lovers, beware. these are not gooey, salty, sweet peanut butter cookies with the fork prints in them. that’s for another time. for this batch, i wanted to make a little bit of a healthier alternative by using whole wheat and rolled oats, using natural peanut butter and sweetening with honey rather than loads of white sugar.
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup natural, chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup chocolate chips (i chose mini)
[these ingredients yield just under 2 dozen cookies]
in a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, oats, salt, baking soda) and set aside.
in a larger mixing bowl, combine everything else besides the chocolate chips (peanut butter, honey, egg, vanilla, brown sugar). mix until everything is combined.
in 1/2 cup batches, slowly add the ingredients from the dry bowl and mix in between each shift.
mix in the chocolate chips until they’re evenly distributed throughout the dough. i went with mini chips a) because i had them on hand and b) since the cookies are pretty small (two-bite cookies, if you will), so i thought the mini chips fit in with the texture and size better.
let the dough chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes and preheat oven to 375 degrees. also, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
form the chilled dough into small, 1-2 inch dough balls, but while you’re rolling them, knead them in your hand a bit to make sure they stick together and don’t completely crumble. i would suggest even flattening them into a disc and then rolling them into the ball. keep all the oats, peanuts and chocolate chips holding on!
bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes until they’re golden brown on top. right when you take them out, flatten the top with a fork or a spatula and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack.
make sure you don’t over-bake because honey goes from perfect to burnt pretty quickly!
click here for a printable version of the recipe!
go whip up a batch and hand them out to brighten up someone’s otherwise crappy day :)