Happiness Is…Recipe: Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

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Happiness is a three-day weekend!

Happiness is going through pictures and journals as I am working on Ethan’s story birth-present.

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Happiness is having a sweet husband who took care of the whole family on Sunday while I spent the day in bed recovering from a brief illness.

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Happiness is a big brother who sweetly kisses his little sister good-bye before getting dressed for school. He has been giving her sweet kisses since the day she was born.

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Happiness is celebrating something very special on Sunday.  It makes me smile just thinking about it.

Happiness is receiving this picture from my sister-in-law.

PhotobucketHappiness is receiving sweet emails, comments, and texts that make me smile.

Happiness is making it through four appointments with two littles yesterday.  Yes, the happiness part came when the 4th appointment was over.

PhotobucketHappiness is these Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Cookies.

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After seeing these cookies on Picky Palate, I started thinking about my family’s favorite things.  We all love chocolate chip cookies and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  So, I decided to unite the two and see if they could create an amazingly awesome cookie.  And, they did.  Oh, happy day!  Sean decided to call these cookies “Reeskies”.  Now, that is happiness.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (Reeskies)

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (Reeskies)

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups chocolate chips

M&Ms, optional

Reese's peanut butter cups

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until creamy.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture.
  7. Mix until the flour mixture is incorporated.
  8. Gently mix in the chocolate chips.
  9. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out dough and place on the cookie sheet.
  10. Gently press down and add a Reese's peanut butter cup to the top.
  11. Add another scoop of dough to the top of the peanut butter cup.
  12. Gently press down the sides, making sure that the dough totally covers and peanut butter cup and is sealed around the edges. The cookie dough will basically make a giant, somewhat flat ball around the peanut butter cup.
  13. Gently press down M&M's into the center of the cookie dough ball (optional).
  14. Bake for 15 minutes.
  15. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 15 minutes before attempting to move to a wire rack or plate.
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Have a happy weekend!

I shared this recipe at Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Gingersnap, Gingerbread, Six Sisters, Jane Deere, A Southern Fairytale, Crazy for Crust, Mom Trends, Whipperberry, Bizzy Bakes, Designs by Gollum, 30 Days, Ladybird Ln, Simply Sweet Home, Ekat’s Kitchen, Alli ‘n Son and Tidy Mom.

Saving Breakfast – Recipe: Chewy Granola Bars

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As I have mentioned before, my littles are not big breakfast eaters.  So, that leaves me always trying to find something that they will eat that has some nutritional value each morning.  After buying some granola bars for my husband last week, I decided that I could make them because they would likely be A) Better, B) Healthier, and C) More Inexpensive.

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We were all pleased with the results.  The first batch lasted one day.  So, I made another batch a few days later.  They are delicious and can be served as an after-school snack, a healthier dessert option, or a quick breakfast.

I found the recipe at Smitten Kitchen.  From what I could tell, Deb has been blogging for around 5 years, and it is evidenced by her beautiful photography, thoughtful explanations, and amazing recipes.  I love everything about her blog, especially these Thick, Chewy Granola Bars.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars

This recipe is very barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Thick, Chewy Granola Bars.

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons melted butter

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 tablespoon water

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup M&M's, optional (to make them more festive)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line an 8? x 8? x 2? pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
  3. Stir together all the dry ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter, peanut butter, honey, corn syrup, and water.
  5. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry until the mixture is evenly crumbly.
  6. Gently mix in the chocolate chips.
  7. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan.
  8. Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes (my oven took 40 minutes), until they’re brown around the edges. They will seem soft and almost under-baked when you press into the center of the pan. But, do not worry, they will set once completely cool.
  9. Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack.
  10. Once cool, remove from the pan and gently slide from the parchment paper onto a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to cut the bars into squares.
  11. Store in an airtight container..
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Enjoy!

I shared this recipe at Cooking with Karyn, Creations by Kara, Sugar and Dots Lil’ Luna, Mrs. Foxs Sweets, The King’s Court, Polkadots on Parade, This Chick Cooks, Remodelaholic, My Girlish Whims, Lady Behind the Curtain and Hugs & Cookies.

Momma’s Little Helpers – Recipe: Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes

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I have three amazing little helpers.

Ethan loves to help me cook, especially bake.  He can smell chocolate a mile away, and he comes running whenever he knows that I am baking up something yummy.  And, he is quite insulted if I do not tell him the moment that it is ready.  The boy has a major sweet tooth, just like his momma.

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Gabriel helps me with the entertainment portion of our days.  He is great at coming up with creative games for the littles, play wrestling with them, reading to them, and being an all-around brother of the year, in general.

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And, Summer is my little domestic helper.  She loves to fold laundry, clean, and put up groceries.  She is a little momma in the making.  And, when she says, “When I grow up, I want to be a momma, just like you.”, it absolutely melts my heart.

Summer was my little helper today.  She wanted to clean and fold laundry.  I have been honest about the fact that I do not always let my littles help me clean because I know that I can often do it faster by myself.  But, today I knew that I had too much to do around the house to be the craft/baking/fun momma, so I happily let her help me clean and fold so that we could spend time together.  I am learning more and more that it is not always about what you are doing.  It is about the time that you spend together, whether it is reading, crafting, baking, or even something as simple as cleaning house and folding laundry.

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Before our little cleaning session, my little helper requested pancakes.  When I asked if she wanted them plain or with chocolate chips, she gave the favorite response of, “Both!”  So, both she got.  After all, she needed her strength to help with the housekeeping for the day.

Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 12 small pancakes

Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes

Ingredients

3/4 cup buttermilk

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Add the butter to a large mixing bowl, and melt it in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
  2. Remove it from the microwave, and add the egg and vanilla.
  3. Slowly whisk in the buttermilk.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the buttermilk mixture, and stir to combine.
  6. I use a pancake griddle to cook my pancakes. Preheat the griddle to 375.
  7. Using a small ladle, add about 1/4 cup of the pancake mixture to the griddle, one scoop at a time. I usually cook about 6 at a time on my griddle.
  8. Once the mixture is on the griddle, sprinkle on the chocolate chips. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until it starts to bubble a little, and then flip.
  9. Cook on that side for about 2-3 minutes, and then move from the griddle to a plate. Continue until all of the mixture has been used.
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Enjoy!

I shared this recipe over at Add a Pinch and Make-Ahead Meals.