Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter cookies are a favorite at the Bakehouse and today I decided to make them a little sweeter (and extra special) by tucking in Reese’s Pieces candies. The secret to making a more attractive baked cookie is to press the candy (or any add-on you like) into the cookie dough before baking. Doing this instead of mixing the candy into the dough will give you guaranteed placement of the candy and a bright, vibrant cookie that is just as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.  Not that these chewy peanut butter cookies need to look handsome to taste delicious but it sure doesn’t hurt. My kids like their Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter with a cold glass of milk. So that’s exactly what was waiting for them as an after school snack just like my Mom did for my brother and I. I remember the feeling of warmth and comfort to come home from school to a batch of freshly baked cookies. Something so simple, can mean the world to someone. Bake a batch for your favorite tikes or the proud peanut butter lovers in your life and watch their sparkly grins spread from ear to ear. Happy Baking ya’ll!

 peanut butter cookies

What’s great about baking with peanut butter is you don’t need to grease the cookie sheet or use parchment paper. The natural oils in the peanut butter will prevent them from sticking to the pan. It’s also the secret to a chewy and flavorful cookie.  

peanut butter cookies

This batch made two dozen cookies.  They were gone in seconds!  

peanut butter cookies

 The outside is crisp and the inside chewy.  The makings of a fabulous cookie indeed.

peanut butter cookies

We still had half a bag of Reese’s Pieces candy left.  We nibbled on them after the cookies were gone.  The cookies also make a great ice cream topping.  Just crumble on top of vanilla or chocolate ice cream and sprinkle the remaining Reese’s Pieces on too.  So unnecessary but sinfully sweet and delicious.

peanut butter cookies

 Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies

Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies
Kids love classic peanut butter cookies made with reese's pieces candy. Enjoy with a tall glass of milk!
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  2. 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  4. 1/4 cup shortening
  5. 1/4 cup butter, softened
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  8. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  9. 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  10. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  11. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  12. 1 10.5 oz bag reeses pieces
Instructions
  1. Mix sugars, peanut butter, shortening and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat just until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and add to peanut butter mixture. Stir until combined.
  2. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet. Place about 3 inches apart. Press 3-4 Reese's pieces into cookie dough balls. Dough does not have to be flattened first.
  3. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown on the edges. Cool 2 minutes on pan and then remove from to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Homemade Snickers bar

Lend Cupid a helping hand by making your own homemade Snickers bar for your sweetheart this Valentines Day. I came across this recipe while surfing Pinterest for sweet inspiration. Snickers is my all time favorite candy bar and when I stumbled on this recipe my heart skipped a beat. It’s the only candy I snag from the kids after Halloween. And It’s the only guilty pleasure I will allow myself to indulge in from time to time. This recipe was slightly modified from the Imperial Sugar website. Their fabulous confectioners sugar is one of the ingredients in the incredibly easy to make nougat filling. This is a time saving, delicious nougat recipe that is made with roasted nuts, confectioners sugar, fluff (marshmallow spread) and creamy peanut butter. That’s it! Don’t let the multiple steps in the recipe scare you. It only takes about 20 minutes to put together and it’s super easy. If you can stir and pour, you can make Homemade Snickers Bars. Think of it as layer upon layer of sinful indulgence (we’re talking peanut butter chocolate, caramel, creamy nougat and roasted nuts) just waiting to be devoured. Feel free to use any brand of chocolate chips you like best. Just remember the better quality of chocolate, the better tasting Homemade Snickers bar. Have at it folks…this one is a keeper.

homemade snickers bar  

homemade snickers bar

Once the bars are completely cooled and solid, use a sharp knife to cut into squares.  You can eat these with your hands just like the actual candy bar.  And big gigantic squares are best.  But if you want to be good, cut into fourths for bite size treats.  Just like Snickers mini’s.

homemade snickers bar

My favorite part is the creamy caramel.  Adding heavy cream to the caramel keeps it softer so its not hard to chew when you bite into it.   It’s a creamy, soft bite of decadence that is totally sinful yet still keeps it’s shape.  In other words, it isn’t oozing out of your snickers bar but it’s not hard and chewy like a regular individually wrapped caramel.   Simply perfect.

homemade snickers bar

and one bite will never be enough…just saying! Enjoy.

Homemade Snickers Bar

Homemade Snickers Bar
Serves 12
homemade snickers bar slightly adapted from Imperial Sugar website. Taste like the real thing only BETTER!
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used Nestle)
  2. 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  3. 7 ounces marshmallow fluff
  4. 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  5. 1 1/2 cups Imperial Sugar Confectioners Powdered Sugar
  6. 1 cup dry honey roasted peanuts (or plain dry roasted peanuts)
  7. 1 14 oz package individually wrapped caramels
  8. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  9. 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  10. 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
Instructions
  1. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place 1 cup of chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons of peanut butter in a small saucepan. On low heat stirring vigorously until melted, careful not to burn the chocolate.
  3. Pour melted chocolate in prepared pan and spread evenly. Place pan in freezer for 2-3 minutes or until hardened.
  4. Meanwhile, in a clean bowl place marshmallow fluff, 1/4 cup peanut butter and powdered sugar. With a wooden spoon or spatula stir until it forms a soft dough. I found it easier to use my hands for this process. Dough will become pliable and elastic. Remove “dough” from bowl and press with fingers on top of chocolate layer evenly.
  5. Sprinkle peanuts on top, gently pressing them in.
  6. In a small saucepan add about 2 cups unwrapped caramels and the heavy cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until melted. Immediately pour over peanuts, spreading it all over with the back of a spoon and working quickly as the caramel will harden.
  7. Refrigerate for 5 minutes until set.
  8. In a small saucepan, melt remaining chocolate chips and peanut butter stirring vigorously until smooth, as in step one. Pour over caramel layer, spreading evenly.
  9. Place pan in fridge for 10 minutes until chocolate is set.
  10. With a sharp knife, cut into bars.
Adapted from Imperial Sugar
Adapted from Imperial Sugar
Buttercream Bakehouse http://buttercream-bakehouse.com/

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First Birthday Party Ideas

A first birthday is a special time to go big and celebrate your amazing bundle of joy. The time goes by fast doesn’t it? I have four of my own and I remember the stress and time it took to plan the perfect bash for my angels. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but some of us Mom’s need it to be for our own peace of mind. Back then, I didn’t have blogs and Pinterest to inspire me to create a magnificent show stopping bash. You are lucky, because the days of choosing a theme from a party catalog and paying a high price for paper, preconstructed decorations are over. These birthday party ideas give a clever and detailed homemade approach to styling a special birthday party with love, creativity and pride. This post will be your springboard to start planning a perfect party. Everything from the cake, to outfits, color schemes and decor, the list goes on. Whether you want to go big or go home or keep it sweet and simple there is something here to inspire you and get your creative juices flowing. Whatever your plans are, your baby’s first birthday will be a day filled with love and laughter and sweet memories to last a lifetime. Give your birthday baby a big kiss from Buttercream Bakehouse and happy planning!

 

First Birthday Party Ideas! 

first birthday party ideas

A decorated garland and party hat dresses up a highchair for the birthday baby.  From Hostess with the Mostess

first birthday party ideas

Shop Etsy Taddletell Shop for the cutest Birthday girl dresses that are just as sweet as can be.  Take a look and swoon.

first birthday party ideas

Shop Etsy Stacybayless and dress up the baby boy in your life for his big day.  Birthday suits are photo worthy and endearing.

first birthday party ideas

Popsugar shares a very “Hoppy” First Birthday party theme.  I love the personalized cookies.

first birthday party ideas

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Preppy Whale First Birthday Party from project nursery .  The colors of this boys birthday bash are deep, rich and bright.  You have to take a look at the stunning pictures of the rest of the house for this party.   Everyone and everything is perfectly coordinated.  Thrilling!

first birthday party ideas little-blue-truck-dessert-table

Hostess with the Mostess  has a ton of first birthday party ideas and this one for a little blue truck birthday theme caught my eye.  I don’t think it’s a secret I love red and blue together.  This theme is cheerful, creative and too cute for words.

 

Fancy Cakes for inspiration

first birthday party ideas

Pink Cake Box is one of my favorite cake decorators.  Check out Ann’s blog for more cake ideas.

first birthday party ideas

Stunning black and hot pink cake for a diva girls birthday.  Flickr- unknown source.

Simple cakes to make at home

first birthday party ideas

Pinterest- unknown source Boys sprinkle birthday cake

first birthday party ideas

The Sweetest Occasion- easy birthday cake

first birthday party ideas

Lemon Sugar- Ombre cake

first birthday party ideas

first birthday party ideas

Buzzfeed- Simple Birthday cake toppers.

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Zebra Cake- vanilla chocolate

zebra cake chocolate vanilla

You may have noticed, I’ve been busy baking lots of cakes at the Bakehouse lately.  It’s an attempt to skillfully craft additional recipes for my collection in hopes that someday I’ll have enough tried and true recipes to open my own bakery.  I do plan to crawl out from behind my computer and leave my home kitchen someday.  And when I do, a brick and mortar storefront is just where I want to be.  A girl can dream and this girl (with high hopes and many obstacles) can make it happen…maybe!  But for now, I want to share this sweet zebra Valentines Day cake with you.  The inside is a surprise zebra design that screams “I’m wild about you”.  It’s a marble cake (vanilla and chocolate) that is made to look like a zebra print using a simple technique of layering small portions of vanilla cake batter on top of chocolate cake batter.  I am not a measurer but more of an eyeballer kind of baker.  My zebra print didn’t turn out as fabulous as others I have seen so if you want your zebra stripes to be more uniform and pristine, you’ll want to take the application and measuring of the zebra print making process much more seriously than I did.  I could have done better.  I admit it.  

zebra cake chocolate vanilla

If  you love marble cake, you’ll appreciate the texture of this cake.  I personally find marble cakes to be a bit dense.  This is due to the intentional over-mixing of the chocolate batter portion that you make mixing vanilla batter with cocoa powder. To me it’s more of a pound cake texture that really is fabulous if you love pound cake and since this recipe uses vegetable oil, it’s super moist.  

zebra cake chocolate vanilla

To make the Zebra stripes, start with the vanilla batter.  Scoop three Tablespoons into the center of the prepared pan.  Do the same with the chocolate applying it in the center of the vanilla batter and alternate. This will ensure a more pristine and evenly baked stripe.

zebra cake chocolate vanilla

Apply buttercream in a generous amount, evenly to top and sides of cake.  

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Using your spatula start at the bottom and lightly press the spatula against the cake as you turn the cake plate.  This will create a line.  Repeat just above previous line until you reach the top of your cake.

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You’ll notice a build up of buttercream at the top edge.  Don’t worry…you will smooth that out with the spatula.

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Holding your spatula at an angle and starting at the very edge of the cake, press down lightly and slide across top of cake.  Repeat around the entire top of cake.  Careful not to remove too much buttercream from the top.

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Once your edges and top are smooth.  Make the same swirl on the top as you did on the sides.  Start at the edge and work your way to the center as you turn your cake plate.  No worries if you mess up. Just smooth out lightly (careful not to remove anymore buttercream) and start again.  

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This plain Jane cake needed something special…

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And so I gave it some love.  I rolled out red fondant and used a small heart shaped cookie cutter to make this adorable fondant heart.  It screams I LOVE YOU!

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The final reveal.  It’s a Zebra print.  Kind of.  But you get the idea.  Oh, and it’s tasty too.  Happy Baking!

Zebra Cake

Zebra Cake (vanilla chocolate)
Serves 8
A fun vanilla and chocolate striped cake with luscious vanilla buttercream.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup granulated sugar
  2. 4 large eggs
  3. 1 cup whole milk
  4. 1 cup vegetable oil
  5. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  6. 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  7. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 3 tablespoons dutch process cocoa powder
  10. Vanilla Buttercream;
  11. 4 sticks unsalted butter
  12. 4 cups confectioners sugar
  13. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  14. 4 tablespoons whole milk
  15. pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8 inch round baking pans with baking spray made with flour.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes. In a liquid measuring cup combine the oil, milk and vanilla. Slowly add to the sugar and egg mixture on low speed until blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to remove any lumps. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients. Beat on medium speed 1-2 minutes or until the batter is smooth. Be sure to scrape down the bowl halfway through mixing.
  4. Remove 2 cups of the vanilla batter and place it in the measuring cup you used for the liquid ingredients. Add the cocoa powder to the batter, and stir until fully combined and no lumps.
  5. For the stripes; Using a Tablespoon, add 3 scoops of the vanilla batter into the center of the cake pan. Next, spoon 3 tablespoons of the chocolate batter into the center of the vanilla batter. This causes the vanilla batter to spread out. Continue to alternate batters, in bulls-eye fashion until all batter is used. You will now have thin rings of each batter on the outer edges of the pan, thicker rings towards the center.
  6. Bake the cake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the cake is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost with vanilla buttercream.
  7. For buttercream;
  8. On medium to high speed beat butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly add confectioners sugar on low speed. Scrape down bowl and raise speed to high and beat until whipped about 2 minute. Switch to paddle attachment and beat on low speed while adding the milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth and fully combined. Add a pinch of salt if needed. This cuts down the sweetness. If needed, add more milk or more sugar until desired consistency.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Buttercream Bakehouse http://buttercream-bakehouse.com/
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