Archive for May, 2011

May 22, 2011

Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Bars

I have a fondness for peanut butter and chocolate. They both hold a special place in my heart…and stomach…and my thighs…eek!  So when I signed up to bring a dessert to a BBQ we were planning on attending today, I baked a batch of these cream cheese peanut butter squares.

Luckily, the rain stopped and held out for the entire afternoon so we were able to sit outside and visit a little…after the hockey game was over of course. Go Canucks! Oh wait, who am I kidding…I could care less about hockey..hehe

Anywho…here’s the recipe for anyone who would like to try a mouthful of soft peanut butter cookie,with chocolate and fluffy peanut butter filling. This is a revised Betty Crocker recipe that I’ve altered to my liking. The original recipe calls for a package of store-bought peanut butter cookie dough mix, which I’m sure would be tasty, but I didn’t have that on hand, so I baked my own recipe. Also, the original recipe called for broken cookie crumbs as the topping, and that didn’t sound as tasty as Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, so I altered that as well.


Peanut Butter Base:

  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar (yellow sugar)
  • 1/4 cup demerera sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling 1:

  • 1 1/4  cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4  cup butter or margarine

Filling 2:

  • 1  package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3  cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4  cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2  cup whipping cream


8 -12 Peanut Butter Cups, chopped



  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a 13×9 inch pan with parchment paper, or spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter and peanut butter until smooth.
  3. Add both sugars and the egg, whip until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift all the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix until a soft dough forms.
  6. Press the dough into the pan, flatten lightly with your hands or spatula.
  7. Bake the cookie base for approx 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.
  8. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Filling #1:

  1. In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and butter – uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and stirred smooth.
  2. Spread evenly over bars. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.

Filling #2:

  1. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer on low-speed to combine the cream cheese, peanut butter, icing sugar and whipping cream until blended. Beat on high-speed for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Spread cream cheese mixture over chocolate layer using a small metal spatula.


  1. Open the packages of peanut butter cups, chop them into small pieces on your cutting board.
  2. Sprinkle them evenly over the cream cheese layer. Press in lightly.
  3. Cover with lid or seran wrap and refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.

**Serves: Approx 24-36 bars, depending on how large you slice these.

**Because the filling contains cream cheese, you need to store these bars covered with a lid or seran wrap, in the refrigerator.

Not only did they look good, they tasted great!



May 20, 2011

Cookie Glaze

Pink Ribbon Cookies. I know, I know, I’ve posted these in the past for a sugar cookie recipe, but I wanted to share them because I used a smaller cookie cutter and added some pink edible glitter this time.  I was happier with the cookies I made last time using my own parchment stencil, I wasn’t a fan of this new cookie cutter, it kept bending, and the middle portion would fill up with dough, so I had to use a knife to clean it out continually. No fun.

These cookies were baked for someone special, a co-worker’s wife actually. Him and his wife bring the hard-working hospital staff a treat every few weeks when his wife has a treatment. This week, he requested breast cancer ribbon cookies. A few of them were plain pink, but I wanted to play with some edible glitter, so 2 dozen of them were sparkly goodness.

This cookie glaze can be used for piping and filling in cookies, or simply dipping them. I like the piping method. For these specific cookies, I used royal icing to pipe a border and then I used the pink glaze to fill them in. It dries glossy and non-sticky, so you can stack them in little gift packages if you let them sit out for a few hours after decorating.


  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup SIFTED icing sugar, give or take a couple of tablespoons depending on the consistency you want. If you don’t add enough sugar, the glaze will be too runny and the cookies will take a lot longer to dry.


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, add the corn syrup, milk and vanilla extract, stir together.
  2. Add the icing sugar 1/4 cup at a time, so you don’t have icing dust coating your kitchen cupboards. 😉   (I use a hand mixer for this because it’s such a small amount, and it’s easier to make sure the glaze is smooth and evenly combined.)
  3. If your glaze is too thick, try thinning it down with additional light corn syrup, 1 tbsp at a time.
  4. Add any food colouring you desire, starting with 1 drop. If using gel colours, use a toothpick to scoop it into the glaze.
  5. If you want to use the glaze to outline the cookies, you will need a thicker consistency, so scoop 1/4 of the glaze out and add some more icing sugar unti it has thickened enough to hold it’s shape.
  6. For filling in the designs, scoop the thinner glaze into piping bottles or bags with a #2 or #3 tip and decorate away.
  7. If you’re careful not to over-whip the glaze, you won’t have to worry about air bubbles in the cookies.

Optional Step: (But how could you not want to)… Add some edible glitter! When the glaze is just about dry, sprinkle on some edible sparkles. The type I used is really fine and glittery, and it’s called Disco Dust. I purchased the baby pink colour. It’s a small jar, and a tad bit expensive, but it goes a long ways! You could pinch it and sprinkle on with your fingers, but I find that dipping a small paint brush and tapping the handle on my wrist, while holding the brush over the cookies, gives an even covering.

disco dust on cookies

p.s. One batch of glaze covered about 2 1/2 dozen sugar cookies.

breast cancer cookies



May 16, 2011

Easy Butterfly Sugar Cookies

I’m not a huge fan of decorating cookies with a knife and icing. I like to whip up a batch of Buttercream Frosting [see below for recipe], fill a piping bag that’s fitted with a small star tip, and decorate away!  These butterfly cookies are really easy to make, and you can use a variation of tips to design them. I find the star tip is easiest for beginners, it  fills in the gaps without looking messy.

buttercream icing 

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream, or 2% milk
  • 1 tsp white vanilla extract (Watkins or Wilton brand, if possible)


  1. Using an electric mixer, combine the butter, whipping cream and vanilla. 
  2. Add the sifted icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
  3. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate the icing smoothly.
  4. Whip the icing until it’s fluffy and smooth. 
  5. Add desired colouring.
  6. Scoop some icing into a piping bag with your chosen tip and decorate your cookies however you like!

I like to use a plain#3 or a star#20 tip to outline my cookies with white icing, then I add a different colour to the remainder of the icing and pipe it on using a star tip (#18).

Try it!


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