Candy, Desserts, Recipes

Peppermint Bark Pretzels

Peppermint bark pretzels… a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

Peppermint bark pretzels... a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

In the continuing chronicles of “Sarah makes easy Christmas recipes” we have this winner of a recipe… Peppermint Bark Pretzels. Just like the Sweet and Spicy Pretzel Snack Mix from the other day, this easy recipe comes together in just a few minutes and tastes freakin’ AMAZINGGG. Yup, amazing! It was serious self-control that allowed these little bites to go from baking sheet to gift bag (aren’t they the cutest?! ALDI!) with only sneaking one or two. #scoutshonor

Peppermint bark pretzels... a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

If you love the salty-sweet combo, you’ll love these pretzels! They’re probably a little more on the sweet side since I made them with white chocolate AND peppermint candy cane pieces, but the salty pretzel totally came through too.

Peppermint bark pretzels... a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

I think chocolate dipped pretzels would be a great easy recipe to make with kids because they’re pretty foolproof and don’t require tons of precision to still taste good. Sometimes melting chocolate can be a little hairy BUT if you use either high quality chocolate OR those handy-dandy trays of almond bark, your results will be much improved. My little kitchen helper didn’t really help with these (he was more interested in running around the house with the spray bottle aimed at our naughty cat who cannot. leave. the. Christmas. tree. alone. to. save. her. life.) but he sure was enthralled with mama taking photos on the porch!

Peppermint bark pretzels... a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

If you need a last minute food gift for the teacher/babysitter/coach/neighbor in your life, definitely consider these! We made them for our son’s daycare teachers and paired them with a small gift card and a note. So easy and cute! Hope you enjoy… and MERRY CHRISTMAS, friends!

Peppermint bark pretzels... a delightful salty-sweet treat! Great for gift-giving, Christmas cookie platters, or a fun cooking activity with your kiddos. 

one year ago: Cranberry Dessert Pizza
two years ago: No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars
three years ago: Orange Spritz
four years ago: Baked Fish Tacos with Cranberry Salsa
five years ago: Cranberry Orange Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Syrup
six years ago: Classic Sugar Cookies
seven years ago: Cranberry Scones

Peppermint Bark Pretzels

  • Servings: 3 cups
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inspired by Yay for Food


  • 11 ounces good quality white chocolate – I used Ghirardelli white chocolate chips
  • 3 cups mini pretzels
  • 3-4 candy canes, crushed – I used a food processor


Line a couple baking sheets with wax paper.

Melt white chocolate chips according to package directions (typically, I use the microwave and heat for 30 seconds on 50% power, stir, then heat for 15 second bursts until melted). When chocolate is melted, dip the pretzels in to coat. Allow excess chocolate to fall off, then place on wax paper. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes, and repeat.

I didn’t worry about fully coating the pretzels, and once I got a good rhythm going I was able to dip a handful of pretzels, lay them out, sprinkle with candy cane pieces, and repeat. I had to reheat the chocolate once for a few seconds towards the end.

Since I used a higher quality chocolate and it’s chilly out, I didn’t have to place these in the refrigerator to set but if it’s warmer, that may be necessary. I forsee trying these in the future with other types of chocolate or even drizzling with a different type of chocolate or nuts. Yum! So many possibilities.


Oooey gooey chocolate cups stuffed with edible cookie dough! These little candies are dangerously addictive, friends!
Candy, Desserts, Recipes

Cookie Dough Cups

Oooey gooey chocolate cups stuffed with edible cookie dough! These little candies are dangerously addictive, friends!

Oooey gooey chocolate cups stuffed with edible cookie dough! These little candies are dangerously addictive, friends!

Happy Monday! Happy Monday after Thanksgiving. Back to routine… sigh. But today is a special Monday because we are celebrating! The lovely Kayle of The Cooking Actress is expecting a little boy soon… so some of her blogging friends decided throw her a COOKIE themed virtual baby shower. 🙂 Kayle always bakes the best cookies (and has a slight cookie dough obsession — her words, not mine…) so this theme is PERFECT!

Virtual Baby Shower

I decided to join the fun by making a no-bake cookie dough treat. Cookie Dough Cups are where it’s at, guys! Think peanut butter cups… but instead of peanut butter, you get cookie dough! These little bites are so easy to whip up and are SO delicious. Plus (and I did this just for Kayle and all my pregnant friends out there)… this cookie dough is absolutely 100% safe to eat by the spoonful. We all know that eating raw eggs, especially during pregnancy, is ill-advised but did you know that eating raw flour is also a hazard? Le sigh. So instead of making cookie dough with regular flour, I decided to make cookie dough with OAT flour. Just pulse some oats in a food processor… and presto! Oat flour. This makes the cookie dough a little less traditional, but the nutty flavor it adds is totally worth it.

Oooey gooey chocolate cups stuffed with edible cookie dough! These little candies are dangerously addictive, friends!

These little cookie dough cups would be great to have on hand throughout the holiday season when you need a sweet treat for guests, a unique addition to your cookie plates, or just for a portion-controlled pick-me-up. They are really easy to put together and store well in the fridge or freezer for a few weeks… if they last that long! You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now… so please make a batch soon. 🙂

Oooey gooey chocolate cups stuffed with edible cookie dough! These little candies are dangerously addictive, friends!

Congrats, Kayle! So excited for you. I know everyone says that girls are “sugar and spice and everything nice” but can I just say that little BOYS are also full of sweetness?? Not just snips and snails and puppy dog tails (whatever that even means)! My little boy is a boy through and through (hello trucks and dirt and messes galore) but he loves hugs, snuggles, and cuddles. So don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! I don’t know if anyone has, but now that I’m a boy mom I feel the need to share my pro-boy agenda with anyone who will listen. 🙂 So glad we could celebrate you today!!

Oooey gooey chocolate cups stuffed with edible cookie dough! These little candies are dangerously addictive, friends!

Be sure to scroll down to see what else was cooked up (ha ha ha) for this cookie themed virtual baby shower! 🙂

one year ago: Loaded Cornbread Waffles
two years ago: Mashed Potato Casserole
three years ago: Gingerbread Muffins
four years ago: Harvest Pear Crisp with Crystalized Ginger
five years ago: Teriyaki Meatball Bowls 
six years ago: Thai Peanut Ginger Chicken Wings
seven years ago: Blackberry Mustard Marinade 

Cookie Dough Cups

  • Servings: 12
  • Print

cookie dough recipe from Show Me The Yummy; method from my Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups


  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 12 ounces chocolate almond bark (or chocolate chips)


Set out 12 silicone muffin liners on a baking sheet, or line 12 muffin wells with paper liners.

With a mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in salt, vanilla, and milk.

With a food processor, pulse oats until they turn into flour, then fold into butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

Melt chocolate almond bark – I usually do this in the microwave, heating on 50% power in 20 second bursts. Stir well each time and be careful not to overheat. Spoon about 1 tablespoon into the bottom of each muffin liner. Then scoop a heaping 1 tablespoon of cookie dough on top. Press down to flatten, then top with a generous 1 tablespoon of chocolate almond bark.

Allow to fully set before removing from muffin liners, then store in the refrigerator or freezer. If you use chocolate chips instead of almond bark, you may need to allow them to harden in the refrigerator or freezer. You may have a little extra cookie dough or almond bark–enjoy eating it or scrape it together to make an extra cookie dough cup! Enjoy!


Also, check out the rest of the baby shower recipes made by my fellow hosts!

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies – by Confessions of a Confectionista

Cookie Dough Billionaire Bars – by That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Derby Pie – by The Spiffy Cookie

Chocolate Chip Rice Krispies Treat Cookies – by Pies and Plots

Eggnog Crinkle Cookies – by The Domestic Rebel

Cookie Dough Cups – by The Pajama Chef

Homemade Salted Caramel Oreos – by Eats with With Others

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – by Blahnik Baker

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


  • 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


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!

Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups |
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 |

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 |

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 |

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


  • 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]


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


  • 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
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!