Oh my goodness… Chocolate. Peanut butter. Pretzels. Imagine all of these ingredients together along with lots of butter and sugar? Heaven in your mouth right? Right! I’m ready to run every single day if it means I can eat these squares whenever I want.

Recently, I’ve been enjoying an evening snack of pretzels dipped in peanut butter and sprinkled with mini dark chocolate chips. Which got me thinking, there must be some sort of baked good that can incorporate those flavours together? I not only found one, but hit the jackpot!

This isn’t a difficult recipe, there are just 3 steps to follow – the first step being the most time-consuming – and the only part that requires use of your oven. Oh – and you do have to chill the squares for at least an hour before you can cut them – so these should be made a little ahead of time… especially since once you cut them up, you probably won’t stop eating them (and then fall into a diabetic coma…)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Squares

Pretzel shortbread crust
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c) cold butter, cut into cubes
2 c. salted pretzel crumbs, very coarse (remember to measure once you crumble the pretzels)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Spray a square baking pan with some non-stick spray. Set aside.

In your food processor, pulse everything together – the pretzels shouldn’t get too fine – you want to be able to tell that they are in the crust – and your butter needs to be incorporated so that the mixture forms pea sized lumps.

Pour the mixture into your baking pan and press the shortbread firmly into the base (make sure it’s level). Bake for 20 minutes (golden brown). Remove from your oven and place on a cooling rack. The base needs to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Filling
18 oz jar of creamy natural peanut butter
2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c.) butter, melted, allow to cool just a little
1 3/4 c. salted pretzel crumbs, very fine (again, measure once you crumble the pretzels)

Start the filling by processing the salted pretzels into a very fine texture (use your food processor).

Now in the bowl of your kitchenaid mixer, combine all the ingredients using your paddle attachment. You can do this by hand too, but the mixer makes it easier considering how thick the peanut butter can get.

Place the filling on top of the pretzel crust – I dumped the peanut butter filling and then lightly moistened my hands to spread it evenly and smoothly on top of the base. Be careful, the shortbread is delicate, try not to break it while you are spreading the filling on top.

Once your two bottoms layers are in place, start on the chocolate topping.

11.5 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. heavy cream

Place your chocolate chips in a mixing bowl. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat up the cream. Stir it so that it doesn’t burn the base of the pot, and take it off the heat just before it begins to simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and whisk away… you want the chocolate to melt and the mixture to get shiny and smooth.

Top the peanut butter filling with the chocolate. Use a rubber spatula to spread it evenly over the base. Chill in your fridge for at least an hour (the chocolate needs to set before you can cut into it).

I got 20 generous squares out of this batch… very generous. And very delish. I promise, everyone who can eat peanuts will be loving them and you for making them!

don’t judge a scone by its colour…

I’m back to baking scones… well to be honest, I haven’t stopped making them, but I did try a new recipe last night. I switched up my original lemon scone recipe and added beautiful blueberries to the batter.

Sigh. The result was well…blue. But fresh, tangy and light – a perfect way to start off your day. Oh, and these smell soooooooooooo good while they’re baking. Double sigh. I can’t wait to make another batch. Or 6. They are that good.

Blueberry Lemon Scones
grated zest of 1 large lemon
3/4 c. brown sugar
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. (2 sticks) cold butter, grated
1 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
3/4 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 egg, beaten for an egg wash
large sugar, to sprinkle on top of each scone

Grate the butter and return it to your freezer to allow it to get really cold.

Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.

In your stand mixer bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add the sugar and lemon zest to the bowl and mix with your paddle attachment at a low speed (STIR)until just combined.

Add the cold butter to the dry mix and combine on your low speed for a few minutes(you’re looking for pea sized clumps). At this point you can toss in your blueberries and just incorporate.

Stop mixing and make a well in the centre of your batter. Add the cream and buttermilk. Mix together (low speed) very briefly; you want everything to come together and gather on your paddle attachment.

Turn the dough out a well floured surface. You’ll want to use your rolling pin to roll out the dough into a rectangle. Cut your scones into triangular shapes. I get 2 rows and 3 columns out of the batter, which I then cut into triangles.

Place your scones onto the prepared pans and then move the pans to the freezer. Allow the dough to chill for 30 minutes (this allows the butter to get really cold again in order to really puff while baking).

Remove from the freezer, add an egg wash to the scones and then sprinkle them with the large sugar. Bake in the middle rack for 30 minutes (until golden brown). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely… although the smell might dry you crazy with anticipation!

bliss in a bite

If you know me, you know that I like to chat with people and talk things over, share ideas, get really enthusiastic, and completely commit to an idea… I think you’ve noticed that I tend to be on the obsessive side of things (scones, almond butter, lemons…and just about everything else in my life too)!

Now that I’ve started on this Starbucks kick, well… I’ve become game for trying any Starbucks baked good people seem to like. So Tonya challenged me with this one… chocolate dipped coconut macaroons. I didn’t make them exactly as she remembered; since Starbucks used to make a flat cookie: with one half a beautiful white and the other half a dark chocolaty brown.

macaroons that kicked starbucks butt!

My little pyramid shaped cookies turned out pretty awesome, and Tonya said that I totally kicked their butt! Whoot Whoot!

Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
2/3 c. sweetened condensed milk
1 egg white
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
3 1/2 c. sweetened flaked coconut
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate squares, chopped (or whole chocolate chips)

Preheat your oven to 325 F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

vanilla, condensed milk, flaked coconut

In a large bowl (no need for any electric mixers for this recipe), stir together the condensed milk, egg white, vanilla and salt until just combined. Stir in the coconut until well blended.

stirring everything together

Once everything is blended, grab your mini scooper and drop the dough onto your prepared cookie sheets – if you want to make more cookies, spoon out about 1 tablespoonful of dough per cookie.

Moisten your fingers as needed in order to shape your macaroons into little pyramids.

Bake one cookie sheet at a time (place the other cookie sheet into the fridge to remain cool) for about 15 to 20 minutes (the tops will be golden brown).

Allow the cookies to set on the cookie sheet for about 2 minutes, then cool the macaroons completely on a wire rack (at least 30 minutes).

allowing the cookies to cool

Once your Macaroons have cooled grab your chocolate and melt it (either in a double boiler or over low heat in a saucepan). This should take a few minutes, whisking every once and a while to ensure that the bottom doesn’t burn and that the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

Hold a macaroon by its pointed top and dip the bottom into the chocolate – allow excess chocolate to drip back into the pot. Place the macaroon back onto your cookie sheet (lined with the parchment paper). Repeat with the remaining macaroons.

the final product once dipped… pretty eh?

Refrigerate the macaroons until the chocolate sets, about 15 minutes.

You should get about 22 little pyramids in total… each one absolutely delicious. I promise.