Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


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Peanut Butter Blondies

Pure and simple, these sweet and salty Peanut Butter Blondies have a wonderfully soft and fluffy nutty texture!

Peanut Butter Blondies

Who does not like peanut butter? Well, my hubby for one!  That is why I don’t really make a lot of things that have the sweet gooey stuff. However I have been on a peanut butter kick lately. My kid has even been asking for it – a lot! He now likes to dip apples into the smooth peanut goodness almost each night. At least he is eating his fruit!

And if you are a sweet and salty addict like me, well you will love this combination. You only need a few ingredients that you probably have in your pantry such as flour, sugar and peanut butter, baking powder and vanilla along with butter and a few eggs. They are easy to make, uncomplicated — pureness at its best!

Peanut Butter Blondies

And my kid has also been on a baking binge. You see, his school elective this semester is cooking! I had to laugh, a kid after my own heart. And now that he is a teen, he pretty much wants to bake everything by himself. However, somehow, I always seem to step in to help! I guess it’s just the baker-mom in me!

He actually made some homemade bread last week, that I will be posting soon. As you may know from reading this blog, I am not a bread maker! But the stuff actually came out real good!

Ok, back to these Peanut Butter Blondies. You see I love peanut butter so much, I literally eat the stuff right out of the jar with a big spoon. Especially at night, when I feel starving after a long day and night, peanut butter always makes me feel better.

So I thought, why not make blondies out of this? And voila! And why I never thought of this before? Not sure. But they are fabulously addicting. And since the hubby does not like PB, well, more for me! But I have a feeling these will be eaten up fast when my son invites some of this buddies over — and if you know growing teenaged boys. Well enough said! Maybe I need to make another batch?!

Peanut Butter Blondies

Peanut Butter Blondies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×11-inch baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

To a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir and set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the peanut butter and beat until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Then add the vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Note, the batter will be a bit sticky.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Using a spatula or your fingers, press into pan until evenly distributed. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted to the middle comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Cut into 16 squares and serve!

Peanut Butter Blondies

So there you have it. A quick and easy, delicious sweet and salty snack that is perfect as an after school treat, weekend delight or simply just anytime. Enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee is my favorite!

Peanut Butter Blondies

I hope you whip up a batch of these golden delicious Peanut Butter Blondies soon! You’ll be glad you did!

Sheila

 

{recipe inspired by Like Mother Like Daughter}


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Easy Chocolate Mousse

Sinfully sweet — this Easy Chocolate Mousse is absolutely divine!

Easy Chocolate Mousse - no baking required and no eggs!

 

With only a few ingredients, you can have an elegant dessert in no-time flat. And it requires no eggs and no baking!

I am definitely one who loves quick and easy recipes. Maybe it’s because I work long hours during the week and don’t really have the time or energy to spend the entire weekend in the kitchen cooking and baking. Now, don’t get me wrong, I adore both. But when I find easy recipes, that require few ingredients, simple steps, with a tasty and satisfying outcome — well to me, that’s my type of recipe for sure.

What about you?

Easy Chocolate Mousse - no eggs and no baking!

Now, if you ask my husband what I should be making, well, he would rather have me in the kitchen preparing some long, involved pastry such as a German strudel, fruit filled pie or some other 1,000 step recipe.

Ok, I love the guy, but really — he is not very realistic. I mean, I love good food too, but I don’t think you have to always, with every recipe, spend all day preparing it. For special occasions, yes. I do spend hours and hours preparing everything to the highest gastronomic standards!

However, on a day-to-day basis around my house, simple and delicious rules!

For this super Easy Chocolate Mousse, you start by melting marshmallows, chocolate, butter and water. Then you whip up some heavy cream and vanilla. Combine the two together and there you have it…a no fuss rich, chocolaty dessert that your guests or family will think you spent hours slaving over (well that is except for my husband, he would rather have me make the long, involved version)!

And there is something about the addition of the marshmallows that give this mousse a unique flavor and creamy texture! Yum!

Easy Chocolate Mousse - no eggs and no baking!

Easy Chocolate Mousse

cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup butter, softened
1-1/4 cups good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a heavy bottom saucepan, add the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, add the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat with a hand-held mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the cool chocolate mixture and mix until smooth and fully combined.

Spoon into 4-6 ramekins (depending on the size you have) and refrigerate until set.

Easy Chocolate Mousse - no eggs and no baking!

This smooth, Easy Chocolate Mousse is a great and simple treat to make when you are short on time and are craving something sweet!

Sheila

 

{recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson}


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Copycat Orange Julius

This frothy Copycat Orange Julius is so easy to make that you’ll never dish out money for this concoction at the mall again!

Copycat Orange Julius- -- taste just like the real thing!

You see, my husband and son love anything sweet – including what they drink! They are always picking up some sweet drink when they are out and about doing their “bonding”. They also have a favorite that they grab at the market — it’s a powdered packet of orange dust that you combine with water or milk and ice. I think it’s supposed to be like an Orange Julius, but it really isn’t!

So when the weather reached 77 degrees last week, it really got us all in the mood for cool, refreshing things to eat and drink. Like smoothies, ice cream, and pretty much anything that is sweet and cold. Nothing like having spring in February!

And of course, my “boys” were all over this — looking for something sweet and craving that favorite mall staple, Orange Julius. This got me thinking, hmmm…I wonder how I could make this delicious drink at home. With a quick Google search, I found just what I was looking for. And amazingly it included ingredients I already had at home; orange juice concentrate, milk, water, powdered sugar, vanilla and ice.

I quickly put all the ingredients in my blender, gave it all a whirl, and in less than a minute, I had that frothy sweet orange drink. I gave it the taste test and let me tell you, it tasted exactly like the stuff you purchase (for a lot more money) at the mall.

Now, how easy is that?

Get your blender ready to whip up this creamy Copycat Orange Julius — your family and your wallet will love you for it!

Copycat Orange Julius - simple and delicious!

Copycat Orange Julius

3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup water
4 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix on high-speed until fully incorporated. Add more ice if you like a thicker consistency.

Makes about 4 cups.

Copycat Orange Julius-a mall favorite at home!

This delicious Copycat Orange Julius is the perfect drink to have any time of the day; great as a breakfast pick-me-up, and afternoon treat or even as an evening sweet after dinner.

Sheila

 

{recipe adapted from Fabulessly Frugal}


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Chocolate Tart with Coconut Crust {gluten-free}

This decadent Chocolate Tart with Coconut Crust is the perfect romantic treat to share with your loved one!

Chocolate Tart with coconut crust

If you’re looking to sweeten up your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, look no further. Every bite of this chocolate coconut goodness will melt the heart of your loved one and have them begging you for more! This is THE recipe to make!

And even better if your special someone is a chocolate lover, as the filling is a rich chocolate ganache — it’s chocolate at its best!. Now, don’t let the fancy name fool you, as ganache is simply chocolate heated by warmed cream and stirred to a smooth, perfect consistency.

This recipe is so easy to prepare, yet your sweetheart will think you slaved all day in the kitchen preparing this luscious Chocolate Tart with Coconut Crust — but in fact, in no-time flat your mouth-watering tarts will be done and ready for you to enjoy after a romantic dinner.

So it’s time to whip up a little sweet magic and put a spell on your guy!

You only need 4 ingredients – for the crust you’ll combine coconut and butter and for the ganache its chocolate and heavy cream. Oh yeah, and this yummy tart is gluten-free! Need I say more? Nope, as the outcome is a soft yet crunchy coconut crust smothered in smooth rich chocolate.

You can even whip up some freshly whipping cream to serve on the side. But for me, I don’t think it needs it – some things are just better left simple – brings out the pure, amazing flavors. Simply heavenly!

Chocolate Tart with coconut crust

Chocolate Tart with Coconut Crust {gluten-free}

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 bag (14 oz.) sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup heavy cream
12 oz. good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, process the butter and about 1/3 of the coconut until mixture forms a ball. This will take about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl. Then sprinkle the remaining 2/3 of coconut over mixture. Using your hands, combine until fully incorporated.

To make the crust; divide the coconut mixture among 4 mini ceramic pie plates or tart pans and press coconut into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the center begins to brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the filling; add the chocolate to a medium-sized heat-proof bowl. Then to a small saucepan add the cream and let it come just to a boil over medium low heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 10 minutes, then stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is combined. Pour into coconut crusts and refrigerate until filling is set, 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Chocolate Tart with coconut crust

Shower your love with this simply irresistible Chocolate Tart with Coconut Crust — and my your Valentine’s day be filled with lots of love and sweets!

Sheila

 

{recipe adapted from Martha Stewart}

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