Well, these little superstars were a big surprise. They were voted Fan Favorite by everyone I know. OK, nobody actually voted or called them that, they just said they were really good. Like, reeeaaalllyy gooooood. Bonus: Because I made a batch for some of Joey’s beer-drinking friends, we also learned they pair incredibly well with beer. I kinda want to change the title of the recipe to Beer Pairing Cookies. Yes?
Speaking of the title, I do want to point out there is no peanut butter, in its true form, in these Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies. The peanut butter is inside the peanut butter pretzels – you know, PeanutButterPretzels? The kind with big salt crystals that come in the big jugs.
Everything else that goes into these cookies is up to you (I threw in handfuls of chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and white chocolate chips) because the base of the recipe is pretty darn amazing. It’s the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe and it’s foolproof. I can say that because I did not follow the instructions properly and yet, here we are. The original recipe calls for chilling the dough for 24 hours. I did not have that kind of time (slash, I’m lazy) and they were still totally delicious and compliments rained upon me. If you are a planner-aheader, feel free to chill the dough and see how you feel. I’m just here to tell you, life is short, bake the cookies.
1 12 oz bag of chocolate chips or a few handfuls each of chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and white chocolate chips
sea salt for finishing
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl an set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in crushed peanut butter pretzels and chocolate chips, or whatever you are using, by hand until just combined.
3. Drop scoops of cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets (I used a #50 scoop). Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through. Remove from the oven, sprinkle very lightly with sea salt, and cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
3 words: Buttered Popcorn Gelato. Are you in?! Heck yes you are. This is (microwaveable) buttery, slightly salty, popcorn soaked in milk and cream (more milk than cream b/c it’s gelato and we fancy), combined with brown sugar and egg yolks to become the creamiest, richest, borderline fluffy custard that’s then churned away into Popcorn Wonderland. (Disclaimer: this trip to Popcorn Wonderland requires an overnight stay in the fridge. Gotta chill that custard, babe.) If you really want to make this dessert true magic, make the honey-brown sugar-caramel corn to go on top. Real talk though, you are already magic for making gelato… hellooooo. ✨
This recipe is where my ice cream machine met its destiny. It was born for this. I was born for this. And if there is ever a reason to buy an ice cream machine, this is it. Truth: I can’t promise you’ll get the same lush, alluring textural result with any method other than using an ice cream machine. Sorry. The good news is, I’ve been using this one from Cuisinart for 7 years; it only requires the flip of a switch to operate, and it costs less than $70. (*These are a guaranteed gift-giving win. At least 3 people in my life have given or received one, always to great success.)
The creamiest, most silky-smooth gelato flavored with caramely brown sugar and buttered popcorn (hint: you steep the popcorn in the milk and cream! So Good!)
Prep Time:20 minutes/overnight
Cook Time:30 minutes
Total Time:50 minutes
Yield:4–6 servings 1x
2 C whole milk
1 C heavy cream
1 bag of microwaveable popcorn w/ butter (I used Pop Secret Movie Theater Butter Popcorn b/c there are no artificial ingredients)
3/4 C brown sugar, divided
4 egg yolks
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 t salt, to taste
Pop the popcorn in the microwave. Combine the milk and cream in a sauce pan over low heat and add the popcorn. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, into a bowl and discard the popcorn.
Return the milk/cream mixture to the sauce pan and add 1/2 a cup of the brown sugar. Cook, stirring, over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat.
In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of the brown sugar with an electric mixer until it is thick and light yellow – about 4 minutes. Add 1/2 a cup of the milk/cream mixture to the egg yolk mixture and stir to combine. Pour this into the sauce pan with the rest of the milk/cream mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly for about 8 minutes or until the mixture is thick and when you coat the back of a spoon with it, you can draw a line through it with your finger. Add the vanilla and salt to taste. (The eggs are cooked at this point; it’s ok to taste.)
Strain this mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill overnight.
Add the chilled mixture to your ice cream machine and churn for about 30 minutes or according to manufacturer instructions. (Start tasting it after about 25 minutes to check the texture; gelato is naturally a little looser than ice cream but it should be thick and not super runny.)
If you want to make the caramel corn garnish shown in the picture: Pop another bag of popcorn in the microwave. Melt 1/4 C of brown sugar and 1T of honey in a large sauce pan over low heat; stir constantly with a rubber spatula until it becomes the consistency of caramel. Add about 1/2 the bag of popcorn and stir to combine. Let cool before touching!
The idea for this recipe came from Yotam Ottolenghi’s gorgeous cookbook, Nopi. Except, I made it faster/easier, made it gelato instead of ice cream (because creamy-silky-smoothness is my jam), and I used brown sugar for more of a caramelly flavor, kinda like caramel corn.
Woot! Sharing some delicious snacky-snacks with you guys today! I feel a little shady calling these “peanut butter” and jelly bars because there is a negligible amount of actual peanut butter and a lot of peanuts, oats, coconut oil, and honey all pulsed together to make a magical crust and crumble topping. Are you picking up what I’m putting down here, though? The oat/honey/coconut oil combo means these are healthier than traditional peanut butter and jelly bars and still duh-lish-us. No added refined sugar… no butter… no flour. You could even make them gluten free if you buy GF oats. It’s spring, you guys, and my bathing suit and I need to be friends by summer, but I still need sweet things for my 3:00 snack attacks. So, here we go: Healthy Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars!
Woah… you guys… It’s our buddy Chocolate’s first appearance on the blog! A) Welcome, sweet, fragrant, endorphine-producing friend. B) You’re late. I’ve been waiting, like, all morning for chocolate. Yes, I’ve already had breakfast and Joey and I have a lunch date in a few hours, buuuuut, no chance I’m skipping my mid-morning snack, K? And chocolate’s presence is required. These are *Healthyish* Chocolate Banana Muffins though, so, lemme at them for snack, snack #2, dessert, and breakfast tomorrow. Pats on the back, all around.