If you forced me to make a list of my top 5 favorites foods, sweet potatoes and peanut butter would be numbers 1 and 2. I cannot believe I’d never though to combine them – they are seriously a match made in heaven.

It’s hard to explain what happens to the peanut butter in the oven. It doesn’t become hard like, say, breadcrumbs would but it doesn’t keep the normal peanut butter texture. There’s really not anything to compare it too. You definitely need crunchy peanut butter for this because the crunchy pieces are what make the fries. The crunch against the soft, pillowy sweet potatoes is… amazing.

Do I even have to tell you that I had an entire sweet potato for lunch yesterday? And that I was secretly happy when my 3 year old took one look at them chose to have sandwich instead? His loss. I can’t wait to make them again!

Peanut Butter Crusted Sweet Potato Fries
Ingredients
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into thin fry-like strips
  • 3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium size bowl, mix together the peanut butter, olive oil, and salt. Take sweet potatoes and toss in bowl with your hands until fully coated. Line up on baking pan and cook at 400F for 20 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10 - 20 minutes or until crisp.
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My husband’s birthday was this week. He said he wanted tacos for his birthday so I left that one up to him and decided to make him some cupcakes inspired by his favorite candy: the peanut butter cup!

There are really no words to describe these cupcakes. The cake itself was moist and as light as a cake that had whipped egg whites folded in. Of course the frosting is amazing. You can’t go wrong with cream cheese and peanut butter.

I won’t lie to you, I had 3 of these. And I don’t even like chocolate cake.

One year ago: Brioche
Two years ago: Apple Cheddar Scones

4.5 from 2 votes
Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the frosting:
  • 6 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter not natural
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Instructions
For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
  2. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
For the frosting:
  1. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until pale and fluffy. Add salt and peanut butter, and beat to combine. Beat in vanilla.
  2. In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-speed, whisk cream until medium-stiff peaks form. Fold cream into peanut-butter mixture. Use immediately, or refrigerate, covered tightly, up to 2 days. Before using, bring to room temperature and stir with a flexible spatula until smooth.
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Cupcakes + Snickers = amazing. The End.

There were some Snickers cupcakes in Food Network magazine a few months back and I’ve been looking for an excuse to make them. I got tired of waiting and decided to make them when I was wandering around the grocery store one day (my favorite hobby). I used my phone to check what ingredients I needed and luckily noticed the reviews on the Food Network website. Dry cake, nougat sliding everywhere, there were complaints about every little thing in the recipe. I still thought the idea was a good one but it needed major changes.

Basically this is vanilla cake with peanuts, a peanut butter & marshmallow nougat, and chocolate frosting. It turned out awesome. The cake was so soft and the peanuts added a great saltiness to it. The nougat layer was good enough to be eaten with a spoon. The chocolate frosting was good but I wish I had used my favorite one.

Did they taste like a Snickers? Yes and no. The top definitely did, although it could have used more peanuts. Know what else they were missing? The most important part of a Snickers! CARAMEL! I didn’t even realize they were missing caramel until I sat down to write this post. A caramel drizzle would have made these even better. But I heard no complaints and there are definitely none left so I guess no one missed the caramel too much!

Snickers Cupcakes
cupcake from Ina Garten
Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup salted peanuts
For the nougat:
  • 1 7- ounce jar of marshmallow fluff
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
For the frosting:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 ounces milk chocolate finely chopped
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • salted peanuts for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, then add the yogurt and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.
  3. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Gently stir in peanuts. Fill the cupcake liners to the top with batter. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.
  4. For nougat layer, use a spatula to fold marshmallow fluff and peanut butter together until combined. Spread a thin layer on cooled cupcakes.
  5. For frosting, melt the 2 kinds of chocolate in microwave, stirring as needed. Set aside to cool slightly.
  6. Beat butter until creamy; add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Add chocolate, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Beat until everything comes together and add powdered sugar as needed. Spread on top of nougat layer. Top with salted peanuts.


One very enthusiastic thumbs up, even if he was mad that I interrupted his cupcake eating.

4

About a week ago I read a blog post about high-fructose corn syrup. It wasn’t anything scientific, it was just the blogger saying that once she has something with high-fructose corn syrup, she wants more and more. I’ve never really bought into the whole HFCS debate but this made sense to me. I cannot be trusted around granola bars which is one of the only things I buy for myself that contains HFCS.

Enter these bars. Oh my gosh, they were so good. Chewy but a little crisp around the edges. Lots of chocolate chips, coconut, and a tiny hint of banana. Mmm! So much better than the packaged stuff and none of the HFCS for me to stress over (or convince myself that HFCS is the reason I could eat boxes of granola bars at once ;))

These are also easy to customize. Dried fruit, chopped nuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds – they would all be delicious. Don’t like honey? Try brown rice syrup, it would be perfect in these!

Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter natural or regular
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 small banana mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Heat peanut butter in microwave just until it’s easy to stir. Combine it with brown sugar, honey, banana, and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Add in oats, coconut, and semisweet chocolate chips.
  3. Press mixture into a prepared 8 x 8 baking pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting.
16

Okay, so peanut butter & jelly has nothing to do with the holidays. I know this but ever since the Barefoot Bloggers flooded the blog world with posts about these bars last month, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them.

These guys are awesome. Imagine taking 2 of those old fashioned criss-cross peanut butter cookies (but a little bit softer) and smooshing them together with some jelly. That’s exactly what these are!

My only suggestion is to use real fruit preserves or something that isn’t as sugary sweet as the Smuckers stuff.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 cups 18 ounces creamy peanut butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups 18 ounces raspberry jam or other jam
  • 2/3 cups salted peanuts coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.
  4. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.
  5. Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don’t worry if all the jam isn’t covered; it will spread in the oven. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.
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