Pecan Turtle Shortbread Bars

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Before I get to the delicious reason for today’s post, I’d like to take just a moment of your time to tell you how this year’s celebration will look a little different in our house. I know that we all want to be with our friends and family during the holidays, but that just isn’t a good idea for those of us living in the ol’ U.S. of A. at the moment. I have family members that I want to see (and hug) as well, so I know how you feel, but we’re all keeping this Thanksgiving small, in the hopes that I can spend many more Holidays with my extended family in the future, and I hope you will do the same. It’s not a lot to ask, and it’s nothing that hasn’t been asked of essential healthcare workers and military families most every Holiday. That being said, since  I am apparently incapable of cooking for less than a crowd, I will be offering curbside takeout to those loved ones outside of my immediate bubble!

Anyway, if you are anything like me, Thanksgiving has kind of snuck up behind you and yelled “BOO!”  I mean, I understand that 2020 has bent any and all rules of time, but I just didn’t expect to suddenly find myself facing both a turkey and a Christmas tree quite yet. (BTW, my tree is up. Is yours?) Well, my last-minute planning friends, I have a quick and easy Thanksgiving dessert recipe for you! Rarely straying far from my Southern roots, I’m bringing you yet another pecan treat. My Pecan Turtle Shortbread Bars are absolutely out of this world! Chocolate shortbread, topped with a rich caramel pecan layer, and finished with chocolate ganache and pecans, they’re unbelievably easy to make, feed a crowd, and pack beautifully for takeout or shipping! Just because our Thanksgivings have to be smaller, doesn’t mean they have to be any less delicious! (Read more…)

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Brownies

At the time of this writing, it’s a few days after Halloween 2020. It’s also the day after Election Day 2020. The true All Hallows Eve. Oh, and I almost forgot, it’s also the Year of the Pandemic 2020. You know, THAT year. Yeah. Lots going on here. It’s all a bit overwhelming, so let’s escape for a moment. Let’s pretend that none of this is happening. It’s a peaceful November day. In this version of the world, Election Day was just the regular amount of stressful. In this version of the world, old people freely mouth-breathe on your neck in line at the Mega Mart. And in this version of the world, the interweb did a “which candy is your favorite?” contest and the loser was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The world said, “peanut butter and chocolate? I’ll pass.” In this world, all you find at the bottom of your kid’s orange plastic pumpkin, two days after Halloween, is a bunch of unwanted Peanut Butter Cups. In fact, there are so many Peanut Butter Cups that you are now looking for things to do with all your Peanut Butter Cups. In that unlikely scenario, I’ve got you covered. (Read more…)

Dark Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Rye Bars

Hi friends! It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with you, and for that I apologize. I don’t know about you, but it has been pretty darn stressful around here. There are some days that I just want to hole up with my family and then there are some days that I hate absolutely everyone and I just want to lay in bed and binge an entire season of The Real Housewives of Anywhere Else. That being said, I’m still cooking most days and you can usually find my current creations on my Instagram Story, but actually writing up a recipe and posting it can be more than my brain can handle. I’m sure you all understand. I will try to do better.

One thing I haven’t slacked on is making some kind of treat for the Emergency Room staff who work with The Boy day in and day out. No matter what is going on with me, no matter how I’m feeling, whether I like The Boy that day or not,  I still push myself to make them something every Saturday to say “THANK YOU” for everything they do. It doesn’t matter how you feel politically, if you are an intelligent human being existing in 2020, you know that we are facing a serious health crisis, and these people put themselves on the line every damn day. Some days are worse than others, for sure, but they never know what is going to walk through those doors from one minute to the next. So if I can make them the best damn Dark Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Rye Bars they’ll ever taste, by golly I will!!

You should go make some for someone you want to thank, even if that person is you. Especially if that person is you (Read more…)

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Cookies

Who would’ve guessed that a pandemic could inspire so much creativity in the kitchen? Every Saturday, I send The Boy off to work in the emergency room with a treat for the staff. I want to make them something to thank them for all their hard work, but sometimes I just can’t think of what to make. Other times, I just really don’t want to enter the chaos that is my local Mega Market. Luckily, a lack of creative drive and no desire to mask up and venture the Mega Market aisles can sometimes pay off. This was definitely one of those times! My Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Cookie is what some might call a “kitchen sink” cookie: I took what was left at the bottom of a box of Rice Krispies, the last of The Boy’s peanut butter stash (don’t worry hon, it has since been replenished), and half a bag of chocolate chips to make an amazing, crave-worthy cookie. This cookie is so good that The Boy “complained” they everyone at work is bugging him for the recipe.  (Hot tip: The Boy is the last person I’d ask for a recipe. That’s why I’m here.) (Read more…)

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

Life can be… stressful, right? And while I normally wouldn’t advocate eating your feelings, now seems like a good time to break that rule. The world, in the words of The Fresh Prince, “got flipped-turned upside down” recently, and these Peanut Butter-Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats are here to fill a social-distancing sized hole in your diet.  (Read more…)

Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownies

Where’s the peanut butter? Is there peanut butter? Can I have peanut butter? We’re out of peanut butter? If you hear any (or all) of these questions with any frequency at all, I’m here for you.  For the past few weeks, I’ve been embarking on my own little Brownie Journey, and at every crossroad I have heard one of those questions from The Boy.  He suffers from a little known nutritional malady known as Peanut Butter Insufficiency. If you, or anyone you know, suffers from this condition, I’m here for you. I have taken my Classic Fudge Brownies, and stuffed them with peanut butter filling. Edge to edge peanut butter. In the interest of science. I hope this helps you, or your loved ones, through troubled times.  Eat responsibly. (Read more…)

Salted Caramel Brownies


So, last week I introduced you to what I believe to be the BEST Classic Fudge Brownies. Mostly fudgy, a tiny bit cakey, double-chocolate Nirvana ⛅️ So, I’m done right? Dust off my hands, hang up my apron, I made the best brownies, I’m outta here! But wait. There’s more. Let’s put stuff INSIDE and ON TOP of the best brownies ever seen in my lifetime! I know! Let’s fill it with chunks of salted caramel candies (that we make ourselves because we’re amazing), top it with EVEN MORE caramels, sprinkle on some flaky salt, and bake it until molten lakes of salty caramel lava form inside and out! Sounds like a good time.  Got an hour? Let’s go!  (Read more…)

 

Classic Fudge Brownies

I feel like anyone who likes to bake even a little bit needs a good classic brownie recipe that they can rely on. A reliable, easy to whip up, delicious recipe with no bells or whistles, just great chocolately flavor in a soft fudgy brownie.  I mean, look how many brownie variations are out there on the Interweb.  You can add almost anything to a brownie and make it taste great!  BUT you need a good foundation.  A no fail, delicious, great all by itself, or maybe with some ice cream, brownie recipe.  This is mine.  I mess with it a bit in future recipes, but this brownie is a winner all on its own 🏆  (Read more…)

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and again: A cupcake is the perfect food.  It’s compact, portable, portion controlled by design, and, in a pinch, it’s breakfast!  I mean, it has wheat AND dairy, just like a bowl of cereal!  You’re welcome 😉  And here, I’m adding a legume topping: Peanut butter frosting!   Get on board with my new food pyramid.  The view is great from the top! (Read more…)

Rocky Road Chocolate Shortbread Bars

The Saga of ‘foods Cynthia was kinda “meh” about, but now likes’ continues.  Today’s chapter is all about the lowly marshmallow.  Even as a kid marshmallows never excited me.  I was never really into S’mores, didn’t have a Rice Krispy treat until just recently, and as a child of the South, never ate a Moon Pie, with or without an RC Cola (😱 clutch my pearls!)

The one “food” that finally brought marshmallows a little closer to my mouth (and my heart), is Breyers Rocky Road Ice Cream, which may or may not disappear from my freezer at a rapid rate, on occasion. Dark chocolate ice cream, laced with ribbons of marshmallow, and big pieces of crunchy chocolate covered almonds?!  Oh, heck yes!!  I have tried to recreate the flavor and fun of that treat with these Rocky Road Chocolate Shortbread Bars.  Soft bits of mini marshmallows and crunchy toasted nuts are mixed into rich chocolate and layered over a buttery chocolate shortbread crust for an unforgettable bite.  Sometimes I’m all in with almonds and sometimes I’m nuts about walnuts, but I’m always over the moon about these Rocky Road Chocolate Shortbread Bars! (Read more…)