Bonus Post: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

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An era ended earlier this month, but unless you were walking through Rittenhouse Square on Monday evening two weeks ago, you would have missed it. We marked the occasion with picnic blankets, cocktails, a delicious dinner, and boisterous laughter. It was Lauren’s last book club meeting.

Lauren founded our beloved book club and has provided us with as many scrumptious culinary creations as thought-provoking literary insights. (In fact, you may remember her referenced as one of my favorite Philly foodie friends in a previous post.) She’s a kindred spirit with a huge heart,  infectious laugh, an an insatiable appetite for peanut butter!

I brought these Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars to our picnic to add the sweet to our bitter. I’m just glad Lauren loved them as much as we’ve loved getting to have her in Philly for a few years. :)

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Click Here to Print This Recipe.

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  • 1.5 cups almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Filling:

  • 1.5 cups peanut butter
  • 4.5 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4.5 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup of reserved filling mixture
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Instructions:

For the Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 6×9 baking dish with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all crust ingredients.
  • Press mixture into bottom of prepared baking pan.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is light brown and firm to the touch. Cool completely.

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For the Filling:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine peanut butter, coconut oil, and honey.
  • Remove 1/2 cup of mixture and reserve in a small bowl for topping.
  • Stir in chocolate chips to remaining filling mixture; spread onto cooled crust.
  • Place baking dish in freezer for 20-30 minutes or until filling is firm.

For the Topping:

  • Stir cocoa powder and honey into reserved filling mixture.
  • Melt 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon coconut oil; mix with peanut butter mixture.
  • Spread chocolate topping on semi-frozen bars. Refrigerate to firm.
  • Store bars in the refrigerator.

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This recipe was adapted from Living the Nourished Life.

Bonus Post: Irish Soda Bread

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St.Patrick’s Day is tomorrow, and there’s still time to make this Irish Soda Bread! Though traditionalists will tell you that what we call Irish soda bread bears little resemblance to the traditional Irish bread developed in the 1800s, one thing hasn’t changed — butter is always slathered on the finished product liberally. :)

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon orange zest
  • 5-6 ounces raisins
  • For basting: 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter and 1/4 cup buttermilk

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a large baking sheet; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Cut in 1/2 cup butter.
  • Stir in 1 cup buttermilk, egg, vanilla. Add raisins and orange zest.

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  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round loaf and place on prepared baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup melted butter and 1/4 cup buttermilk. Brush loaf with mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an X into the top of the loaf.
  • Bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Continue to brush the loaf with butter mixture every 15 minutes.

Image-188 This recipe was adapted from allrecipes.com

Bonus Post: Pink Grapefruit Whoopie Pies

Whether you’re baking for a lovebird or a lonely heart this Friday, these Pink Grapefruit Whoopie Pies — sweet and tart — are perfect for Valentine’s Day!photo-99

Ingredients:

For the Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Zest of 1 pink grapefruit
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup fresh pink grapefruit juice
  • 3 drops red food coloring

For the Filling

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 
 Zest of 1 pink grapefruit
  • 
3/4 cup fresh pink grapefruit juice

Instructions:

For the Cookies:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) baking sheets.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and zest; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine milk, grapefruit juice, and vanilla; set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, alternating with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the flour.
  • Gently mix in food coloring.

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  • Drop 2-3 tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. (Leave 2 to 2 1/2 inches between each cookie if using traditional cookie sheet.

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  • 

Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes; transfer to a rack to cool completely.

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For the Filling:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter, powdered sugar, and grapefruit zest on medium speed.
  • Add grapefruit juice, increase speed to medium high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.

Putting It Together:

  • Pipe filling onto bottom of one cookie, top with a second cookie, and gently press together to form a sandwich.
  • Roll in sprinkles, if desired.

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This recipe yields 15 whoopie pies.

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