Upscale Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Eat More: Upscale Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse! Americans have this uncanny obsession with chocolate and peanut butter. Some even crave it often. It may be the creamy sweetness of cocoa blended with the saltiness of roasted peanuts. Who knows? Whatever the reason, the allure is undeniable. Throw in vanilla pudding and whipped cream showcased in a parfait glass for eye appeal. It all adds up to an easy, upscale dessert that makes an everyday experience extraordinary. I find small juice glasses an appealing portion-control guide.

UPSCALE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE

Ingredients:

16-20 Miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, wrappers removed and candy chopped

1/3 cup peanuts

1/2 cup chocolate fudge sauce

1 3.4-ounce package Vanilla Instant Pudding and Pie Filling Mix

1 3/4 cups light cream

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup whipped topping

1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips

Instructions:

Choose 4-6 glasses or cups, depending on portion preferred. Divide peanuts equally between glasses. Layer with 1-2 dollops of chocolate fudge sauce. Set aside. In a chilled bowl, empty contents of pudding mix. Gradually add 1/2 cup light cream, beating on low speed with a hand mixer. Mix until well blended. Add peanut butter and beat until creamy. Gradually add remaining 1 1/4 cups of light cream. Beat on low, increasing speed as it incorporates. Continue beating for 3 minutes. Pudding will thicken. Gently fold in whipped topping to create air bubbles. Next, fold in chopped candy, reserving a few pieces to use as garnish. Spoon pudding into glasses, layering over fudge sauce. Garnish with candy chunks and mini chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Eat More: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie! In a world of “super-size” portions, this one is really worth defending, especially on hot, summer days. The oven is on for less than half an hour with results that leave your home smelling like a bakery. Sometimes you just don’t have time to make several batches of cookies. By baking all the dough in an iron skillet, the end result will still yield enough for a crowd. Cut the giant cookie into pie-size portions with a scoop of ice cream on top or divide it into squares for finger-food munching.

OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP SKILLET COOKIE

Ingredients:

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup oatmeal

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup peanut butter chips

Topping:

1/4 cup chocolate and peanut butter chips, mixed

1/8 teaspoon sea salt crystals

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 10″ iron skillet. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Continue beating until creamy. In another bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Whisk until blended. Slowly add dry mixture to wet ingredients until flour is incorporated. Add oatmeal to dough. Blend well. Fold in chocolate and peanut butter chips. Spread cookie dough into the greased skillet. Top with mixed blend of chocolate and peanut butter chips. Sprinkle with sea salt crystals. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Nugget Sesame Chicken

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Eat More: Nugget Sesame Chicken! What do you get when you cross chicken nuggets with Chinese food? You get a shortcut for creating a Hump Day meal that satisfies even the pickiest eater. I mean, who doesn’t love chicken nuggets? The next time you drive-thru your neighborhood fast-food chain, order an extra portion of chicken nuggets to place in the freezer. Since they’re already precooked, when you’re ready to have them for dinner, let them thaw in the refrigerator. Then crisp them up in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes before adding them to this incredible homemade sauce. It’s as simple as ABC. Life just got easier.

NUGGET SESAME CHICKEN

Ingredients:

20 pieces of chicken nuggets

1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1/4 cup apricot jam

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon Chinese chili paste

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/4 cup honey

2 teaspoons corn starch

1/2 cup water

10 dried whole chilies

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

3 green onions, snipped

Instructions:

In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine chicken broth, hoisin sauce, apricot jam, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili paste, sesame oil, and honey. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Dissolve cornstarch into water. Stir until smooth. Gradually pour into saucepan, mixing well boil for 2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add whole chilies and chicken nuggets. Toss to combine. Reduce heat to simmer to keep sauce warm with a thick glossy glaze. In a small skillet, sauté garlic cloves until fragrant, no longer than 1 minute. Add garlic and toasted sesame seeds to sauce. Garnish with green onion snips. Serve with rice. *

* Serving suggestion. Nugget Sesame Chicken partners well with Jasmine Rice Pilaf. Follow the link for the recipe.

https://snapshotsincursive.com/2016/07/14

Thai Peanut Noodles

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Thai Peanut Noodles! Take advantage of that extra serving, or two, of leftover spaghetti noodles in the fridge right now. As long as you kept them separate from the sauce, you have the option to eliminate one step in making Thai Peanut Noodles to eat with a sandwich for lunch. If not, then boil up a batch of spaghetti first and let it cool a bit. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. I like the spicy kick of red pepper flakes blended with the smooth creaminess of chunky peanut butter. The fresh green onion bits give it an added crunch. Have I piqued your taste buds?

THAI PEANUT NOODLES

Ingredients:

2 servings of plain spaghetti, cooked and drained

1/3 cup chunky peanut butter

4 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons vinegar

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon ginger powder

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

6 tablespoons green onions, sliced

Instructions:

Make spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and cool. Set aside. In a medium bowl combine chunky peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, and vinegar. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Add garlic powder, ginger, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. Blend well. Add noodles and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with green onion bits and serve.

Easy Energy Balls

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Appetizers to Desserts: Easy Energy Balls! Do you ever get those mid-morning blahs where all you want to do is go back to bed? Well, here’s a way to get a tasty boost of energy without the guilt of a candy bar. By choosing pure and organic ingredients, you not only reap the health benefits, but you also gain the satisfaction your tummy needs in order to feel full. Make up a batch in minutes, store in the refrigerator, then Grab and Go!

EASY ENERGY BALLS

Ingredients:

1 cup organic creamy dark roasted peanut butter

2/3 cup pure honey

2 cups flaked coconut

2 cups old fashioned whole grain oats

1 cup organic flaxseed

1 cup dark chocolate chips

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup ground nuts

Instructions:

Warm peanut butter just enough to blend well with the honey. Remove from heat and add coconut, oats, flaxseed, and chocolate chips. Mix well. Sprinkle in cinnamon and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly. Roll into 30 bite-size balls, coat in ground nuts, and store in the refrigerator in a sealed container.

Yummy Salted Caramel Cookie Dough Bars

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Joy of Eating: Yummy Sea Salt Caramel Cookie Dough Bars! “Honestly, you had me at Salted Caramel”, someone exclaimed to me recently. If you crave chocolate or adore peanut butter, this dessert will grab your attention. Although its golden caramel layer is dotted with mounds of cookie dough infused with white and dark chocolate, underneath lies a layer of peanut butter, oats, and toffee bits. Oh my! You may need a scoop of natural ice cream on top just to cut the sweetness. Trust me when I say, “A little goes a long way!”

YUMMY SALTED CARAMEL COOKIE DOUGH BARS

Ingredients for Cookie Dough:

3/4 cup butter, unsalted

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 cup instant oats

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup toffee bits

Ingredients for Caramel Topping:

11 ounce bag of caramels

14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup butter

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9″x13″ pan with nonstick oil and line with parchment paper. Using a food processor, cream butter and sugar together. Add peanut butter and blend well. While running, add one egg at a time, thoroughly mixing in each egg. Add vanilla. In a small bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Fold in chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and toffee bits. Spread 2/3 of the dough on the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile, unwrap caramels and place in a saucepan with butter and sweetened condensed milk. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramels are fully melted. The mixture will be smooth. Slowly pour caramel sauce evenly over dough. Flatten the remaining 1/3 dough like a pancake, cut into squares, roll into balls, and drop randomly over caramel sauce. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle coarse sea salt over all. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

PB&J Cupcakes

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Joy of Eating: PB&J Cupcakes! Mention peanut butter and watch how childhood memories instill sentimental feelings of joy and laughter. Add a dollop of jelly and suddenly the yearning is real. Here is a way to turn the classic sandwich into a yummy dessert that will find you clapping your hands with glee. The fluffy peanut butter frosting will leave you craving “just one more cupcake”! Yes, please.

PB&J CUPCAKES

Ingredients for Cupcakes:

1/2 cup raspberry jam

1 1/4 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake papers. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue beating. Stir in the flour mixture until no lumps remain. Pour a little in the bottom of the cupcake liners. Form a small well. Put a scant teaspoon of jelly in each well. Add more batter on top to cover. Do not fill cups past 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Ingredients for Icing:

1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup milk

Fresh Raspberries for garnish

Instructions:

Cream the peanut butter and butter until smooth in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the powdered sugar alternating with the milk. Blend in the vanilla extract until smooth. Frost the cooled cupcakes and top with a fresh raspberry.

Confetti Corn Flake Cookies

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Joy of Eating: Confetti Corn Flake Cookies! Who wants to turn your day into a party? Me, that’s who. Have a pinwheel of fun when you make a batch of these crunchy sweet drop cookies that never touch the oven. Cook them on the stovetop in just a few minutes. Make this an after-school game plan with the kids and grandkids. As they lick the chocolate morsels from their nimble fingers, they’ll sing your praises!

CONFETTI CORN FLAKE COOKIES

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Karo syrup*

1/2 cup pure honey*

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups peanut butter

4-5 cups corn flakes

1 cup assorted dark chocolate, white chocolate, and butterscotch morsels

*1 cup of Karo syrup can be used, omitting honey OR 1 cup of honey can be used, omitting Karo syrup. Karo gives the cookies a “glossy/shiny” finish.

Instructions:

Over medium heat, combine the Karo syrup, honey, and sugar in a 4-quart pan. As it comes to a rolling boil, stir vigorously. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Gradually add corn flakes being careful not to crush them. Mix well. Gently blend in a portion of assorted morsels, saving some to use as topping. Line two baking sheets with waxed paper. Drop cookie mixture onto waxed paper by spoonfuls. Top with assorted morsels. Let cool before serving.

Peanut Buster Oreo Perfection

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? A Burst of Flavor: Peanut Buster Oreo Perfection! This icebox treat will satisfy every craving you have, as long as it’s for something cold, salty, and sweet. The Oreo cookie crust is amazing! The layer of fudge nestled between natural vanilla bean ice cream and fluffy light whipped cream is a lip-smacking delight for the palate. The best advice I can give you is… SHARE. Otherwise, you’ll be tempted to eat the entire pan.

PEANUT BUSTER OREO PERFECTION

Ingredients:

1 package of Oreo cookies

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 gallon vanilla bean ice cream

12 ounces of hot fudge sauce

1 cup Spanish peanuts

8 ounces of frozen whipped topping

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease bottom of 9″x13″ pan. Crush 24 Oreo cookies and mix well with the melted butter. Spread into the bottom of the pan making a thin, even layer. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Slice the ice cream and place in an even layer over cookie crust. Pour the hot fudge topping over the ice cream. Sprinkle peanuts over fudge sauce. Spread the whipped topping over all. Crush two more Oreo cookies and sprinkle lightly as garnish. Freeze overnight. Enjoy the perfection!