Tag Archives: peanut butter

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Pb and j bars little bitty bakes

It’s back to school time (*sigh*).  So long, slow mornings and days filled with sunshine and relaxation…  I know a lot of kids already started school, and I myself start school today!

Back to school time makes me think about peanut butter and jelly.  Maybe it’s the excessive amount of pb&j sandwich lunches I ate in school growing up, or my newfound obsession with pb&j wraps for a quick breakfast (ohmygosh, so good)… or maybe it’s these peanut butter and jelly bars.

Pbandj bars

The dough for this recipe is more or less a peanut butter cookie dough, but with oats as well.  Peanut butter + oats = chewy, nutty deliciousness.

The recipe is simple to prepare: just mix up your dough, press the majority of it into your pan, spread with your jam or jelly of choice, and then sprinkle the remaining cookie dough on top.

Pbj bars

I went with strawberry jam here, since it’s what I had on hand, but I would totally be into a variation with red or black raspberry jam (both my favorites). Really though, can you go wrong?! 😉

These bars are perfect for a quick snack, simple dessert, or, a perfect ending to a school lunch! 😉

Pbj bars little bitty bakes

[print_this]Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Crisp, chewy peanut butter cookie bars with a layer of sweet strawberry jam.  Feel free to vary the recipe with your favorite flavor jam or jelly. 

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Makes 15 bars

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup strawberry jam (or preferred jam/jelly)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper; spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, stir the butter, peanut butter, and sugar until creamy.  Add the vanilla and egg; stir until smooth.

In a separate mixing bowl, stir the flour, oats, baking powder, and salt.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture, stirring until combined.

Press 2/3 of the dough into the prepared pan.  Spread the jam evenly over the cookie dough.  Crumble the remaining cookie dough over the jam layer.  Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the bars are golden brown.  Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting.

Adapted from this recipe.[/print_this]


Healthy! Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Peanut Butter Banana Bread 2

As if there weren’t already enough banana bread recipes swirling around the Internet… I thought I’d add one more to the mix. 🙂

You know how it is though, summer comes, the humidity skyrockets, and bananas seem to ripen in the amount of time it takes you to drive home from the grocery store.  Right?  One of my go-to uses for ripe bananas is freezing them for smoothie bowls (so good) but every now and then I default to banana bread (or scones!).

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

This particular batch of banana bread is quite nutritious.  In addition to the ripe bananas, a small amount of greek yogurt keeps the bread nice and moist.  Using greek yogurt (instead of oil) also allows for healthier fats to sneak into the bread.  Same goes for the peanut butter — plus, you can’t ever go wrong with peanut butter, right? 😉

I sweetened the bread with date paste (instructions on how to make the paste are here).  Using dates in the banana bread is a great way to use natural ingredients as a sweetener, but if you don’t have any dates, you can simply substitute sugar instead.  It’s still a pretty healthy banana bread, dates or no dates. 🙂

Peanut Butter Banana Bread lbbakes

[print_this]Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Banana bread made with greek yogurt, peanut butter and dates for a nutritious breakfast or snack.  If you don’t have dates, simply substitute sugar for the dates (see note in recipe). 

Makes 1 loaf

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 45-55 minutes

  • 2 large overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup plain low fat (or nonfat) greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup date paste*
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (or 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a loaf pan (9 to 10 inch) with nonstick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, stir the bananas, peanut butter, yogurt, eggs, and date paste until smooth.

In a separate mixing bowl, stir the remaining ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients; mix until just combined (do not over mix).

Spread the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake 45 to 55 minutes (time will vary depending on pan size), until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.  Allow the bread to cool before slicing.

*Link above includes instructions on how to make date paste.  However, if you are in a hurry, you can replace the date paste with 2/3 cup brown sugar.[/print_this]

3 Ingredient Granola Bars

3 Ingredient Granola Bars LBBakes

Hello!  I guess I took a bit of a break from the blog last week. 🙂  I was  in Austin, Texas, for a conference… and definitely ate, ran, and walked my way through the town in my spare time!  Anyway, now I am back in Florida and getting back into the swing of things, including blogging recipes. 🙂

Since I was traveling last week, I made sure to pack some of my new favorite granola bars — these 3 ingredient granola bars, to be specific.  I know what you’re thinking — how the heck did I manage to get a thick, chewy granola bar with only three ingredients?!

The answer: Dates.  Well, date paste, to be specific.  By soaking the dates in water, you are able to soften them so much that mixed in a food processor, they turn into a thick, (naturally!) sweet paste which holds the bars together fabulously.


I’m going to walk you through the steps to make these.  It’s not difficult, but a bit more involved than some of my usual recipes.  And I’m determined to get my sister to make these, and promised her I’d show her the play-by-play here on the blog since she lives a good twenty hours from me. 🙂

Start by placing your dates in a plastic container (one with a lid, preferably).

Dates in container

Next, fill the container with water so that the water covers all of the dates.  Put a lid on the container, and let the dates soak in the water for 4 to 8 hours.  The longer you soak, the mushier the dates will get, and the easier they will turn into a paste.

Dates in water

After soaking the dates, you’ll want to drain the water.  But before doing that, reserve about 4 tablespoons of the water.  You’ll want that to make the paste.  OK.  Now pour the the dates into a colander in the sink (shout out to mom — thanks for my Easter basket/colander!).

Drained dates

Once you’ve drained the water (give ’em a good shake to get rid of excess water), place the dates into a blender or food processor.  I used a blender this time around, but I’ve also done this with a food processor (I actually like the food processor better for this, FYI).

Dates in blender

Puree or pulse the dates until a paste forms (if you’re having difficulty pureeing, add your reserved water, a tablespoon at a time).  Don’t worry if you still have a few small pieces of date here and there.  Your finished product should look something like this:

Date paste

Mmm, date paste! 😉  In all seriousness, this stuff is actually great as a natural sweetener.  Anyway… Stir in your peanut butter…. And then your oats…

Oats and date paste

Mix until it’s all combined.

Granola bars mixed

At this point you could add a few extra mix-ins, but then of course you’d have yourself a 3+ ingredient granola bar. 🙂

Line a large loaf pan (mine is 10×5) with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.  You want enough wrap/foil so that it extends up the sides of the pan.  Spread the mixture into the pan…

Granola bars spread into pan

All done!

Granola bars in pan

Wrap it up… and chill.  Place the granola bars in refrigerator to set.  I wait at least 2 hours before I cut them.

Granola bars wrapped up

Once chilled, cut into bars,

3 Ingredient Granola Bars

Package them up,

3 Ingredient Granola Bars bagged

And enjoy!  Sure, it’s no Kudos bar, but in my opinion, there’s something nice about enjoying a natural, unbaked granola bar with just three ingredients!

[print_this]3 Ingredient Granola Bars

Simple, wholesome granola bars made with just three ingredients: dates, peanut butter, and oats.  If you’d like, try different nut butters to vary the flavor of the bars slightly.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: n/a

Soaking+chilling time: 6 hours

  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 cups oats (rolled or quick cooking; I use a combination)

Place the dates in bowl.  Cover with water (enough water so that the dates are submerged).  Soak the dates at least 5 hours, or overnight.

Drain the soaked dates, reserving one tablespoon of water.  Place the dates and one tablespoon reserved water in the bowl of a food processor (or a blender).  Chop until mostly smooth (a few pieces of dates may remain; that is fine).  Add the peanut butter and blend until smooth.  Stir in the oats.*

Line a large loaf pan (I used a 10×5 inch pan) with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.  Press the mixture into the pan, then cover with additional foil or plastic wrap, pressing to seal.  Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, or until firm.  Slice the bars into desired size (I sliced mine into 10 1-inch wide bars).

*If you are using a food processor, you can add the oats to the bowl of the food processor to chop the oats into smaller pieces.  Or, if you want to keep the oats whole, simply transfer the date-peanut butter mixture to a bowl, and then stir in the oats.[/print_this]

4 Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies


Good Monday morning!  How was your weekend?  Mine was spent shopping — outlet malling and Trader Joe’s-ing, among other locations — and enjoying the wonderful weather May has brought to the Northeast.  I left Florida late last week to visit New York for a week, and I’m nearly positive I must’ve packed Florida’s sunshine in my suitcase — it’s been in the 70’s and completely sunny everyday so far, which isn’t very normal in Central New York any time of year!

Anyway, despite the weather and my shopping adventures, I’ve found some time to bake quite a bit in the past few days as well.  On Friday, I was playing around with some random ingredients and ended up with these amazing chocolate peanut butter cookies


As if chocolate peanut butter cookies don’t already sound appealing enough by name alone, these cookies involve only four ingredients!  Yay, for simplicity.  That’s right — all that stands between you and these cookies is peanut butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar, and an egg.  And I suppose a mixing bowl and an oven, but you know.

Not surprisingly, the minimal amount of ingredients in these cookies mean the dough comes together in an instant.  I mixed all four ingredients at once in one bowl, and then swirled in extra peanut butter at the very end because, well, I don’t think you can ever have too much peanut butter in a cookie. 😉

The cookies bake up with soft, deep chocolatey centers and crisp edges, with extra bursts of peanut butter from the swirl.  I found the cookies to be a bit more ‘crumbly’ than normal straight out of the oven, so I allowed them to sit on the cookie sheets to cool a bit longer (10-15 minutes) than usual before removing.

If you’re looking for a quick, simple (gluten free!) and delicious cookie recipe, this recipe is definitely worth a try!


[print_this]4 Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter cookies with deep chocolate flavor, with only four ingredients.  If you’d like to add a fifth ingredient, try dark chocolate chips or peanut butter chips!

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 12 to 15 minutes

  •  1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Reserve 1/4 cup peanut butter.  In a large mixing bowl, mix the remaining peanut butter with the cocoa, egg, and sugar, until well blended.  Fold in the reserved 1/4 cup peanut butter to create a peanut butter swirl in the dough.

Form the cookie dough into 1.5 inch balls; set onto the prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart, then flatten each ball slightly with your hand (or a fork or spoon).   Bake the cookies 12 to 15 minutes (you will not be able to see golden edges because of the dark cookie color).  Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan (the cookies are a bit crumbly, thus requiring longer time on the cookie sheets to cool).  Store the cookies in an airtight container (you can also freeze extra cookies).

This is an original recipe from www.littlebittybakes.com.


Browned Butter Peanut Butter Cookies

Browned butter peanut butter cookies

Get ready, you guys.  I’ve been on a bit of a cookie baking spree lately.  There are worse things in life, we all know this.

So far this morning I’ve already whipped up two different cookie doughs (it’s not even 8am yet!) and I’ve got plans to keep going. #ThingsIDoOnVacation. 😉

Anyway… the batch of cookies I’m sharing here today is actually one I made last week.  I wanted to make a simple peanut butter cookie, but then I saw that I had half a stick of butter sitting the fridge, all by its lonesome.  Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure it said, “browned butter time!” to me. 😉

Peanut butter cookies with browned butter

Thus, “simple” peanut butter cookies became just slightly more complex (but so much better!) with the addition of browned butter.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, browned butter makes everything better.

After easily whipping up the cookie dough, I allowed it to chill overnight.  This is something I frequently do but often forget to mention here on the blog (I did talk about it last week with my lemon cranberry white chocolate chip cookies though).  Why?  Well, chilling the dough allows the flavors to “mesh.”  Plus, I think breaking up baking into separate quick parts (like mixing the dough one day, and baking the cookies another day) makes baking a breeze. 

Browned butter peanut butter cookie lbbakes

I made the cookies large, rolling the dough into about two-inch rounds before baking, then pressing down on the cookies slightly to flatten a bit.  But if you’d like a smaller cookie, just form the cookie dough into smaller rounds.  Either way, you can’t beat the chewy texture and nutty, caramel-like flavor!

[print_this]Browned Butter Peanut Butter Cookies

A simple peanut butter cookie, made with browned butter allowing for an extra nutty, almost caramel-like flavor.  If possible, chill the dough overnight before baking the cookies.

Makes 1 dozen large cookies

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: ~15 minutes

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (browned and cooled)
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (or regular all-purpose flour)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, and sugar.  Add the egg and milk; stir until mixed.  Stir in the baking powder and salt, ensuring to mix well, then stir in the flour.

Form the cookie dough into 1-inch balls for regular cookies, or 2-inch balls for large cookies.  Place on the cookie sheets at least two inches apart.  Press on the balls slightly to flatten.  Bake regular-sized cookies 10 to 12 minutes, or large cookies 15 minutes, until edges are golden brown.  Allow the cookies to cool 5 minutes before removing from cookie sheet to cool completely.

This is an original recipe from www.littlebittybakes.com.


Monster Cookies

Monster cookie top

I can’t believe I’ve never posted a recipe for monster cookies.  I know I’ve made them numerous times, but apparently they’ve been a little blog-shy.  Well, that all changes today, folks.  Because today is the official start of March Madness.

Do you fill out a bracket in March?  Since I bleed orange, I obviously do. 🙂  March madness = college hoops craziness = monster-style cookies!

If you’re not familiar, monster cookies are basically all of your favorite cookies rolled into one.  Literally!  It’s a peanut butter cookie.  It’s a chocolate chip cookie.  It’s an oatmeal raisin cookie.  It’s an M&M cookie.  All. in. one. 🙂

Monster Cookies

OK, I’ll be a bit more descriptive… you start with a good peanut butter cookie dough base.  I used chunky peanut butter, but you can use what you have.  Add oats to that mixture for chewiness, then raisins and chocolate chips, and then the best part… M&Ms!

I believe monster cookie recipes typically call for regular M&Ms.  But I’ve had a giant bag of pretzel M&Ms staring me in the face (well, through the cabinet I stashed them away in an attempt to deter inhaling them) for a few weeks, and knew the best way to put them to use was in cookie form.  So, when I realized March Madness was rapidly approaching, I decided to make an extra special monster cookie.

If these aren’t a cookie fit for March Madness, I don’t know what is!

Monster Cookie LBBakes

[print_this]Monster Cookies

What do you call a cookie that’s loaded with peanut butter, oatmeal, raisins, chocolate chips, and M&Ms?  A monster cookie!  The cookies are crisp and chewy, with tons of texture from all of the mix-ins.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

  • 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (or 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (any variety)
  • 1 cup pretzel M&Ms, crushed
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the peanut butter, coconut oil, and sugars until creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla, beating until mixed.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir to combine.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until mixed.  Stir in the raisins, chocolate chips, and pretzel M&Ms.
Form the cookie dough into 1.5-inch balls (use your hands to do this, or use a cookie scoop).  Set onto the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.  Bake 10 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown.  Allow the cookies to cool 5 minutes before removing from the baking sheets to cool completely.[/print_this]

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola

PB and J Granola

Hello and Happy Monday!  I hope your week is off to a good start.  I have the week off for spring break, so I am looking forward to a little relaxation.  Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to relax enough for you as well. 😉

My weekend was fairly low key since I’d been feeling quite under the weather, but didn’t stop me from making a recipe I’ve had my eye on for awhile — Sally’s peanut butter and jelly granola.  Yes!Peanut butter and jelly granola

I didn’t have all the mix-ins that Sally uses in her PB&J granola, so I made a variety of adjustments to the recipe to account for that.  But let me tell you, this recipe is a real winner — dangerously delicious, I’d say!

If you have coconut oil, use it!  But if you don’t, canola oil works just fine.  To be honest, the peanut butter and jelly flavors really mask the coconut flavor.  Which just means I’m going to need to make another granola soon that lets my beloved coconut oil shine.  Anyway…

Peanut butter and grape jelly granola

I used grape jelly because a) that was one of my favorite flavors for PB&J’s growing up (grape and raspberry… strawbs never did it for me), and b), if I’m being honest, grape was all I had in my fridge. 🙂

Is it bad that I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to take down this entire (5 cup!) batch in less than a week?  Don’t answer that. 😉

[print_this]Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola

Crunchy, nutty peanut butter granola with grape jelly baked right in.  You can substitute your favorite jam or jelly for the grape.  

Makes about 5 cups

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil (or canola oil)
  • 1/3 cup jelly (or jam; I used organic grape jelly)

Heat the oven to 300 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, stir the oats and flaxseed to combine.

In a separate microwaveable bowl, combine the peanut butter, honey, and oil.  Microwave on high for about 30 seconds or until melted.  Stir to combine.  Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oats; stir until the oats are coated evenly.  Stir in the jelly.

Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.  Bake 40 minutes, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes.  Allow the granola to cool completely before storing.

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.[/print_this]