Recipe—Triple Chocolate Parfait

DivaDiCucina_TripleChocolateParfait

Last weekend we celebrated the hubby’s 35th birthday. (Happy birthday babe!) I wanted to make him a fabulous dessert but he is not much of a cake guy. You may remember this from last year when I shared a recipe for Snickers Cake. He does however like chocolate so I threw together these triple chocolate jars of goodness and they were a real hit! You have the nice cakey layer from the Oreos, a thick rich chocolate pudding layer, and then the Cool Whip combined with pudding creates a lite and airy chocolate mousse. Layer upon layer of tasty goodness! And I am totally loving desserts in mason jars. One of our guests couldn’t finish hers so we just threw a lid on it and she took it home for later. Super convenient and and so cute!

Note: This recipe will make enough to fill four 12 oz mason jars (pictured) or six 8 oz mason jars. These can be made a full day in advance. The Oreos take on a nice cake like consistency the longer they sit. 

INGREDIENTS
5.9 oz box instant chocolate fudge Jell-O pudding
3 1/2 c milk
8 oz container Cool Whip
20 Oreos, crushed

STEPS

  • Prepare instant pudding per package instructions using the milk.
  • Place pudding in fridge and chill for 20 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl stir together the container of Cool Whip and about half of the prepared pudding until well combined.
  • Place a heaping spoonful of the crushed Oreos in the bottom of your serving dishes and then top with a couple of tablespoons of the pudding, followed by a couple tablespoons of the Cool Whip mixture.
  • Repeat until the containers are full making sure to finish off with the crumbled Oreos.
  • Chill until ready to serve.
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Recipe—Raspberry Turnovers

Raspberry Turnovers

Over the summer my mom was coming for a visit and I was trying to think of something fun that we could do outside. I decided to take her, my husband, and son berry picking at Patrick’s Mountain Grown Fresh Berry Farm. It was a total blast!

My gorgeous mom and son in the berry field.

My gorgeous mom and son in the berry field.

My little man in the berry field. I think he ate more than he picked.

My little man in the berry field. I think he ate more than he picked.

We ended up picking 12 pounds of delicious raspberries and blackberries.

Twelve pounds of fresh berries ready to be eaten, baked, and canned.

Buckets of fresh berries ready to be eaten, baked, and canned.

Within 24 hours of picking we made raspberry jam, blackberry jam, blackberry ice cream, blackberry cobbler, mixed berry hand pies, and these tasty raspberry turnovers. (Don’t worry, I will eventually get around to sharing all of those fabulous recipes.) We ended up making these for breakfast and oh my goodness were they tasty! The perfect balance of sweet and tart. While it may not be berry season right now, you can most certainly find some at your local market. So please, give these a try. They are the perfect treat for breakfast or dessert.

My little man devouring a raspberry turnover for breakfast.

My little man devouring a raspberry turnover for breakfast.

Note: If you don’t think you will eat these all in one sitting, no need to waste. Just freeze some of them! They freeze great and can easily be baked at a later date. Just place any extra unbaked turnovers on a wax paper lined sheet and freeze for at least an hour. Once they are frozen solid, transfer them to an airtight bag or container. When you are ready to cook them just place them on the parchment paper lined baking sheet for 15–20 minutes and then bake as directed below.

INGREDIENTS
1/4 c flour
1 package puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
1/2 c raspberry jam
1 1/4 c fresh raspberries
1 egg
1 tbsp water
2 tsp sugar

STEPS

  • Spread the flour around your work surface and unfold the puff pastry sheets.
  • Cut each sheet into either 4 or 9 squares. It just depends how small or large you want your turnovers.
  • In a small bowl mix together the jam and raspberries.
  • Place an even amount of the raspberry filling in the center of each square of puff pastry.
  • Fold each puff pastry square in half diagonally gently pinching around the edges to seal.
  • Carefully transfer the turnovers to a parchment paper lined baking sheet as you finish them making sure they are at least an inch apart.
  • Using a the prongs of a fork carefully press down along the unfolded edges “crimping the pastry dough.
  • Whisk together the egg and water and brush the egg wash over the top of each turnover.
  • Sprinkle the top of each with a little bit of the sugar.
  • Using a small paring knife cut one slit in the top to help with venting.
  • Place your baking sheet in the freezer for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350º while the turnovers are chilling.
  • Once they are finished in the freezer and your oven is preheated bake them until they are a nice golden brown, about 18–20 minutes.
  • Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe—Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Truffles

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Truffles

This recipe is definitely an oldie and a goodie. The first time I made these was over 20 years ago when I was a Brownie. We made little boxes of these for our moms for Mother’s Day. (My mom was our troop leader so this is actually her recipe.) These are great for any occasion as individual truffles but you can also have fun with various shapes. Occasionally on Easter, my mom would make us homemade peanut butter eggs. I actually did that this Easter for my son’s teachers.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Easter Eggs

These are super easy to make and they blow Reese’s out of the water! Come on, you know anything with peanut butter and chocolate is going to be delicious. It is a fun and easy recipe to make, so get the kids involved. What kid doesn’t like to get in the kitchen and use their hands? I hope you and your family love these as much as mine.

Note: Finished truffles should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. My hubby thinks they are best when frozen.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp butter, softened and divided
3 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 lb powdered sugar
24 oz bag of semi sweet chocolate chips

STEPS


  • In a large mixing bowl beat together the peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of the butter, corn syrup, vanilla, and whipping cream until well incorporated.
  • Add the powdered sugar to the bowl, and using your hands mix until everything is completely incorporated.
  • Pinch off bite size pieces and roll into balls. As you finish the balls place them on a wax paper lined baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  • Once the balls are frozen, in a medium microwave safe bowl combine the chocolate chips, the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and 2 tbsp of water.
  • Microwave the chocolate for 1 minute.
  • Remove the chocolate from the microwave and beat with a fork. If there are still chunks, continue microwaving and stirring in 30 second increments.
  • Once your chocolate is smooth allow it to sit on the counter for a minute.
  • Dip each frozen ball into the melted chocolate and turn until evenly coated and place back on the wax paper covered baking sheet. (I find using a fork works great to remove the balls from the melted wafers so that the extra chocolate can drip off between the prongs.)
  • Once you have finished dipping all the balls place the baking sheet back in the freezer so that the chocolate can set.
  • Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Eggs

Recipe—Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Peanut and butter jelly sandwiches are an American classic. I love PB & Js! And by love I mean I REAAAALLLLLLY love them! I ate more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches during my pregnancy than the typical American child does in their first 10 years of life. There is just something so nostalgic about smooth peanut butter squished together with a layer of sweet sticky jelly. It is one of those items that takes me back to being a little girl on the playground. When I saw this recipe for peanut butter and jelly bars I knew they had to be mine! My son’s school had a bake sale coming up and I knew it was the perfect occasion to make these. Come on? Toddlers… peanut butter and jelly… they belong together! These bars turned out fabulous! The cookie layer is almost brownie like, the moistest peanut butter cookie you have ever had and then of course you have the layer of jelly and then just the right amount of crunch from the honey roasted peanuts on top. Superb when served with a big cold glass of milk. I may have a new addiction.

Note: These can be tricky to cut when still warm so be sure to allow for adequate chilling time. Otherwise you may find that the bars sort of crumble.

INGREDIENTS
1 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 c flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 c of your favorite jelly (I used Strawberry)
1 c honey roasted peanuts, chopped

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar for 2 minutes.
  • Add in the eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes making sure it’s completely combined.
  • In another bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and fold in using a rubber spatula until completely combined.
  • Line a 9” x 13” baking dish with parchment paper going both directions and spray parchment paper with cooking spray.
  • Transfer 2/3 of your dough to the prepared baking dish and spread the dough out evenly.
  • Press the dough down firmly in the bottom of the entire baking dish making sure it’s even thickness all over.
  • Place the jelly in a small microwave safe bowl and warm it in the microwave for 1 minute and stir using a fork (this really seems to help in spreading it out).
  • Using a rubber spatula spread the warmed jelly over the top of the cookie dough making sure the dough is completely covered.
  • Using your hands, crumble the remaining dough over the top of the jelly.
  • Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the top.
  • Bake until golden, about 50–60 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and set on a trivet to cool for 30minutes.
  • Holding onto the parchment paper, carefully lift the entire contents of the dish and transfer to a large cutting board.
  • Refrigerate the whole dish for 1–2 hours making sure it is completely cool before trying to cut into bars.
  • After bars have cooled cut into squares using a sharp knife or even a pizza wheel.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature.