Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Zucchini Cookies

Two zucchini cookies in a row?? Why not! This round I decided on the chocolate peanut butter combo, and then amped up the chocolate making a double chocolate peanut butter cookie - with zucchini! Trust me, all the zucchini does is add little green flecks to the cookies, and keeps them nice and moist, no zucchini flavor at all! These cookies are dense and hearty and scrumptious! Perfect with my afternoon cup of coffee. Try it with yours!

 
 

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Zucchini Cookies
Adapted from How Sweet Eats
Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups (150 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons (40 grams) butter
  • 3 tablespoons 45 grams) peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly grated zucchini (anywhere from 125-150 grams seems to work)
  • Chocolate chips or chunks

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the butter and peanut butter and place in the microwave at 20-30 second intervals until completely melted, whisking as needed to completely combined. Add the brown sugar and vanilla and whisk to combine. Stir in the grated zucchini. Stir in the dry ingredients until everything is combined and you have a dark chocolate dough (the dough will be very thick, and you might initially think that there is too much flour, but don't worry, it will come together). Fold in the chocolate chips.

Use a 1/2 to 1-inch scoop and scoop the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart from each other. Press down lightly to flatten. The cookies will not spread very much during baking. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the cookies are just set. Let them cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the baking sheet. 

Peanut Butter and Oat Snack Bars

I've been on a search for some time now for my perfect go-to granola/snack bar. I do have a fantastic  already on this site, a recipe that is far and away the most popular recipe I've ever posted. While I love these granola bars, and have made them many, many times, I'm on the hunt for something different. I want a bar I can feel good about eating any time, day or night, one that has a modest amount of sugar and fat, and comes together easily using ingredients I will always have on hand. I also want bars that really hold together well. Something I can just throw into a bag in the morning and take with me that won't fall to pieces, or crumble everywhere, making a mess when I want to eat it. 

Throughout the last few months I've been looking at tons of different recipes and trying some out here and there. Part of my problem is that since I live alone, I find it difficult to eat what I make quickly, so this has been a slow process, but a fun one still. I want to share one of the bars I made recently. While it wasn't exactly what I was looking for, it turned out to be a wonderful recipe that hit almost all my requirements. I started with a fairly healthy cookie recipe and adapted it to bars. They baked up beautifully! The end result was a very sturdy, pretty nutritious, tasty bar that will be wonderful for a quick breakfast or satisfying mid-afternoon snack. 

You may wonder why they were not exactly what I was looking for. Really the only thing I would like to be slightly different is the texture of the bar. Because they do have 1/2 cup of flour in them, they turned out a little cakier than I would like. The flour did help them hold together very well, but it also made them feel a little more cookie-bar-like than granola-bar-like. Regardless, this is a great recipe that I will definitely keep in the rotation.  

The flavor of these bars is very nice. Just enough sweetness to make them delicious without making them feel like dessert, and the peanut flavor really shines through, nice and toasty. Lots of good oaty chew helps create a nice, hearty texture. This is a versatile recipe that you can certainly adapt to your preference. If you don't like or can't have peanut butter, use almond butter or another favorite nut or seed butter, and you can throw in whatever mix-ins you like. Any dried fruit, nut, seed or chocolate would be wonderful. 

 
 
 
 

Peanut Butter and Oat Snack Bars
Adapted from The Kitchn
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (128 grams) natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup (112 grams) honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup (100 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup (64 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup mix-ins (I used 10 grams pumpkin seeds, 10 grams sunflower seeds, 20 grams raw walnuts, 20 grams dried cranberries)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a baking 8x12 or similar sized pan with parchment paper that you spray with cooking spray.

In a medium pot over medium heat, melt together the nut butter and honey until smooth. Remove from heat and use a wooden spoon to stir in the cinnamon, salt and vanilla. 

Once the mixture has cooled a little, add in the egg and mix well. 

Add the oats, flour, baking powder and mix-ins to the pot and stir together until combined. The mixture will be quite thick. Transfer dough to prepared pan, spreading evenly all the way to the edges, pressing down to firmly. 

Place pan in oven and bake until golden brown on the edges, 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before removing from pan and cutting into bars. 

Yields: 14 bars
Nutrition: Approximately 150 calories each

Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal Cups

I've been busy on my current rotation, it's been good, just some long days. Because of this, these oatmeal cups have been the perfect solution. They are super simple to whip together, and easy for a grab and go breakfast when I don't have much time to make anything else, or much time to spend eating breakfast. Having these in the freezer keep me from being tempted to waste my money on something less than nutritious at the hospital cafeteria, or buying something processed from the grocery store that is never as healthy as something I can make on my own. They freeze up so well so you can bake up a big batch and always have them on hand for busy mornings. They're definitely something you can feel good about eating. 

These baked oatmeal cups are hearty and healthy, full of nutritious whole grains and naturally sweetened with bananas. They are also super easy to adapt to your personal preferences. This time I added cranberries and walnuts, but I've also done chocolate chips, as well as other dried fruits or nuts. You can add whatever you want, which is so nice! I personally love oatmeal, but it's not exactly the easiest thing to eat on the run. These baked oatmeal cups are the perfect solution to the conundrum. You get all the deliciousness and health benefits of oatmeal with the convenience of a portable breakfast. 

Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal Cups
Adapted From Celebrating Sweets
Ingredients

  • 2 bananas (approximately 8 ounces total), mashed
  • 1/4 cup (64 grams) peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) maple syrup (optional, depending on your desired sweetness)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons (50 grams) milk
  • 2 cups (160 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 ounce raw walnuts
  • 3/4 ounce dried cranberries

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil 8 muffin cups, set aside.

In a large bowl combine the bananas, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla and milk. Add oats, cinnamon and salt, stir to combine. Add walnuts and cranberries and mix until evenly incorporated.

Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Nutrition: each cup is approximately 200 calories.

Chewy Peanut Butter Oat Bars

Looking for a sweet and chewy, snack bar that is filling, substantial, and keeps for a long time? I have just the recipe for you! Personally, I love having healthier snacks on hand that I can grab in the morning to keep with me while I'm at the hospital in case I get hungry throughout the day. These bars fit the bill. What's also great about them is the ingredient list is short and simple. There are so many energy and health bar recipes out there with five million ingredients in them, half of which I don't have. For this recipe all you need is dried fruit (dates or prunes), a nut butter and oats. A pinch of salt and some water round them out nicely. So easy to throw together and so tasty to eat!

You will need a fairly powerful food processor to blend all of the ingredients together until they form a nice sticky paste. Then into a pan and finally into the oven to set up just a bit. I cut my bars into small bites that were the perfect snack to nibble on in the middle of the afternoon when dinner still seemed very far away. I kept them in the fridge, but I would think they would last out on the counter for quite a while as well, none of the ingredients in it are very perishable. And if you're feeling indulgent, I think a drizzle of chocolate overtop would be the perfect way to really make this recipe extra special. 

Chewy Peanut Butter Oat Bars
Adapted from Sugarcrafter
Ingredients

  • 2 cups (12 ounces) prunes (or a combo of prunes and dates)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup (128 ounces) peanut butter
  • 2 cups (160 grams) old fashioned oats
  • pinch salt

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, and set aside. In a large food processor, pulse the prunes until roughly chopped. Add the water and peanut butter, and blend until well pureed. The mixture will be very sticky. Add the oats to the food processor, and pulse until well combined with the prune and date mixture. 

Spread the mixture in an even layer in the prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars. 

Calorie count: cut into 25 bars, 90 calories per bar

Almond Chocolate Chip Oat Bars

Do you ever have those afternoons when it's not late enough to start dinner, but it's been long enough since lunch that you're starting to get hungry? Maybe lunch wasn't quite big enough, or you've been busy all day and you just need a little snack to get you through the late afternoon. I have these days from time to time, and I'm always looking for something to have on hand that is the perfect pick-me-up when I need a little boost of energy. When I saw the recipe for these bars, I was intrigued. They are not really my typical type of baked good but they looked fairly healthy, packed full of fruit and nuts with no added sugar. I decided to give them a try with several modifications to suit me and my pantry, and I ended up really liking them. With almost the texture of an under baked blondie, and full of fruit, nuts, and chocolate these bars really hit the spot. Healthy and tasty, a great combination and the perfect way to energize yourself while waiting for dinner.

I've seen recipes that use dried fruit as a binder and a sweetener, but I'd never tried them before. I wasn't sure how I would like them, or what exactly they would taste like. It turns out that this works really well, and I actually did enjoy them. The flavor of the dried fruit was definitely present, but with all of the other flavors going on it was okay. The fruit also made the bars very sweet without any extra sugar which is great. And these are easily made gluten free by replacing the wheat germ with flax seed meal. I especially liked the texture of these bars. I love things that are gooey and under baked, and these almost had that texture. So in the end I really did enjoy these bars, and would definitely make them again. A great healthy and nutritious snack that satisfies your sweet tooth and fills you up just enough to make it to your next meal. That's a winner in my book.

Almond Chocolate Chip Oat Bars
Heavily adapted from Our Family Eats
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 3/4 oz) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (4 3/4 oz) natural peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) butter (or extra virgin coconut oil), melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 ripe bananas 
  • 1 cup dried apricots (or dates), packed
  • 1 cup of your favorite mix in: dried blueberries, cherries, cranberries, or my favorite, chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup your favorite nut, chopped (I used almonds, but I think pecans and walnuts would be great too)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 inch baking dish with butter or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

Place oats, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, wheat germ, almond meal, cinnamon, baking powder, and bananas in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.

Add apricots to the mixture in the food processor and process again until smooth, about 1 more minute.

Using a wooden spoon gently stir in chocolate chips (or dried fruit, whichever your prefer) and nuts.

Spread mixture into prepared pan using the wooden spoon to smooth the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until top if firm to the touch.

Place pan onto a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars or shapes and let cool completely on the wire rack. Store in an airtight container on the counter for about 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Snack Bar

There are times when I just want a quick little snack of something sweet and satisfying. A cookie sounds too unhealthy, and crackers just aren't going to cut it. That's where these bars come in. They are what I would call somewhat healthy as bars go. There are oats, whole wheat flour, walnuts, and a little chocolate of course. They are easy to put together and the perfect little snack when you are needing a little extra sustenance to get you to dinner. They are also really yummy as an accompaniment to a good cup of coffee. So whatever your need, these bars are likely to fill it, give them a try!

The recipe calls for these bars to be made in two loaf pans. I don't know if they could be made into one bigger pan or not, I'd have to experiment with that, but it's a possibility. Like I said, these are easy to put together and can be cut into any size you want. I think I cut them into 24 small pieces, the perfect size for me for a small snack, but any size will do.

The bar by itself is not overly sweet, so the chocolate chips are in my opinion, a must. You need that for a little extra sweetness. And while I've never been a huge fan of nuts in my breads and bars, I think the walnuts add a lot to this recipe. They make the bars hearty and nutty and give them a little extra sustenance. But with, or whiteout the nuts if you'd rather, these bars are sure to please.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Snack Bar

Adapted from 

Big Girls Small Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 cup oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease two 4 1/2 by 8 1/2-inch loaf pans and line with a parchment sling if desired.

Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Beat together the peanut butter, sugar, and oil with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then, whisk in the milk by hand. Stir in the vanilla.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and fold to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts, saving a handful of each to sprinkle on top. Pour the batter into the two prepared pans. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining chocolate and nuts.

Bake the bars for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden. Using an offset spatula, loosen the bars from the pan and turn onto a rack to cool completely. When cool, cut each pan into 8 bars. If you want smaller servings, cut each bar in half. Store in the freezer.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

Well, I've been busy at med school for about a month and I am loving it. It is a ton of work, but it's work I want to be doing so I don't mind it at all. You may have noticed however that I haven't been quite as busy on the blog. To be honest, I haven't had that much time to bake or cook. Hopefully now that I've gotten settled in to the routine of school I'll have a little more time to spend in the kitchen, but we'll see. Regardless, I'm still here and will put up some posts whenever I can.

I pulled this recipe from the archives of the summer. I never got around to posting it then, so here it is. If you like shortbread, chocolate and peanut butter you will love these. They may look like a regular chocolate chip cookie, but they have that wonderful, sandy shortbread texture, a texture I love!

The only trouble I had with this recipe involved cutting the cookies up. The chocolate chips kept getting in the way so it was hard to cut an even cookie. Because of this, the cookies weren't really very uniform in shape or thickness. This didn't seem to affect the taste at all however, they were still wonderfully delicious!

The dough, ready to chill

Rolled into a nice log and chilled, ready to cut

Onto the baking sheet

A delicious stack 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookiesa
From: The View From the Great Island
Ingredients

  • 1 stick, (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temp 
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions
Cream the butter and the peanut butter together in a stand mixer, with a hand mixer, or a wooden spoon. Beat in the vanilla.

Whisk the dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture. Mix until the dough comes together.

Stir in the chips, and turn the dough out onto a piece of waxed paper. Gently pull the dough together and form it into a log. If it is still crumbly, work it with your hands until it holds together smoothly. Roll it up in the paper, smoothing the shape as you go. Twist the ends securely and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.

Slice the log into slices with a sharp knife. Not too thick, not too thin, about 1/3 inch. If a slice crumbles a bit, just smoosh the dough back together. These don't have to be perfect disks.

Bake on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet at 325 for about 12-14 minutes. The cookies will not be browned, and they may look undone, but don't over bake. One of the joys of shortbread cookies is that they fall apart and melt in your mouth. 

Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with M&M's

Well, I have been gone for quite a while! It's been a very busy couple of weeks and I just couldn't get around to posting anything. First of all, I had a week of orientation to start out med school with a bang. An entire week of get to know you games, lectures, and information overload. It was crazy, but wouldn't have been so bad, except that in the middle of the week the hard drive on my computer decided to die. So I was computer-less for about a week, and didn't have any of my food photos. When I finally did get my computer back med school started. Just let me say that they don't ease you into school. It was a super busy week, but a good one. Now that I have a few minutes on Sunday morning I'm going to share a new cookie that I tried out a few weeks ago. A very delicious PB oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with my favorite addition, M&M's!

I took these cookies out to the lake one day to go boating and they were very well received. They're kind of like the cross between a monster cookie and a chocolate chip cookie. A hint of nuttiness from the PB, a bit of chew from the oats, and of course a nice, hefty dose of chocolate. You really can't go wrong with this combination. A definite keeper!

 Start with butter of course!

 Add the sugar and cream until

nice and fluffy

 Next is the PB, egg, and vanilla

 Nice and creamy

 Time for the dry ingredients

 Mix until just combined

 Finally, the oats!

 And the chocolate!

 Mix it all up

 Onto a cookie sheet

 Ready to bake

 Bake until just golden on the edges

 Cool them off on a wire rack

Grab a nice big glass of milk, and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with M&M's
Adapted from: Pinch of Yum
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup M&M's

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, vanilla and egg until well blended. 

Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir until just moistened. 

Mix in the oats, chocolate chips, and M&M's until evenly distributed. 

Drop by tablespoonfuls on to lightly greased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges start to brown. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.