Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

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If there is one truth in the universe that everyone can agree on, it’s that chocolate and peanut butter is a holy combination. A divine duo, if you will. Any dessert utilizing this decadent pairing will be an inevitable hit. It’s science!

Unless, of course, you happen to be allergic to peanuts, in which case I offer my most sincere condolences. It truly is that good

Which is why today I have yet another PB/chocolate recipe for you all today (see chocolate party bark, no-bake pb & chocolate cereal bars,  classic puppy chow, peanut butter chocolate chip banana bread,  peanut butter cup cheesecake bars, baked peanut butter cup s’mores dip) Chocolate-stuffed peanut butter cookie cups!

That’s right. 

Chocolate-stuffed peanut butter cookie cups. 

Chocolate stuffed peanut butter cookie cups

A chewy, rich, peanut-buttery cookie, cooked until golden and soft, filled with creamy milk chocolate and garnished with a drizzle, should you so desire. Goes well with a tall glass of milk and a smile. 😉 

As if that weren’t good enough, these bad boys get even better–there’s only six ingredients. That’s it! Right now, you are five ingredients away from your own chocolate-stuffed peanut butter cookie cups. All they take are a cup of peanut butter, a splash of vanilla, a cup of sugar(s), one egg, your milk chocolate of choice, and a tablespoon or so of coconut oil. 

You probably have all of those ingredients in your pantry, too. Simple and delicious. That’s how I like ’em!

To make these, you combine the peanut butter, sugars, and egg in a medium bowl, mixing until fully combined. The dough for these is rather sticky, so I recommend either chilling the dough for an hour or two before baking, or rolling the dough after running your hands under water so they’re slightly wet. It helps the dough to not stick so much!

You then put about a tablespoon of dough into each mini muffin pan divot, pressing it into the sides to leave room for the chocolate. Once that’s complete, you melt your chocolate and combine it with the coconut oil, which gives the chocolate a smoother, creamier texture without affecting the taste. You then add in your desired amount of chocolate into each cookie cup, leaving some for garnish. 

With the remaining dough, you seal the tops of the cookie cups, stamp with a fork to make the signature peanut butter cookie crosshatch, and then bake for fifteen-twenty minutes until the edges are golden and the middles are set. 

Now comes the tough part. 

You have to let them cool  c o m p l e t e l y  before taking them out of the tin, or the melted chocolate will cause the cookie cups to fall apart. Once you do get them out of the pan, however, you can drizzle with the remaining chocolate and enjoy with a tall, cold glass of milk. 

I can practically taste it now. 

Let’s get to it, shall we? 😀

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Chocolate Party Bark

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Hello, lovelies! I come to you on a bright Saturday morning with an equally bright, colorful recipe (and a fun name to boot!)–chocolate party bark.

That’s right, folks. 

A smooth combination of some good ol’ Ghiradelli semi-sweet and dark chocolate over crunchy, salty pretzels, and topped with a motherload of all things sweet and salty–popcorn, peanut m’n’m’s (not advised if you have a peanut allergy :P), sprinkles, and, of course, some peanut butter (which, as I found out, does not freeze. It kinda just stays peanut-buttery). 

Par-tay, amiright? 😉

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So I call this party bark for two reasons: 

1. Because of all of the texture and flavor and craziness that’s going on in one little snippet of this bark, it’s like a party in your mouth *cue party emojis*.

2. This kinda combines all of the snacks you’d find at a social gathering–a.k.a. a party–in one go–you’ve got your salty snacks covered with the pretzels, the quintessential popcorn, and your sweet treats (the m’n’m’s and the chocolate). It’s kinda mindblowing if you think about it–so much crammed into something so simple. 🙂

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Random tangent, but on the topic of things that are mindblowing, I found this website that puts everything in perspective, if you know what I mean. Not in the moral way where you realize how you literally have no real problems because there are kids going hungry in the world while you’re sittin’ here with a bowl of party bark at your fingertips–

Ahem. There’s a time for all of that, but that time is not now. Back to perspective. 🙂

It’s in the physical aspect, meaning that this website takes very smallest piece of matter known to man (the proton nucleus of a hydrogen atom, if you were interested) and the largest thing we know of (the observable universe, naturally) and puts both of these on a sliding scale with everything in between, from the Statue of Liberty to the Virgo Supercluster to a blue whale. It’s mind-boggling to me just how huge everything is and, at the same time, how there’s practically a separate universe underneath our fingertips that’s microscopically, almost inconceivably small. I love this kind of stuff, and thought I’d share it.

If you want to check it out, you can find that website here, and a video from Buzzfeed with a similar mind-boggling theme here. I recommend both! 

Now. 

If you’re anything like me, after watching these, your mind is utterly melted and you’re stumped by the complexity of it all. So, to give our fried brains a break, let’s get back to something a bit simpler–party bark! 

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Like I said, these are pretty darn simple to make–you’re looking at all of the ingredients you’ll need right here (minus the peanut butter. I added that later. Oh, and the sprinkles, too!). To make these, you need a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, a bowl filled with 3 cups of your favorite chocolate chips (I used a combination of semi-sweet and 60% dark), some popcorn, a bag of pretzels, a handful of m’n’m’s, and some colorful sprinkles to make it look pretty. All you gotta do is melt the chocolate, line the parchment paper with a couple of pretzels, pour the chocolate over the pretzels, making sure it’s smooth, even, and not too thick, and then top with whatever you please until your heart’s content. You then pop it in the freezer for oh, half an hour or so, and bam. Chocolate party bark. 

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I mean. 

Can we just. 

Glorious. Simply glorious. 

Before we get into the recipe, I’d like to say something about the PB. I don’t recommend using it, because it doesn’t freeze right, and though it tastes delicious, it feels kinda greasy when you’re holding a piece. I’d recommend using white chocolate or something instead. That’s all. 😀

So. Let’s get into it, shall we? 

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No Bake Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cereal Bars

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These, my friends, are a classic. Growing up, no Christmas Eve party, or visit to Grandma’s, was complete without a heaping plate piled with dozens of these bad boys. In my family, we call them Nana Bars, after my great-grandma. They’re chewy, peanut-buttery base is slathered with a rich chocolate-butterscotch layer that keeps you coming back for more (and more!). Make ’em once, and soon you’ll find yourself making them at every possible occasion. 😉

Like I said, they’re a classic! 

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The real reason I made these was because my younger sister wanted to bring them to school as her birthday treat (happy birthday, Annie!) , but I made a couple extra as a little treat to myself for getting through finals week. 

It was a lo-o-o-o-ng week, but I now have absolutely no homework, so I guess it’s kind of nice. 🙂

 It is because of this fact (and a four-day-long weekend!) that I am able to bring this blog post to you, folks. Thank the school system that puts finals after (?) Christmas break. 

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One of the (many!) things I love about these bars is the little twists hidden in the simplicity of them. The main flavors are chocolate and peanut butter, but underneath that you’ve got a swirl of butterscotch and the syrupy shift the peanut butter has thanks to the Karo syrup. When you bite into one, the chocolate layer is smooth and creamy, and the rice crispie part is crunchy and chewy and all things delicious! All of the flavors and textures meld together into a bite size square that arranges just so nicely on a plate. Perfect for a party! 

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As the name says, they’re no-bake (you won’t need your oven), adding to their simplistic charm even more–although me, being me, managed to make them as complicated as I could (I may have set an oven mitt on fire. Shhhh). But seriously, you can make a pretty good sized batch in less than an hour with only 6 ingredients, a microwave, and a fridge. I’d call that impressive, no? 😀

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You’ll start with a cup of light-colored Karo syrup and a cup of granulated sugar. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but these are kind of a dentist’s worst nightmare–they’re exquisitely cavity-inducing. Cut ’em small, and you’ll be fine, right? Everything in moderation!

Anywhoo, mix those two together in a large bowl and microwave them until they’re melted together. You’ll then stir in a cup of peanut butter until it’s all melted together in a sugary concoction of deliciousness. It smells (and tastes) like the inside of a Reese’s peanut butter cup…

Go ahead. 

Try it. Lick the spoon or something (but please don’t put it back in!). 

No judgment here! 😉 

In a v-e-r-y large bowl, you’ll measure out 5 cups of plain rice crispies, and mix in the peanut butter mixture until all of the cereal is evenly coated. After that, press the rice crispies into a parchment-paper lined 9″x13″ dish. It should look a lil’ something like this. 

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The rice crispies on the edges might be a little crumblier than the ones more towards the center of the dish, but that’s all right. The chocolate layer on top will smooth out those rough edges!

The above-said chocolate layer is so simple that I managed to catch an oven mitt on fire while making it. To make it, you literally need to take a bag of butterscotch chips and a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and melt them together in the microwave. Bibbidy-bobbidy-done

Instead of using the microwave, the little voice inside me that thinks its a culinary expert of some sort made the decision to melt them over the stove top, y’know, using a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water? Uh-huh. In trying to hold the hot glass bowl still with an oven mitt so I could stir, the oven mitt got tangled up in the fire and…well…

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Long story short, just use the microwave. Your poor oven mitts will thank you!

After you’ve got your butterscotch-chocolate mixture evenly stirred together, you’ll pour the chocolate over the rice crispies and smooth it over with a rubber spatula until all of the cereal is coated in a thick, glossy layer. 

Voila.

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Be still my beating heart. ❤

Then you’ll take this bad boy and pop it in the fridge for, oh, half an hour or so, until the chocolate layer is set. Watch an episode of Criminal Minds, get some laundry done, maybe finish up that English project you’ve had over a month to do–or do all three, like me! 😀

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Once they’re chilled and set, you can slice them into 1″x 1″ squares, so cute and perfectly bite-sized that they’re (almost!) guilt-free. 🙂

Alright, not really, but a girl can dream, right? 

Shall we get into it? 

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Special thanks to my grandma for giving me the recipe—they’re such a classic in my family, and I’m glad I can make them whenever I want now! Love you, Grandma!

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Classic Puppy Chow

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Alrighty.

I have a confession to make.

I had never tried puppy chow until last night. 

Sure, I’d seen the recipes on Pinterest and various food blogs and bake sales but I’d never actually eaten it.

Until last night.

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My fabulous friend (who on SGL I will refer to as Lizzardbacon 😉 ) had a party and set a bowl of puppy chow out for everyone to eat. Earlier I’d mentioned to her that I’d never tried it and she practically barricaded the bowl until I’d had a bite or six.

Oh. My. Goodness. 

What have I been waiting for?

It is delicious.

I’m sure you already knew that, though.

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I mean, the ingredients are literally chex cereal, chocolate chips, peanut butter, butter, and sugar. It’s got to be flippin’ irresistable!

If you know anything about me, I’m a sucker for anything peanut butter-related, so of course I was going to try the original recipe.

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Funny story. So I was at CVS earlier and just happened to see a box of Rice Chex. Am I the only one who didn’t know CVS sold cereal? Or is this a new thing? 😛

I’m sure you’re all pretty familiar with how to make puppy chow (or Muddy Buddies, in some cases) but if you’re not, I’ll run through it real quick. You’re welcome. 😉 puppychow12

In a large bowl (and I mean jumbo-sized bowl. I used the biggest one I had and still had spillage. Consider yourself warned!) measure yourself nine whole cups of some Chex cereal (I used Rice Chex, which are GF, and am trying to justify eating as much as I have by saying they’re GF. Good job, Grace.) or you could just use the entire box. Whichever’s easier.

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In a medium-sized bowl, you’ll add in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, 1/4 cup of peanut butter (oh yes!), and 1/4 cup of regular butter (salted or unsalted). Pop that in the microwave and melt in 20 second intervals until the mixture is smooth and stir-able.

Once it’s a melty, chocolaty, peanut-buttery concoction of pure deliciousness, you’ll pour that over the bowl of Chex cereal. I used a rubber spatula to combine it all–this is where you’ll need a big bowl, or else some major spillage will be in your future. Once the cereal’s all coated, you’ll pour it in a gallon-sized bag and add in just over a boat load of powdered sugar.

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Now comes the fun part! 

Shake that bad boy until it’s allllll coated in powdered sugar.

And then–

you eat it. All of it. 

Because once you have a taste, you’ll need more. And more. And then more. 😀

Yay!

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Let’s get to it, shall we? (Mostly so I can eat more!)

What you’ll need… (this makes a large batch!)

  • 9 c. Chex cereal
  • 1/4 c. peanut butter
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 & 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  1. In a very large bowl, measure out the nine cups of Chex. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the peanut butter, the regular butter (salted or unsalted is fine), and the chocolate chips. Pop in the microwave and melt in 20 second intervals until the mixture is smooth and easily stirred. Add in the vanilla.
  3. Pour the melted mixture over the Chex cereal and coat evenly.
  4. Dump the chocolate-coated Chex into a gallon-sized seal-able bag. Add in the powdered sugar and seal the bag. Shake vigorously until all of the Chex is evenly coated in powdered sugar.
  5. Enjoy!

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Original recipe here

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S’Mores Pockets

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Oh yes. 

It’s that time of year again!

Weather’s warmer, hair’s frizzier, skin’s tanner, days are longer, and life gets better.

It’s summer!

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I feel like I said something similar when I posted one of the pumpkin recipes earlier, in the fall…

And now I’m saying it for summer.

Goodness, what happened to this year? Is anyone else a little alarmed at how quickly its gone? june

A little outdated, but I saw this on Pinterest and totally agreed. Those Teenager Posts, man. They get me. 😉

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So, since it is already June, why not bring about a summery (sort of) recipe? And it is here that I bring up the delectable things you’re seeing in the photos above–s’mores pockets!

Ah!

Velvety chocolate and mini marshmallows are sandwiched in between a flaky pastry and drizzled in gooey chocolate and crumbled graham crackers.

Did I mention there’s a peanut butter version, too? 😀

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Ohhhhh, brother…

And that pastry isn’t horrible for you! I mean, it’s not made of kale and flax and infused with acai berry and antioxidant-rich minerals buuuuut it is egg-free & butter-free. And vegan! Now, the filling on the other hand…

Let’s face it, if you’re going to eat a s’mores pastry, you’re not really looking for the healthiest option, now are you? So let’s just not get into the nitty-gritty. 😉

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When you’re making these, you’ll start by making the pastry, which will be quite crumbly. You’ll mix it up and put it in a plastic baggie, squish it into a ball, and roll it flat, all in the bag. You’ll then pop that in the fridge for oh, half an hour or so, to keep it from getting too crispy-crunchy when you bake it.

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Once it’s chilled, you’ll cut apart the plastic baggie and cut out some squares. I got six medium-sized squares and two mini squares out of the dough with a bit left over that I couldn’t do anything with. You’ll then place the chocolate chips & marshmallows mainly in the center of one of the squares so that they don’t leak out while baking. Taking the square of dough you’ll use to top the one covered in the filling, roll it out so it’s a bit larger than its opposite. This helps to better seal the edges so none of your yummy filling leaks out!

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You also might want to poke air holes with a fork to help ventilate the pocket.

Now, when you bake marshmallows inside something, they sort of expand into sugary nothingness–they don’t stay all marshmallowy and gooey. It’s sort of like sticking a marshmallow in the microwave, how it expands and all. If you’d prefer it to stay, I recommend using marshmallow fluff. De-licious!

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Once these babies are done baking, drizzle them in melted chocolate (and peanut butter, if you wish 🙂 ) and crumbled graham crackers. They taste best served warm, so eat them straight out of the oven or pop ’em in the microwave for a few seconds before eating. 😛

Let’s get into it, shall we?

What you’ll need…

For the pastry:

  • 1/2 c. & 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 packet of Truvia (or an extra tbsp. of honey)
  • 1 tbsp. milk of choice
  • 2 tbsp. coconut or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp. honey

For the filling & drizzle:

  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate chips
  • 1 sheet of graham crackers
  • Peanut butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, salt, and Truvia together in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, mix together the milk, oil, vanilla, and honey. I recommend doing it in that order so the honey doesn’t glop up the measuring spoons.
  3. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry and stir well. The dough will be crumbly.
  4. Using a plastic baggie, place the dough in and seal it. Work the dough into a ball and roll it into a thin sheet.
  5. Place in the fridge and chill for at least twenty minutes. Once it’s done, cut into squares and pair them up. Place one square out of every pair onto the greased baking sheet.
  6. If you would like, smear peanut butter over the dough square. Place the chocolate chips and marshmallows towards the center of the squares before topping with the opposite square. Cinch closed with your fingers or a fork. Poke holes with the fork as well.
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes. While they’re baking, melt some of the chocolate chips and the peanut butter. Drizzle freshly baked pastries with chocolate (and peanut butter) and crumbled graham crackers.
  8. Enjoy warm! 🙂

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Inspired by this recipe here

 

 

 

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Easy-Peasy Peanut Butter Frosting Spread

Creamy, swirly, soft, buttery-sweet peanut butter spread.

It’s like regular ol’ peanut butter’s more fabulous cousin.   

Do I have you drooling over your keyboard yet?

And the best part is, it’s super-duper easy!

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And *drum-roll* I developed it myself!

It tastes delicious spread on toast, chocolate-chip banana bread, cupcakes, or waffles. The possibilities are endless!

What you’ll need…

4 tbsp. milk of choice (I used almond milk. I don’t recommend low-fat or skim, just because it will make the overall spread watery)

2 & 1/2 heaping tbsp. peanut butter (Creamy or chunky)

2 tsp. powdered sugar

1 & 1/4 tsp. liquid sweetener (I used pure maple syrup, but other sweeteners like honey or agave would work too!)

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and slightly mix them together (it will be sticky, don’t worry).
  2. Microwave on high for about 30 seconds. (If you don’t like the microwave, heat in a small saucepan on low heat until mixture combines, stirring occasionally).
  3. Stir, stir, stir! It’ll look funky coming out of the microwave, but when you stir, it will take on a creamier texture.
  4. Enjoy! For thicker frosting, add another 2 tsp. of powdered sugar.

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For chocolate-peanut butter frosting, mix in a teaspoon of cocoa powder or hot cocoa mix and 2 teaspoons of mini chocolate chips. Yum!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Hello again, old friends. 

I finished the last of the free seasons of Doctor Who available through Amazon Prime this morning, which was the first part of the seventh season.

I’m not quite sure how normal life goes on anymore. 

What…what do I do? Without the Doctor? No Matt Smith?

No Ponds? 

For all my fellow Whovians out there, you’ll understand when I say I was not emotionally prepared for the Ponds leaving. 

For all my readers who aren’t Whovians, imagine this–an episode being totally & happily resolved, and then you look down and see that there’s 15 minutes left in the episode. Then, you watch as a character you’ve watched grow, the one you’ve seen in their brightest moments and in the throes of utter despair, disappear. And then, after a tearful farewell to the man who’d shown them the stars, his wife bravely joins him, breaking the Doctor’s two hearts. Totally unannounced, totally unexpected.

Yep.

Darn you, Moffat. 

So I needed some baking to take my mind off of the Ponds–& I spotted some bananas on the counter that had gone freckley.
3…2…1…banana bread! 

After a quick scouring of the internet & the cupboards, I found the perfect recipe that was easily adaptable to my, shall we say, preferences. Yum!

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You will definitely eat this whole thing in one sitting because you love this bread. It’s super easy, super moist, & super fluffy.

What’s not to like?

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When it was baking, it smelled so good. The bread bakes up nice & puffy, with these little crinkles that are to die for! (As you can see, the powdered sugar made an appearance– again).

The recipe makes one loaf of bread as supposed to most banana bread recipes, which make two.

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(Shown here with my easy-peasy peanut-butter frosting spread)

So, how is it so moist & fluffy, you ask? What sorcery is this?

Good question! Some (oh-so-delicious) peanut butter & (my brother’s favorite) sour cream turn it from dry ol’ bread into fluffilicious goodness in loaf-form. Don’t worry, the peanut butter flavor isn’t very prevalent & can easily be replaced with almond or regular butter.

What you’ll need…

1 & 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour, divided into 1 & 1/4 cups and 1/4 of a cup

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon (or a full teaspoon, if you have a cinnamon fetish, like me!)

2 freckley Bananas, slightly mashed

1/4 cup Peanut Butter

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1 Egg

1/2 cup Coconut Oil or Canola Oil (I used coconut)

1/2 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar

1/2 tsp. Vanilla

1 cup Chocolate Chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease one 9×5” loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 & 1/4 cups of the flour, as well as the baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside for later.
  3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the mashed bananas, peanut butter, sour cream, (lone) egg, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla until well blended, about 2 minutes on low speed.
  4. Slowly add in the flour mixture by spoonfuls while beating on low (like the lowest setting) until just blended.
  5. Toss the chocolate chips in with the leftover 1/4 cup flour, to help prevent sinking, and add into the banana-flour mix.
  6. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Depending on how “done” you like you banana bread, bake between 50 or 55 minutes.
  7. Cool for 10 extra minutes before removing from the pan & slicing. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, or smear some peanut butter frosting spread on top.
  8. Enjoy!

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Adapted from this recipe here.

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