Candy, Desserts, Recipes

No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars

Addictive, sweet, chewy, easy no-bake bars. Can you go wrong with marshmallows, peanut butter, butterscotch, and graham crackers? I don’t think so! You need to try these… and SOON.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars... can't go wrong with these easy, delicious treats!

I am always more ambitious with holiday baking, decorating, and cards than is ultimately reasonable. Case in point: this year I made our Christmas cards. Half got sent out earlier this week, the other half will [hopefully] go out this weekend. Sorry family, your cards were last. Ha. To compensate for the card making extravaganza of 2015, this year we decided not to get a tree… mainly because Isa the kitten would probably climb it and knock it down. Seriously, that cat has mad climbing skills. She scampers up the support poles in our living room like they’re nothing [and they already have a rustic look to them, so I’m not concerned with kitty claw marks. If she was destructive towards our furniture, that would be another story. I have no tolerance for that!]. The world is this kitten’s toy, and a tree would be no exception. Hopefully next year she will have matured a wee bit! 🙂 One area that I haven’t skimped in so far is Christmas baking! I made a mess of the kitchen many times over last weekend, and this weekend will be no exception. The best treat I made–by FAR–were these fairly unassuming looking No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars... can't go wrong with these easy, delicious treats!

Brown food never looks that appealing to me, so don’t let the photos turn you away from these babies. If you make one new last-minute sweet treat this Christmas season, let THIS be it. They’re every bit as ooey gooey, sweet, and fantastic as they sound. The ingredient list is short and sweet: butter, peanut butter, butterscotch chips, marshmallows, and graham crackers, and the preparation is incredibly easy. Melt, stir, spread, refrigerate, cut, eat, and enjoy.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars... can't go wrong with these easy, delicious treats!

This treat is well worth the sugar rush, I promise… and with one batch making an entire 12×18 inch jelly roll pan full of these yummy bars… you’ll have enough to feed the neighborhood and yourself for days. 🙂 I’m seriously pondering making another batch this weekend just to have “extras” around! Word of warning though, especially for those of you experiencing higher than average temperatures: these can get pretty soft at room temperature so plan ahead to store in the fridge… they are delicious cold!

one year ago: Orange Spritz Cookies
three years ago: White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies
four years ago: Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
five years ago: Eggless Cookie Dough for Snacking

No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars

  • Servings: 12x18 inch jelly roll pan
  • Print

adapted from my friend Susan and How Sweet Eats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cups peanut butter [I used 2 cups regular, 1 cup no-stir, non-refrigerated natural peanut butter — Peter Pan brand that’s pretty good for baking]
  • 1 – 11 ounce bag butterscotch chips
  • 2 – 10.5 ounce bags mini marshmallows
  • 4 cups graham crackers, roughly broken
  • sprinkles, optional

Directions:

In a large pot set over medium-low heat, melt together butter, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips. Stir constantly until everything melts–about 8-10 minutes. If a few chips are stubborn, that’s okay.

Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. While mixture is cooling, line a 12×18 inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Alternatively, you could use a 9×13 inch pan for thicker bars, or even some mini muffin cups greased well or lined with paper liners [but I haven’t tried these options].

Stir in 1 bag of marshmallows and half of the graham crackers until all are incorporated, then stir in remaining marshmallows and graham crackers. Turn out onto jelly roll pan, then use a spatula to press flat and smooth out. Top with sprinkles if desired, then refrigerate for 1 hour to set. Cut into small pieces and store in the refrigerator before serving. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups | thepajamachef.com
Candy, Desserts, Recipes

Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups

Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups combine my most favoritest flavors in a perfectly addictive, rich candy treat! 

Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups | thepajamachef.com

If you like pumpkin pie, or chocolate, or peanut butter, you will LOVE these little bites. They are the absolute perfect blend of pumpkin and everyone’s favorite chocolate-peanut butter treats. I just can’t get enough of them! Except that I can. They are so rich and full of delicious [and SIMPLE] ingredients that one is more than enough. Until a couple hours later. 🙂

Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups | thepajamachef.com

Whenever I can, I love to keep these no-bake peanut butter cup bars in the freezer. One day I was stressed and REALLY needed one of those bars. They’re good, but they’re uber sweet. Plus, it’s pumpkin season. Soooo, I chose one of the many recipes on Pinterest and hoped for the best. I love pumpkin but I just wasn’t sure how it’d go with peanut butter, ya know? Turns out… pumpkin + peanut butter + chocolate = LOVE x a zillion. 🙂 The filling tastes like a creamy, nutty pumpkin pie. I’ve never had pumpkin pie with chocolate, but now I’m tempted to add peanut butter to my pumpkin pie filling and drizzle it with chocolate syrup. It’s crazy talk, I know, but these are just SO good. You’ve gotta try them… they’d be a great secondary dessert for Thanksgiving or a great weeknight snack. 🙂 Enjoyyy!

Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Mixed Vegetable Mornay 
three years ago: Crockpot Saucy Italian Chicken
four years ago: Monster Cookies

Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups

  • Servings: 10
  • Print

from The Lean Green Bean

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter [I used natural creamy but anything would work]
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup [or other liquid sweetener like honey or agave]
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • pinch of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1+ cup chocolate chips [I used milk chocolate but semi sweet or dark or white would work too]

Directions:

On a small baking sheet, place 10 silicone muffin liners. Alternatively, you could line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners – but I think silicone works better for candy if you have it.

Stir together pumpkin, peanut butter, maple syrup, chia seeds, and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. In another small bowl, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips for the base in the microwave. I always melt chocolate on 50% power in 20 second bursts, stirring in between, and always stop when some of the chips are still separated so as to not burn it. When you stir vigorously it melts them in.

Place 1/2 tablespoon of the chocolate in the base of each cup. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin mixture on top of chocolate in each cup,  gently pressing down with a spoon to create a disk.

Melt remaining chocolate, then cover pumpkin layer with chocolate. If you run out of chocolate feel free to use more–I just barely had enough.

Freeze the cups for 30-40 minutes, then store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Candy, Desserts, Recipes

Pretzel Buckeyes

I first was introduced to Buckeyes–chocolate covered peanut butter balls, by another name–by college friends. I went to undergrad in Ohio and found out very soon into my freshman year that Buckyes are the state treat, named in obvious tribute to the Ohio State Buckeyes. I became pretty obsessed with Buckeyes [the candy, not the team] pretty much immediately and made them frequently for friends and family back home. I mean, what’s not to love about chocolate and peanut butter?

Fast forward a few years to when I met Ben. The first thing I ever learned about him was his allegiance to Ohio State. Good, I thought. He’ll like Buckeyes. How could he not?

You can imagine my dismay when I learned on our first date that he wasn’t a fan of peanut butter. Or ranch dressing, but that’s a matter for another time. I couldn’t imagine life without peanut butter, so I held my breath and asked the question, “how do you feel about Buckeyes?”

Fortunately, he answered correctly. Turns out the combination of peanut butter and chocolate works for Ben and makes peanut butter palatable. If it didn’t… well, let’s just say our third anniversary might not be happening soon.

Just kidding.

I never thought I would say this, being the diehard Buckeye fan that I am, as evidinced in the aforementioned early dating conversation… but as of this past fall, I have found an even better version of Buckeyes than the original.

Think a creamy peanut butter center, sandwiched between two crisp pretzels, topped off with a refreshing dunk in semi-sweet chocolate. Sound good? Meet Pretzel Buckeyes, my new love and yours. They have an absolutely addicting salty-sweet combination that can’t be beat!

And if your [human] love doesn’t like ’em… well, more for you! These are reallyreallyreally good, but I don’t recommend ending relationships over them. 🙂

Pretzel Buckeyes [from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar + extra
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • Pretzels
  • 12 ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions:
Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside. Then, beat together peanut butter and butter with an electric mixer until well combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl, add powdered sugar and brown sugar, and beat again until full mixed. You’ll need to be able to form balls with your hands without it sticking, so if the mixture is too sticky, add more powdered sugar as needed. I added about 1/4 cup extra, so add what you need to and mix together.
Then, roll peanut butter mixture into balls of about 1-2 teaspoons each and sandwich between two pretzels. Place on prepared baking sheet and repeat until peanut butter mixture is gone. Place baking sheet in freezer for 30 minutes.
When nearing the end of the 30 minute period, melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, then remove from heat. Dip each pretzel sandwich halfway into the melted chocolate and return to baking sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate is set.
Time: 45 minutes.
Yield: 4-5 dozen.
Notes: These freeze well [if there are any left!] so don’t even think about making a half batch. You’ll want ’em all, I kid you not!
Candy, Desserts, Recipes

Candy Corn Pretzel Bites

I know it’s after Halloween. Candy corn season is finito, at least til next fall. But in case you need something to do to fulfill any sweet/salty cravings that come your way while finishing up the last of the clearance/leftover Halloween candy, here’s a great option.

You’ve got your layer of salty square pretzel [the best pretzel shape, in my opinion] covered with a layer of chocolate and topped off with the sweet refreshment of pure sugar candy corn. Or autumn corn. Or pumpkins. Or even caramel candy corn. Yes, it’s just as good as it sounds. Try it this weekend or file it away for next fall, this is a treat that will be on my list for years to come!

Candy Corn Pretzel Bites [from Baking and Creating with Avril]
printable version

Ingredients:

  • Pretzels
  • Hershey Kisses
  • Candy Corn

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with alumnium foil or parchment paper. Place pretzels on cookie sheet and top with a Hershey Kiss. Bake for 4-5 minutes. Chocolate should be barely shiny–much longer and it will get gross [technical term here, folks]. Press candy corn into chocolate and let cool before enjoying or storing in an air-tight container.

Time: 15 minutes.

Yield: varies.

Candy, Chicken, Desserts, Main Dishes, Recipes

Saturday Dinner: Football Style

when you can't have Chipotle... make your own!

Dinner: Homemade Chipotle Bowls

  • Spinach
  • Chipotle Lime Rice
  • Black Beans
  • Spicy Rubbed Chicken [boneless, skinless chicken breast rubbed with chili powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, cumin, freshly ground lemon pepper, and garlic… drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and baked at 325 for about 30 minutes]
  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Fresh Avocado
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
  • Trader Joe’s Smoky Peach Salsa <— the best jarred salsa I’ve ever had!
  • Cilantro
  • with green Tabasco sauce for Ben!
yum!

Dessert: Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

recipe to come… but pretty similar to these delicious treats 🙂

Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend!