Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Baking and Holiday Plumbing

Last weeked I had the oppotunity to bake some things for the upcoming holiday get togethers Brian and I will be attending.  I actually had the house to myself for a night, so it was the perfect time to get my cook on!  Brian was down in Emporia doing part of the bathroom remodel- plumbing to be exact.  He got a lot of practice sweating pipes, fitting joints, fixing termite damage, etc.  Look at the great plumb job:



So while Brian was plumbing I was baking.  I made three different treats- Oreo Truffles, Salty Nutty Peanut Bars, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Crunch.  They are all very, very good.

Oreo Truffles
1 package Oreo cookies (not double stuffed)
8 oz. cream cheese
2 8 oz. packages semisweet baking chocolate, melted

Crush cookies to fine crumbs using a food processor (or however you want) and place in a medium bowl.  Add the cream cheese and mix until well blended (you shouldn't see any white from the cream cheese or oreos).  Roll the cookie mixture into about 42 balls, 1" in diameter.  Dip the balls into the melted chocolate and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet.  Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Salty Nutty Peanut Bars
Cookie Base
1 pouch Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mix
3 T vegetable oil
1 T water
1 egg
2 cups dry-roasted peanuts (salted)

1 bag (10 oz.) miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1 bag (10 oz.) peanut butter chips (1 2/3 cups)
2 cups dry-roasted peanuts (salted)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray bottom and sides of 13x9 pan with cooking spray.  In large bowl, stir all cookie base ingredients except peanuts until soft dough forms.  Press dough in bottom of pan.  Sprinkle evenly with 2 cups peanuts; press lightly into dough.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes until light golden brown.  Cool 30 minutes.

In 3-quart saucepan, heat marshmallows and butter over medium-low heat, stiring frequently, until melted.  Stir in peanut butter, milk and peanut butter chips until smooth.  Immediately pour marshmallow mixture over cookie base; spread evenly.  Sprinkle evenly with 2 cups peanuts; press gently into marshmallow mixture.

Refrigerate about 1 hour until firm.  Cut into bars.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Crunch
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 sticks plus 1 T unsalted butter
One 16 oz. jar creamy peanut butter
3 cups crispy rice cereal
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups confectioners' sugar

Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.  In a medium saucepan, melt half the chocolate and 1 T of butter over low heat; stir in 1 cup peanut butter, then 2 cups rice cereal.  Spread the mixture evenly in prepared pan; refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.  Wash out the saucepan.

In the saucepan, combine the remaining 2 sticks butter and the salt; melt over medium heat, stirring.  Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining peanut butter and the confectioners' sugar.  Spread half of the peanut butter mixture over the cereal layer.  Top with the remaining 1 cup cereal.

In a small bowl, microwave the remaining chocolate at medium power until melted, 1.5 minutes.  Stir into the remaining peanut butter mixture.  Spread evenly on the cereal-topped peanut butter layer; refrigerate until set, about 45 minutes.  Cut into 16 pieces.

Later on this week I will be baking a pecan pie for Christmas dinner and preparing spinach artichoke dip for an appetizer.  Yummy!  I love the holidays simply for the excuse to eat all kinds of wonderful food.


  1. If you have any of these left over, you can bring them to the New Year's party!

  2. Maybe I want to keep them all to myself.... or I can be nice and share them. You'll just have to wait and see.