Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Balls

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Sometimes you just need a little chocolate. Trust me, I know.  For those moments, this recipe is your new best friend. Let me introduce chocolate peanut butter rice krispie balls (insert halleluiah chorus here).  This recipe is super simple, with only 5 ingredients and 20 minutes of work. What’s not to love?

I made this recipe recently for a bake sale, and then again as a gift for my a cappella group, and these little guys were devoured at each occasion. There’s a pattern here…these bad boys are delicious.

I would not consider myself a chocolate-peanut butter fan (shocking, I know), but I absolutely loved these. If the photos and two above paragraphs have not already convinced you it’s time to go buy an enormous blue box of rice krispies, hopefully that will. Happy cooking, good luck not eating these all in one sitting, and come back soon!

Love, a rented kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 4 ½ cups miniature marshmallows
  • ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • Melting chocolate*

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the marshmallows to the pan and stir until melted.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and rice krispies, starting with the peanut butter, until completely mixed.
  4. Let cool for ten minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Form the rice krispie mix into 1-inch balls and place on the baking sheet.
  6. Melt your chocolate and drizzle/dunk/pour over the top of your rice krispies. Allow the chocolate to harden, and try not to eat all of them in one sitting.
  7. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: approximately 60
  • In my grocery store I am able to purchase “candy coating” chocolate in a tray.  One can then microwave the entire tray and have melted chocolate in a few minutes! This type of chocolate remains very smooth in texture and hardens quickly- the perfect combination for this recipe! One tray was plenty for me, however if you prefer more or less/ do not have that as an option, regular chocolate chips will work as well!
  • Gluten free? Use Kelloggs gluten free rice krispies!
  • Source: Southern Curls & Pearls 
  • Like this treat? Try these other delicious snacks from ‘a rented kitchen’ as well! (Recipes below!)

Therapy Cookies (AKA Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Sea Salt Bites)

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Sometimes, the world can be really lousy.  We all have those days where getting out of bed is a struggle, or when everything that could go wrong does go wrong. Or days when you get a parking ticket, it conveniently rains every time you step outside, and your accidentally lock your self in your bedroom- all hypothetical of course.

On days like that, some people exercise. Rumor has it that sports are a good way to relieve stress. Others drink.  Rumor has it that also has stress relieving potential- that and increased rates of stupidity, the giggles, and nausea.

Others of us pull every ingredient with baking potential out of the kitchen cupboards, haphazardly mix them up in a bowl, add extra chocolate, and make these therapy cookies.

Can you guess which scenario I am?

I don’t always bake when I’m low, but when I am down, I tend to forget recipes for the trial and error game; always resulting in an enormous batch of baked goods, an excess of chocolate chips, and happy roommates.

These cookies are the perfect example of the above scenario.

I swore to myself that I wasn’t going to post this recipe.  The cookies themselves taste delicious, but because I came up with the recipe all by myself in the late hours of the night, they don’t fit the stereotypical texture or appearance of a ‘normal’ cookie, if there is such a thing.

However as the week went along (and by week I mean days), and I continued to munch on these therapy cookies, I realized that I actually liked these little guys too much not to post! The combination of chocolate, peanut butter, and sea salt satisfies every normal person’s craving of sweet and/or salty, so I had no good excuse to hold back.

Therefore, I present to you my favorite therapy cookies, for those no good, very bad, horrible days. Hang in there. The sun will come out, of this I must believe.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cup oats
  • 2 Tablespoon ground flax seed
  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon agave
  • 2/3 cup melted peanut butter*
  • ½ cup melted chocolate chips* + ½ cup un-melted chocolate chips for mixing
  • Sea salt for topping*

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a 13 x 9 inch cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the first seven ingredients in a large bowl, whisking together until thoroughly combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, coconut oil, and agave.
  4. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring as needed.
  5. Add the melted peanut butter and ½ cup melted chocolate chips to the mixture, stirring until completely mixed in.  Once mixed, fold in the room temperature chocolate chips.
  6. Using a spoon, drop small balls of cookie batter onto the lined baking sheet, and press each ball into a flatter circle using the back of the spoon.
  7. Sprinkle each cookie with sea salt and bake for 7 minutes. (The cookies will be soft, but are much better slightly gooey than too firm! They will hold up and continue to firm as they cool, however if you hate soft cookies [who are you?!], allow them to cook for a few minutes longer. I do not strongly advise this however.)

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Notes and Tips!:

  • To melt the peanut butter and chocolate chips, I simply microwaved them in microwave safe bowls for 20-second intervals, stirring in between each 20 seconds, until melted to satisfaction.  You may also melt the chips and peanut butter in a saucepot on the stove- whatever you prefer!
  • Do not replace the sea salt with normal table salt, it will not have the same affect. True sea salt has a stronger taste and comes in larger size granules, which positively affects both the image of the cookie as well as the taste!
  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • If you like this recipe, check out these other yummy treats by ‘a rented kitchen! (Click the links below for the recipes!)

 

 

 

Crunchy Peanut Butter Spinach

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I really am not a big fan of spinach.  It is something I have been working on, because I know it is extremely healthy for you. The truth of it is, I don’t mind using spinach in dishes (such as my Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Spinach and Cranberries) but I really have a hard time eating a raw spinach salad. Go figure.

I found this recipe in a cookbook my dad gave me for Christmas, and something about the ingredient’s list won me over (probably the peanut butter, let’s be honest). Next thing you know I’m cooking this enormous pot of spinach for myself- party of one.  It would have been very bad news had I not enjoyed the dish, because I had a lot of it. However, fortunately, I loved this spinach! I ate a third of it by myself for dinner one night, and quickly finished off the leftovers in the next few days.

If you are not a big spinach person, or if you are a big spinach person, I would encourage you to try this recipe! The crunch from the nuts paired with the chili powder and lemon juice provides an incredibly full flavor that is hard not to love. Go figure.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 12 black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 pound (450 g) spinach*
  • Junice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until softened.
  2. Add the garlic and crushed peppercorns to the pan and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. Rinse the spinach, and chop- removing any large stems in the process.
  4. Next, add the spinach, lemon juice, chili powder, salt and pepper, and half of the stock.  Simmer until the spinach has wilted.
  5. Combine the peanut butter and the remaining stock in a small bowl and whisk together.  Add to the spinach, combine well, and cook for an additional few minutes.
  6. Serve warm, and garnish with additional chopped peanuts on top as desired.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 2-4
  • Feel free to substitute other greens, such as kale, for the spinach as desired.
  • Source: Small Planet Small Plates Cookbook by Troth Wells

Above: Agave Sauteed Kale with Roasted Sweet PotatoesVegan Italian Vegetable Casserole, and Baked Kale Chips

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes

All right, I know the title says “cookie” in the name, so you are probably assuming this is not a healthy recipe- but read that ingredient list again! As far as healthy and filling breakfast options go, these pancakes are an excellent choice. With peanut butter for protein, flax seed for fiber, and banana and agave in place of a sweetener- you are without a doubt starting your morning off right! Or who’s to say breakfast for dinner isn’t a great idea?!

Regardless of when, I hope you do try these pancakes, and I hope you enjoy them as much as my house did. Pancakes for dinner might be just the thing for this cold rainy day. I’m just sayin’!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe medium banana
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed + 2.5 Tablespoon hot water)
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon canola or coconut oil
  • 3 Tablespoons almond milk (or sub other milk)
  • 1 Tablespoon agave.
  • ½ cup rolled oats*
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour*
  • ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat a skillet to medium heat (300- 325˚F) with a drizzle of olive oil in the pan.
  2. Prepare the flax egg by adding 2-3 tablespoons hot water to the ground flaxseed in a small cup. Allow the mixture to let sit for 3-5 minutes, or until gelatinous.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mash the banana with the baking powder.
  4. Add the agave, oil, salt, vanilla, peanut butter, almond milk, and flax egg to the bowl. Stir until completely mixed.
  5. Once the wet ingredients are combined, add in the oats and flour- stirring until just blended. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Using a ¼ measuring cup, pour small rounds of the batter onto the heated skillet and cook for 2-4 minutes on each side- until golden brown and cooked all the way through.

 

Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 5-6 small pancakes, serves 2
  • Gluten free: substitute gluten free oats and flour in for the rolled oats and whole wheat flour.
  • Vegan: use dairy-free chocolate chips instead of regular chips!
  • Feel free to substitute almond butter for the peanut butter! It has a more mild taste, but I always avoid almond butter due to a nut allergy in the house.
  • Source: Minimalist Baker
  • If you like this recipe, you should check out my Apple Spice Pancakes and Baked Fruit and Chocolate Oatmeal!

No-Bake Energy Bites

I think one of my favorite things to cook ever is snacks. I love snacks! I love having something quick, already prepared, and healthy to munch on as I go through the course of my day.  I have made a couple different granola bars as a result of this snack loving, but today I am bringing you something new, different, and entirely glorious. These little no-bake energy bites are not only super easy to prepare, but they’re versatile, healthy, and so yummy! This ingredient combination is my favorite way to make these energy bites, but feel free to adjust the recipe as you please. If you are allergic to something or prefer to use a different ingredient, go for it! The biggest thing to pay attention to is consistency- if you feel the mix gets too dry, add more peanut butter or honey. If the mix is too moist or runny, add more oats or rice cereal.  Whatever way you choose to do it, I’m confident you cannot mess these little guys up. They’re too good! Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed (or wheat germ)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (I used a variety of dark, semi-sweet, and butterscotch just for fun!)
  • ½ cup Peanut Butter
  • ½ cup Rice Krispy Cereal
  • 1/3 cup honey

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix completely (you may have to really work it!).
  2. Allow to chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator (not necessary, but helps in forming the balls).
  3. Roll the dough into balls, whatever size you like, and store in an airtight refrigerated container.
  4. Enjoy!

Notes and Tips!:

  • Adapted from ‘Gimme Some Oven’ food blog
  • Yield: 20-25 balls
  • Tip: do not substitute agave in for all of the honey, the other ingredients need the consistency of honey to help hold together.
  • Potential additional add-ins: chopped dried fruit (dates, apricots, etc), chopped nuts, other grains, or dried berries (cherries, cranberries, etc).
  • If you like this recipe you also should check out Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars and my Homemade Clif Bars!