Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
If you’re craving a mouth-watering triple chocolate three-decker dessert, I’ve got the answer for you. All you need is a couple of brownie mixes, refrigerated cookie dough and peanut butter cups.

Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Press two small scoops of cookie dough into the bottom of large muffin tin cups.
  3. Place one peanut butter cup upside down on top of the dough.
  4. Mix two packages of three packages of brownie mix.
  5. Spoon enough brownie mix into the cup to cover the dough and peanut butter cups.
  6. Bake in oven for 18 minutes.
  7. If you have any remaining brownie mix, spoon cookie down into the bottom of four coffee cups, place one peanut butter cup in each one, and spoon on remainder of the mix. Microwave for 1 minute and enjoy while you wait for the brownies to bake.
  8. Allow to cool, then use a plastic knife to loosen the sides of the brownies.
  9. Cut into four pieces.

Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Shepherd Pie Recipe

Shepherd's PieI am itching to try new recipes lately, so when I saw Shepherd Pie on another website, I thought I’d give it a whirl. Most of the ingredients are items I have on hand and it didn’t look hard to make.

So, I started by gathering the ingredients:

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8-10 oz frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1.5 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup of worstershire
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 brown gravy mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

Mashed Potatoes
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash. Mix in butter, finely chopped onion and 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
We always like to add extra butter. Yes, we like a little potatoes with our butter…

Frozen Veggies
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash and set aside.
I cheated and used the microwave in bag frozen veggies. And I didn’t mash them up either. That just sounded yucky.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.)
Hamburger
Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook until clear. Add ground beef and cook until well browned. Pour off excess fat, then stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add ketchup, worstershire, brown gravy and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
That’s my son stirring the hamburger mixture. He’s so sweet!

Hamburger
Spread the ground beef in an even layer on the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Next, spread a layer of peas and carrots. Top with the mashed potato mixture and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.
Oops! Forgot to add shredded cheese on top. Oh well!

Top of Shepherd's Pie
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Overall, I was disappointed. Perhaps I expected more of a pot pie flavor? It was edible, and fairly pleasant tasting — just not what I wanted. That said, tonight is leftover night — it’s this or spaghetti. Hmmm…

P.S. Just found out CW absolutely loved this stuff and can’t wait until we make it again. Go figure…


Cake Ball Finale

I have wanted a double boiler for years. My mom had one when I was growing up and she used it to melt cheese and chocolate and other goodies I don’t even remember.

I’ve seen them in stores, but their either too small — or come with a bunch of other pans I already have.

But after researching the cake ball making process, I realized I already have a double boiler.

Double boiler parts

You just take a sauce pan like my husbands potato pan that you see above (he uses it to make his world famous mashed potatos), and a glass mixing bowl that will fit inside the sauce pan without touching the bottom.  You’ll also want to make sure the sides meet up snugly to keep water out of the bowl, since water will ruin the candy coating.

That said, I pulled out my handy-dandy double boiler and filled up the pan about half way with water and put it on the stove top to boil. Once the water started bubbling, I put the bowl on top and added the almond bark to melt.

Coating in boiler

I just let the water boil and stirred the candy until it looked like this:

Melted Coating

Warning: Before we go any further, I must warn you. I started out using almond bark to dip my red velvet cake balls. This was a bad idea. The almond bark was gloppy, messy and ended up looking like crud. Like this. So don’t use almond bark. Instead, use the candy coating wafers or other coating that is made for dipping. It works out  much better.

After I realized the almond bark wasn’t working, I added several candy coating wafers and it started behaving much better, but was too thick. When the candy is completely melted, you’ll notice that if you pick up a spoonful and pour it back into the bowl, it kind of glops off the spoon. That means the coating is too think. So what you’ll need to do is add about a tablespoon of shortening. That will thin the coating so it will work better.

Once the coating is melted and pours smoothly off the spoon, it’s time to pull one of your wax paper lined cookie sheets full of cake balls out of the freezer.

Note: The recipes I followed all suggested that I freeze the balls for at least 6 hours. I actually started the cake ball process on Monday and put them in the freezer. But with all the snow, kids running around the house cooped up and other random craziness, I wasn’t able to start dipping them until today.

How to dip the cake balls

I read in several places that the trick to dipping the cake balls is to tap the spoon. You drop a ball in the coating and use a spoon to pour more coating on top. Then scoop up the ball and tap the spoon on the side of the bowl to remove the extra coating.

I had a problem with this the first time I made cake balls.

See, I’m a night owl,so I dipped them around 3 a.m. Since my kitchen is near a couple of bedrooms in our house, I really didn’t want to spend an hour tapping a spoon on the side of a glass bowl.

Instead, I used a small, quick side-to-side shaking motion to shed the extra coating. I also used the side of a second spoon in my other hand to scrape the bottom of the cake ball spoon and made sure to leave a pool of coating in the spoon behind the cake ball (which I held on the end of the spoon) to pour down the side of the ball as I gently tipped it back onto the cookie sheet. This helped fill in any holes in the coating left by the spoon.

Here are the pretty cake balls:

Funfettie cake balls

Would love to hear your cake ball stories!