Monday, December 10, 2007

Icey Weather

So a nice ice storm came over the Mid-West this weekend. I knew it was coming but the news always makes it out to be worse than it will be "ICE STORM 2007!" Puh-lease, its just some ice & snow. But, alas, they were somewhat right.
I spent Friday night making some baked goodies for our annual girls Christmas Exchange. I didn't believe those silly meteorologists. So I made cream cheese brownies & peanut butter chocolate bars.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Southern Living
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups vanilla wafers, crushed (about 45 cookies)
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup whipping cream

Beat butter and peanut butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add powdered sugar and vanilla wafer crumbs; beat until blended. Press mixture evenly into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking pan lined with wax paper.
Stir together chocolate morsels and whipping cream in a medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Spread evenly on top of peanut butter mixture. Chill 1 hour or until firm.

Remove from refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature 10 minutes or until slightly softened. Cut into 48 bars.

**These were great b/c they are no bake!! I put them in the wrong size dish so they were really thick, but still soooo good**

Cream Cheese Brownies
Cooking Light, December 2007
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
2 large eggs
Cooking spray
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 large egg white

Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1 3/4 cups sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH for 45 seconds or until melted, stirring once. Combine milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and eggs, stirring well with a whisk. Add chocolate mixture and milk mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended. Spoon batter evenly into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.

Place remaining 1/4 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, cheese, and egg white in a medium bowl; beat at medium speed until well blended using clean, dry beaters. Drizzle cheese mixture evenly over chocolate mixture; swirl batters together using the tip of a knife. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until batter begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

**For a little twist on this, & to make it a bit more holiday-ish, I used 1/2 tsp vanilla & 1/4 tsp of peppermint extract. **

So those forecasters were right & the party was rescheduled, but I had these delicious goodies!! (Thank god I didn't make the snickerdoodles & macadamia nut cookies too) So my husband & my lucky co-workers got some holiday snacks!!

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