National Peanut Butter Month

November officially became my favorite month for food! I mean seriously…this month celebrates both Thanksgiving and National Peanut Butter Month. Does it get much better than that? If you have been reading my blog for a while, you undoubtedly know my obsession with peanut butter infused desserts that are generally combined with chocolate and my favorite store-bought candies, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Reese’s Pieces. Since our apartment in Australia doesn’t have an oven (yes, I’m struggling to survive), we celebrated this month by eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on a daily basis, purchasing the most amazing peanut butter chocolate fudge in New Zealand, and drooling over the memories of our favorite peanut butter recipes (links below). How are you going to celebrate National Peanut Butter Month? Have a favorite peanut butter recipe or try one of mine below and love it? Leave a comment below, share it on my Facebook wall (here), or tweet it at me @MegEvent with the hashtag #peanutbutter!

Five of my favorite peanut butter recipes…

Cutest peanut butter inspired recipe goes to these holiday perfect Rudolph Cookies!

Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Balls – Perfect combination of salty sweet!

Reese’s Pieces Drop Cookies – A favorite candy mixed with peanut butter and Special K cereal (makes it healthy, right?)

Chocolate Heaven Cuffins – a muffin/cookie with a hidden Oreo or Reese’s surprise inside!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (image via the idea room) – perfection.

Chocolate Heaven Cuffins

Chocolate chip cookies?  Check!  Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?  Check!  Oreo cookies?  Check!  Brownies?  Check!  These “cuffins” (cookie/muffins) seriously have it ALL.  I’m in absolute chocolate heaven.  No surprise that I prefer the Reese’s filling over the Oreo layer due to the addition of the perfect touch of peanut butter but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t secretly eat every single one of the Oreo cuffins either!

Check out the queen of cuffins, Zayna, here!

Ingredients:

prepackaged chocolate chip cookie dough
Oreos or Reese’s (or both!)
boxed brownie mix
vegetable oil
eggs
water

Directions:

Into the bottom of each individual section of a muffin pan, flatten 1.5 squares chocolate chip cookie dough.  Place either an upside down Reese’s or an Oreo on top of the cookie dough followed by the prepared brownie mix.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Let cool completely before devouring removing.

Red Velvet Brownies

Once a month I join together with a few gal pals to partake in booze book club, a disguised excuse for us to eat appetizers, drink wine, and share life updates.  On Friday, I made these red velvet brownies with white chocolate buttercream frosting to share with the ladies, one who even stated “one of the best red velvet I’ve ever had”.  I apologize about the lack of quality and number of photos, I made these brownies quickly and took last minute pictures with my phone while at book club.

Ingredients:

for the brownies:
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 oz red food coloring
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

for the white chocolate buttercream frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 oz quality white chocolate, I used Ghirardelli
1-2 tbsp heavy cream

Brownie Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour an 8″ x 8″ baking dish.

2.  In a small bowl, stir together the cocoa powder, food coloring, and 1 tsp vanilla slowly until a thick paste without any cocoa remains forms.  Set aside.

3.  Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

4.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in the remaining 1 tsp of vanilla.

5.  With the mixer off, add in the cocoa mixture.  On medium speed, beat the two mixtures together until they are one consistent color.

6.  Slowly add in the flour and salt; mix on medium-low speed just until combined.  Do not over-mix.

7.  Remove the bowl from the mixer.  Using a rubber spatula, stir the batter once or twice to ensure all of the flour has been mixed thoroughly.

8.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the brownies.  Allow the brownies to completely cool in the pan on a baking rack about 45-60 minutes.  Frost brownies in the pan.

Buttercream Frosting Directions:

1.  Using a stand mixer and the paddle attachment, cream butter until soft and fluffy.

2.  Beat in the vanilla.

3.  Turn the mixer to low speed, slowly add in 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time allowing the sugar to mix in completely before adding more.  Once all the sugar has been added, beat on medium speed 30 seconds and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4.  Add in the melted white chocolate and beat on medium speed.

5.  On low, mix in heavy cream 1 tbsp at a time until frosting has reached your desired consistency.

***Recipe Source:  Smells Like Home***