Chocolate Crunch Bars

Light, crispy and chocolaty these bars are easy to make. They are kind of like a traditional marshmallow crispy rice treat, but not as chewy or dense. No soy, natural peanut butter, allergen free chocolate chips, put this recipe in the good for you category.

Ingredients:

1 10 ounce package Nestlé Toll House chocolate chips

2 tablespoons Smucker’s Natural peanut butter

1 tablespoon coconut oil

4 cups rice cereal

1 cup mini marshmallows

What to do:

In a large microwavable bowl, melt first three ingredients till just melted. Stir smooth and fold in the rice cereal and marshmallows. Pour mixture onto a large parchment lined cookie sheet and chill in the frig for an hour. When the chocolate has set up cut into bars. Store in an air tight container in the frig. Makes about 2 dozen.

I’m enjoying my chocolate crunch bars with a mug of lemon, ginger tea. Like my mug? It’s locally made: Beacham Hill Pottery from Magnolia, Mississippi.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

One More Cookie Recipe

Playing in the kitchen this afternoon, I really wanted to make peanut butter fudge, but the milk was out of date. A search through the pantry found no canned milk. An experiment was in order and Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies was whipped up.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated white sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Colored sprinkles, about 1/2 cup

A couple tablespoons extra granulated white sugar

1/2 cup or so of powdered sugar

What to do:

Preheat oven to 325°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixer bowl, combine butters and sugars, till fluffy. Add in the all-purpose flour and mix on low speed at first, then increase the speed till everything is incorporated and the dough forms a ball.

Divide the dough in half. Wrap one half in parchment and keep in the freezer for another day. Roll the other half into 1 inch balls. Pour sprinkles in a shallow dish and roll the dough balls in the sprinkles. Place sprinkle coated balls 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheets. Dip a small glass dipped in the granulated sugar and flatten each cookie ball. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then roll each warm cookie in the powdered sugar.

This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies. They are crispy and have a great flavor. I used red and green sprinkles, because it’s Christmas time, but you could change it up depending on the season.

With Christmas on a Saturday this year, it gave me an extra day off from work. Cookies and coffee this afternoon were a welcomed pause; a little respite to sit and reflect.

Blessings for a sweet Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Counting Cookies

I found myself counting, when making cookies this afternoon. Counting when I rolled the shortbread, after dusting them with powdered sugar, and again when room had to be made on the wire rack to cool. Twenty-four all three times. There was some dough saved and rolled into a log, then wrapped in parchment. It went into the freezer for easy cookie baking later in the holiday season.

Fall Shortbread today; modified a recipe I shared last year: August Cookie of the Month: Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Instead of chopped pecans and dried cranberries, I added some sprinkles shaped and colored like Fall Leaves.

I counted twenty-three cookies, when arranged in the vintage Louisa glass serving piece. How’d that happen? Had to taste test, don’tcha know? Powered sugar coated thumbs up! Perfect, if I do say so myself.

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The idea from Pinterest seemed promising, but I’m calling this a fail. Our little pumpkin patch fun takes place tomorrow afternoon. Hoping the activities that are planned will go off better.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Rainy Weekend; Not Complaining

One chimney is out of the farm house. Friday sand mortar was shoveled into buckets and dumped into the driveway. The old bricks were thrown out a bedroom window: I’ll deal with them later- September, maybe. I kinda felt like Cinderella, cleaning out the old fireplace, until I saw the nest complete with mummified mouse! I screamed like a girly-girl!

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Saturday the rain drizzled off and on all day. Not complaining. We’ve had a two month drought and the rain was most welcomed. That morning also brought able hands to hang sheet rock in two bedrooms. I am so thankful they work cheap.  A slow cooker of chili, homemade cornbread and honey pralines were their payment.

The rain has continued. What to do on a rainy Sunday evening? With work, church activities and farm house renovations, I am up against the clock. But my family will be expecting Christmas cookies. The Hallmark Channel playing in the background, I busied myself in the kitchen.

I made two batches of cookie dough. Recipes on the back of toffee and chocolate chip bags are excellent and easy. Here’s a time saving tip: lightly coat big squares of parchment paper with vegetable spray, divide the batches of cookie dough onto the paper and press and roll the dough into logs. The vegetable spray keeps the cookie dough from sticking, of course. It’ll  be a sinch to remove the dough from the parchment, when it’s cookie baking time.

Mark the outside of the cookie dough rolls with precise descriptions of what is in the cookie dough. (I have a nephew with food allergies and I try to be very careful in what I make, when I know he will be coming to visit.)

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Five rolls of cookie dough went in the freezer for baking later in the month: Two Peanut Butter Heath Toffee and three Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip-sans nuts.

Christmas blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.