Sweets For Your Sweet

Are you thinking of making some homemade treats for your Valentine? Or, maybe something for yourself? Well, I have two quick and easy treats for just that… Matzo Crack & Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Truffles.

For the Matzo Crack, you start off by making a simple toffee using butter and brown sugar. Which you then spread over matzo crackers that have been arranged in a single layer on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Pop it in the oven for about 10 minutes, remove and then spread a bag of chocolate chips – semi-sweet, milk or dark – over the bubbling toffee. Let it sit for a few minutes and then using an off-set spatula smooth the chocolate over the toffee. Sprinkle with seat salt (and nuts if you like) and refrigerate for about 45 minutes. Once the chocolate has hardened transfer to a cutting board and cut into pieces.

The truffles are just as easy… After making the filling – beat cream cheese, peanut butter, graham crumbs, sugar and peanuts together – roll it into 1-inch balls and freeze for about 10 minutes. Melt the chocolate and dip each of the balls in the chocolate, sprinkle with chopped peanuts and refrigerate until firm.

There you go… two quick, easy and delicious treats that you can enjoy this Valentine’s Day or any day!

Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crack


4-5 lightly salted matzos

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup light brown sugar

12 ounce bag of chocolate chips – milk, semi-sweet or dark

Sea Salt

Favorite nuts, optional


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil – make sure the foil goes up and over the edges of the pan. Top the foil with parchment paper. Cover the paper with the matzo, cutting and piecing the pieces together.

Combine the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture comes to a boil. Once the mixture comes to a boil cook for a few more minutes until it becomes foamy and thickened. The mixture may look like its separating, continues whisking and it will come together. Pour the toffee over the matzo and spread it into an even layer using an off-set spatula. Pop it in the oven and bake it for about 10 minutes, until the toffee is bubbling. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack

Scatter the chocolate chips over the hot toffee, let it sit for a few minutes and then using an off-set spatula spread the chocolate in an even layer over the toffee. Sprinkle with the sea salt and nuts (if using) and place in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes. Don’t let it stay in the refrigerator too long or it will be more difficult to cut.

Using the overhang aluminum foil transfer the matzo crack to a cutting board and cut it into pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Recipe From Once Upon A Chef

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Truffles

  • Servings: About 28 Truffles
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8oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

3 tablespoons chopped peanuts, divided

8oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into pieces


Beat cream cheese in a large bowl until creamy. Add in the remaining ingredients, except the sugar, and continue beating until all ingredients have mixed together.

Roll the cream cheese mixture into 28 balls, using about a tablespoon of the mixture for each ball. Place on a waxed covered baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate. You can melt it in the microwave or using a double boiler. Dip the cream cheese balls into the chocolate and transfer them back to the wax-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped peanuts and refrigerate until firm, about an hour.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Recipe from Kraft

Cookie Palooza: Peanut Butter Crinkles

It’s the first week of December! Are you even remotely ready for the holidays? Have you thought about what you are baking? If not, I am here to help this week. Welcome to my 2nd Cookie Palooza. A week full of cookies… Kicking it off are Peanut Butter Crinkles. A twist on the more popular Chocolate Crinkles.

Made with peanut butter – of course – and mini chocolate chips these cookies are rolled in granulated and confectioners’ sugar for a little extra sweetness prior to baking. If you’re craving more chocolate in your cookie opt to use regular size chocolate chips as opposed to the mini ones. You do get a chocolate taste with the mini ones, but, it’s more of a hint so little so that you wouldn’t miss it if you omitted them from the batter completely.

Peanut Butter Crinkles

  • Servings: 36 cookies
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1 1/3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting


Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt – in a medium bowl.

In another bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar and peanut butter with a mixer until creamy on medium speed. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue beating until combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, beat until well blended. Add the chocolate chips and beat until combined.

Put the granulated and confectioners’ sugar in separate bowls. Roll tablespoonful of dough into balls and then roll in the granulated sugar and then the confectioners’ sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes, switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are firm around edges and cracked on top. Let cool a few minutes on the baking sheets before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust the cookies with more confectioners’ sugar if desired.

Recipe from The Food Network

Slow Cooker Sunday: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

For today’s Slow Cooker Sunday post instead of bringing you a meal I am bringing you dessert. I’ve made bread pudding and rice pudding in my slow cooker and I’ve finally made a cake, a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake.

To begin, I made the cake batter by whisking together flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, cocoa and salt in a large bowl. I then stirred in 2 beaten eggs, whole milk, canola oil and vanilla extract. Once that was well combined I then stirred in peanut butter chips.

Next, I poured the batter into the insert of my slow cooker which I sprayed generously with cooking spray.

Per the recipe I set the slow cooker to low, but, my cake was ready way before the directed time of 4 hours. It was more like 3 hours, but, truthfully I probably should have turned off the slow cooker around 2.5 hours. While make cake came out of the insert without sticking to the sides or bottom…

It was a bit hard/burnt along the edges so I decided to cut it in a way that I ended up with pieces that were more like a snack cake as opposed to a cake cake. But overall it was delicious and incredibly moist and paired very well with vanilla ice cream, especially if you warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, beaten

1 cup whole milk

1/3 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups peanut butter chips


Spray the insert of a slow cooker with cooking spray.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. Stir in the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract; mixing until all of the ingredients are well combined. Stir in the peanut butter chips.

Pour the batter into the slow cooker, spreading the batter evenly. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, until the top is set. Since all slow cookers are different begin checking the cake after about 2 hours to ensure it doesn’t burn, check it with a toothpick or cake tester for doneness. The cake may look a little undercooked in the center. Turn off the heat and let the cake cool uncovered for about 20 minutes. The cake will firm up as it cools.

Recipe from Slow Cooker Family Favorites

Cookie Palooza: Oat-Rageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s the first week of December, are your ovens ready? It’s time to bake until your hearts content and then bake a little more! It’s probably one of the best things about the Holiday Season… Sweets everywhere! And I am here to help… Every day this week I’ll be bringing you a new cookie recipe that may become part of your baking repertoire or give you some inspiration to create a new recipe for yourself. I’ve scoured my cookbooks and old holiday cookie magazines to gather recipes that are easy to make, are a bit traditional with a twist and one that combines three favorites in one. That’s today’s cookie… One that combines oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate chips together. So, welcome to Cookie Palooza 2016 on Bead Yarn & Spatula… Up first Oat-Rageous Chocolate Chip Cookies.


Oat-Rageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 30-36 cookies
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1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda and salt, set aside.

In a large bowl combine the butter, peanut butter and sugars and use an electric mixer to cream together. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned.

Recipe from Taste of Home

Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Fudge

Peanut Butter & Chocolate… One of my favorite combinations, so when I saw a quick and simple recipe for a marble fudge combining the two in a recent issue of Rachael Ray Magazine, I knew I had to try it.


In a large bowl I beat peanut butter along with confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract…


And then dropped the mixture by teaspoonfuls into a foil-lined loaf pan.


In a medium saucepan I melted dark chocolate chips along with heavy cream.


I then poured the melted chocolate mixture over the peanut butter mixture and placed it in the refrigerator for a few hours so it could firm up.


After about fours I removed it from the refrigerator and lifted the fudge out of the pan and sliced it into 18 pieces. Since the peanut butter was still a bit soft I place it in the freezer for about fifteen minutes, enjoyed a piece and then put it back in the refrigerator.


While this fudge didn’t disappoint in the flavor department I was bit upset about how quickly it would soften/melt once out of the refrigerator for a few minutes. That only meant I had to enjoy this sweet treat immediately after taking one out of the refrigerator!


Check out some of my previous blog posts with this delicious flavor combination: Peanut Butter & Chocolate Marbled Cookies, Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting and Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream.

Marbled Fudge


1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 oz. cream cheese, softened

3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup heavy cream


1. Line a loaf pan with aluminum foil

2. In a large bowl beat together the peanut butter, sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract until well combined. Drop by teaspoonful into prepared loaf pan.

3. In a medium saucepan melt the chocolate with the heavy cream over medium heat, whisking until smooth. Pour it over the peanut butter mixture and refrigerate for at least four hours.

4. Remove from refrigerator and lift the fudge out of the pan and slice into 18 1-inch squares. If you find the fudge is still soft place in the freezer for a few minutes. Keep refrigerated.

Chicken Pad Thai

Whenever I go to a Thai restaurant my go-to dish is always Chicken Pad Thai. It’s pretty much foolproof and always delicious. A few years ago I attempted to make it myself and was happy with the outcome – it was super simple and tasted awesome. I recently dug out the recipe I used and whipped it up for dinner.

To begin I prepped all of my ingredients; minced garlic and ginger, sliced three thinly sliced chicken breasts into strips and julienned 2 carrots and 1 zucchini.


Two of my other ingredients were rice noodles and Asian chili paste.


Next I whisked together soy sauce, water, peanut butter and the chili paste until it was smooth.


To cook the vegetables and chicken I began by sautéing the garlic and ginger for about a minute and then adding the vegetables and chicken and cooking everything until the chicken was cooked through.


While I was cooking the vegetables I prepped the rice noodles by soaking them in warm water (I brought a pot of water to boil and then removed it from the heat). Luckily the rice noodles now come in these individual packets (there are four in a box) so I knew exactly how many noodles I needed – 2 packets. The last time I cooked with rice noodles – granted it was some time ago – they didn’t come in these nifty packages so I had to use my best guess as to what was half of the package.


The noodles soaking…


Once the noodles were ready (I followed the directions on the package and soaked them for 5 minutes) I added them to the pan with the vegetables and then added in the peanut/soy sauce I made along with light brown sugar and cider vinegar. I tossed all of the ingredients together to distribute the sauce and let everything cook for a few more minutes and then it was time to enjoy my homemade Chicken Pad Thai and it was delicious!


Chicken Pad Thai – Modified from here

Servings 4


2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons water

1 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

2 teaspoons Asian chili paste

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1 zucchini, julienned

2 carrots, julienned

8 ounces chicken breast, sliced into strips

1/4 pound rice noodles, follow directions on package to prepare

1 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoons cider vinegar

Optional for garnish:

Lime Wedges

Chopped Peanuts

Bean Sprouts


1. In a bowl whisk together the soy sauce, water, peanut butter and chili paste.

2. Heat a large sauté pan (or wok) over medium heat and add the canola oil. Once the oil is hot add the garlic and ginger and cook for about a minute. Add the vegetables and chicken and cook until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Add the noodles and toss to coat them.

3. Add the peanut/soy sauce, brown sugar and cider vinegar and toss to distribute. Cook until heated through.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Marbled Cookies

Another month has rolled in and it’s not just any month, it’s December – the month where everywhere you look there is something sweet to eat and it’s almost impossible to say no to all of the deliciousness. One thing synonymous with December is baking, especially baking Christmas cookies. Personally I don’t think Christmas cookies are limited to those decorated with red and green sprinkles, for me it’s any cookie baked  this month – hey, it’s Christmas season, not just the day. So to kick off the baking festivities I would like to share with you a cookie that is right up my alley. I may have mentioned once or twice before that my favorite candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, so imagine my delight when I came across a cookie recipe that was a swirl of chocolate and peanut butter flavors. (I should also note that I am a big fan of peanut butter cookies as well!) The recipe is officially called Best of Both Cookies and I came across it in a special edition of Taste of Home magazine highlighting Christmas cookies and candies, but, for the purpose of this post I am going to call them Peanut Butter & Chocolate Marbled Cookies.


I’ll be honest I was a bit apprehensive about making these cookies for two reasons; they are slice and bake cookies (I prefer making drop and bake cookies) and it involved making two separate doughs and then mixing them together (I thought the doughs would be difficult to meld.) Luckily I was wrong on both fronts. Incorporating the two doughs and forming them into logs to be sliced was super simple.  First up was the peanut butter dough. I creamed together peanut butter, softened butter, granulated sugar and light brown sugar until it was light and fluffy and then added in an egg. In a separate bowl I combined flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt which I then mixed into the peanut butter mixture.


To make the chocolate dough I creamed together butter, granulated sugar and light brown sugar once again until it was light and fluffy. I then added in an egg and vanilla extract. And finally I added in a mixture a of flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.


I divided each of the doughs in half and kneaded one peanut butter half and one chocolate half a few times until it began to swirl and then formed the combined doughs into a 10-inch log.


I then wrapped each of the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerated them until they were firm – at least 3 hours.


Once firm it was easy to slice the dough for the cookies.


I then placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet and baked them for 7 minutes in a 350 F preheated oven.


I let them cool on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Overall these cookies were amazing… Not one thing negative to say about them. Depending on how the doughs swirl together you may get a cookie that is more peanut butter than chocolate or vice versa, but, either way it’ll be delicious. Neither of the doughs is overpowering with flavor so it’s the perfect marrying of peanut butter and chocolate!



Peanut Butter & Chocolate Marbled Cookies (Best of Both Cookies)


Peanut Butter Dough:

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Dough:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup baking cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt


1. In a large bowl, cream the peanut butter, butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in egg. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

2. For the chocolate dough, in another large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

3. Divide each portion in half. Knead one peanut butter and one chocolate portion together 5-10 times or until it just begins to swirl. Shape into a 10-inch log. Wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until firm.

4. Preheat oven to 350 F. Unwrap and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets (or parchment lined baking sheets.) Bake 6-8 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.