As a youngster I loved the story of the spoiled young prince who traveled far and wide in search of the best tasting food in the world. Coming upon a woodchopper in the forest who assured him he could give him that food, he agreed to spend the day working with him. At the close of the day the woodchopper handed the prince a chunk of coarse crusty bread which the tired, famished prince eagerly consumed. Beaming with satisfaction he loudly proclaimed, “At last, I have found the best food in the world!
On the morning of the 9th day of Christmas, without any effort or searching abroad for it, I found the best cookie in the world! It was a scrumptious little chocolate peanut butter creation on a little plate on my desk with an attached note signed, “from a Christmas angel”… I felt just like the spoiled young prince.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ball Cookies
- Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, beat the brownie mix, butter, cream cheese, and egg. The dough will be a little sticky.
- Scoop the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet, making about 24 cookies.
- Smooth the edges of each to form a round cookie.
- In a separate bowl, mix the powdered sugar and the peanut butter until it is completely combined.
- Form the mixture into about 1 inch balls. Make sure you have one ball for each cookie. Set aside.
- Bake for the cookie dough 12 minutes, keeping an eye out to make sure the cookies doesn't overcook or undercook.
- As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, press a peanut butter ball lightly into the center of each cookie.
- The peanut butter mixture will soften slightly, but that is OK. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl for 45 seconds. Stir the chocolate and melt for additional 15 seconds or until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Spoon about 1/2 a tablespoon of melted chocolate on top of each cookie so it covers the peanut butter ball.
- Let the chocolate set. Store in an airtight container.
We are very blessed to have our own peach trees which yield an abundance of beautiful fruit……However, we never have too many. Whether eaten fresh and raw, or grilled, or in pies, cobblers jams or chutneys we never seem to tire of them, nor do our guest and retreatants. We love to surprise them with an unexpected breakfast of our mascarpone crepes embellished with a generous serving of fresh sliced peaches laced with fresh raspberry puree. The smiles on their faces as they savor each bite are as beautiful to behold as is the dish itself.
These creamy filled crepes are fun to make, beautiful ,to look at, and luscious to eat. One tip……..make a lot!
- Blend all ingredients for 30 seconds, scrape sides of blender; blend 30 seconds more. Refrigerate batter for 2 hours or overnight.
- Brush a 6 ½ - 7 inch crepe pan or non-stick pan with oil. Heat on medium until just starting to smoke.
- Set pan off heat and quickly pour 2 Tablespoons batter into middle of pan. Quickly tilt pan in all directions, until the entire bottom is covered in a thin layer.
- Return pan to heat for about 1 minute. Jerk the pan back and forth to loosen and flip over when the underside is nicely golden brown. Cook 30 seconds more or when there are brown spots.
- Repeat with remaining batter.
- Whisk together all ingredients. Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.
- Crush berries, add sugar till dissolved. Add Amaretto and mix thoroughly.
- Place ½ cup filling one each crepe. Roll up and top with fresh peaches and raspberry sauce.
Today I am looking out on a winter wonderland! We are in the midst of a blizzard that has dumped an amazing amount of snow as far as the eye can see. One of those days to sit by the fire with a hot cup of tea and a slice of warm Apple cranberry bread.
We still have apples in the refrigerator from our fall harvest which are in surprisingly good shape – the one I munched on while making this bread wasn’t fresh from the tree, but still crisp and sweet. We also were given a large quantity of cranberries from a local bog, so it seemed like a good use of the two to put them together in a quick bread. We are always looking for different morning snack ideas to serve at our community work time break. I tried a couple of different recipes and actually left the peels on the Apple’s to give the breads a little more texture. Here is one variety that I thought the most flavorful and moist.
- Heat oven to 350 degree F. Grease bottom only of an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan
- In large bowl, mix 3/4 cup sugar, the oil and egg.
- Stir in apple, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir in cranberries.
- Spoon batter into pan.
- In small bowl, mix 1 Tablespoon sugar and the cinnamon; sprinkle over batter.
- Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack before slicing.
- For glaze, combine confectioners sugar and half and half or milk, drizzle over bread.