Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares #FoodBloggerLove

Today we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day a little early with some #FoodBloggerLove and I’m so thrilled to introduce you guys to Nicole from For the Love of Food.


I was so excited to get to know her blog over the last few weeks – she and I are super similar! She also has two little ones that help her out in the kitchen, family meals are her bread and butter, and she’s crazy for anything chocolate peanut butter.

Yeah, I know – it was like looking in a mirror!

I knew I wanted to make a treat Nicole would love – and I also wanted it to be something her girls could help with. These Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are the perfect fit!

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares 2

My little helpers helped with the measuring and stirring. These treats are no bake, but they do need a few minutes on the stove top to melt the ingredients together so I handled that. They only take about five minutes to prep – perfect for a toddler attention span! – and they’re so, so good. If a peanut butter cup and a crunch bar had a baby, this would be the result.

Nicole, I know you’ll love these! I hope you and your girls get a chance to make them soon! Happy #FoodBloggerLove!

If you’re looking for some more blogger love, check out the #FoodBloggerLove linkup here:

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
(slightly adapted from The Big Man’s World)
Makes 20 Bars

3 cups crisped rice cereal
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup

Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment and set aside.

Add cereal to a large mixing bowl, set aside.

Add the chocolate chips, peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until all melted together and well combined.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and stir until combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smooth out, and refrigerate for several hours.

Once cooled and solid, use the paper to lift out of the pan and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in a fridge.

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares


Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cakes for 2 #RecipesforTwo

What’s better than chocolate lava cake? Chocolate lava cake with warm, melty peanut butter sauce in the middle. Seriously you guys – this is what dreams are made of.

We fell in love with lava cakes after a cruise a few years ago and they’ve since become my go-to special occasion dessert. And this one is freaking amazing. If you’re a chocolate-peanut butter fiend like me, you will love this! That melty peanut butter is really something special.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it makes just two little cakes – perfect for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or any other occasion where you want something special for a smaller crowd. The recipe can, of course, be scaled up to make more – but sometimes it’s nice to have something already sized for two!


Peanut Butter Lava Cakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cakes
(adapted from The Cookie Rookie)
Serves 2

2 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
6 oz. German Baking Chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp. powdered sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3 egg + 1 egg yolk
Pinch salt

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Spray two ramekins with non-stick spray. Combine 1 1/2 tsp. flour with the cocoa power and coat the inside of the greased ramekins with it – shake off any excess.  Place prepared ramikins on a baking sheet and set aside.

Combine 4 Tbsp. butter and the chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside for a few minutes to cool.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth.

Using a stand mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, and salt on medium-high for about three minutes, until the mixture is think and pale yellow. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate until no longer streaky. Fold in the flour and mix until smooth.

Use 2/3 of the batter to fill the ramekins, then place half of the peanut butter mixture on top of each ramekin. Cover the peanut butter with the remaining batter.

Bake for 14-16 minutes – the top should be set but the cake should still have a little jiggle. Let sit for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert onto a plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cakes

Need more ideas for Valentine dishes for two? Here are some great ideas!



Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies #ChristmasCookies

If you like the idea of mint for the holidays, but aren’t a huge peppermint fan, these are the cookies for you.

For me, these are a nod to my Grandma.

For as long as I can remember, my Grandma’s contribution to holiday dessert has been a box of Andes Candies. We’ve all come to expect them and holiday dessert is not quite right without them on the table.

When I ran across this recipe that uses Andes chips, I knew Grandma would love them – and I just had to make them.


Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies
(from The Diary of a Real Housewife)
Makes 3 dozen

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 package Andes mint pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet in batches and mix until just combined. Fold in mint pieces.

Roll dough into 1″ balls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Can’t get enough cookies? For #ChristmasCookies Week, I’m linking up with lots of other bloggers sharing awesome recipes. You can find today’s batch of goodies below!

Chocolate Almond Biscotti #ChristmasCookies

Disclosure:  I received complimentary products to use in this post. All opinions are my own.

Today’s cookie recipe is my unexpected favorite of the week – and features #ChristmasCookies week sponsor Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas and Flavors.  This biscotti is amazing – even if you’re not a biscotti fan, you need to try this! There is such an awesome flavor here – thanks, in large part, to the Nielsen-Massey products – and they pair just delightfully with coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. A small bag of these paired up with some K-Cups would be an amazing teacher or neighbor gift this season!


Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has been crafting the world’s finest vanillas and flavors since 1907. Each of Nielsen-Massey’s all-nature pure flavors are crafted with premium ingredients, sourced from around the world and chosen to meet the utmost quality standards. From lemon to peppermint to coffee or chocolate, Nielsen-Massey’s pure flavors offer convenience, quality and consistency to ensure your favorite recipes taste delicious every single time. All products are gluten-free, allergen-free, GMO-free, all-natural and Kosher.


Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors is giving one winner a set of their pure flavors: 2-oz each of Orange, Lemon, Peppermint, Almond, Chocolate, Coffee, Rose Water, and Orange Blossom Water. Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Chocolate Almond Biscotti
(adapted from Italian Food Forever)
Makes about 20

2 Tbsp. softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
Dark chocolate candy melts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Whisk together the flour, slat, and baking powder until well combined.

In another both, whisk the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract together until completely combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until the dough comes together. Fold in the sliced almonds and chocolate.

Knead the dough for a minute or two, until it comes together well. If too sticky, add another Tbsp. of flour.

For them dough into a log approximately 4″ wide and 1 1/2″ high.

Bake for 35 minutes, than remove to cool and reduce oven to 300 degrees.

When it has cooled for about 15-20 minutes, use a serrated knife to slice the log into 1/2″ slices and place, cut side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, flipping halfway.

Remove and cool completely.

Melt candy melts according to package directions. Drizzle over biscotti and cool completely.

Can’t get enough cookies? For #ChristmasCookies Week, I’m linking up with lots of other bloggers sharing awesome recipes. You can find today’s batch of goodies below!



Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies #Choctoberfest

Note: I received complimentary products for this post. All opinions are my own.

One thing I love about #Choctoberfest is getting to know some new brands – like Davis Chocolates I showed off the amazing Cocktail Sticks on facebook last night, but they also sent these awesome (organic!) peanut butter baking chips  – and I knew they’d become cookies.

These cookies are so, so fabulous. They’re rich and chocolaty without being overly sweet – and then you bite into the pockets of chocolate chunks and peanut butter chips. It’s just seriously yum. I brought these to a meeting and as we were packing up at the end everyone was grabbing “just one more” – always the sign of a good cookie!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes about 3 dozen 2″ cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups peanut butter chips (I used Davis Chocolate Organic Peanut Butter Baking Chips)
1 cup chocolate chunks

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients, a little at a time, until just combined. Fold in peanut butter chips and chocolate chunks.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet at bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and then let cool for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

You can see today’s other #Choctoberfest recipes here:


Roasted Sugar Chocolate Cake #Choctoberfest

Note: I received complimentary products for this post. All opinions are my own.

Imperial Sugar returned as the Choctoberfest Gold Sponsor this year – and if you follow me on Facebook, you’ve already seen the amazing package they sent. I’m not sure who was more excited about it – me or the kids. (PS – if you want to win your own year’s supply of sugar, check out their Scary Scramble Contest going on now!)

When I started planning recipes for this week, I asked Jake if there was anything special he wanted to make, and without hesitation he told me, “Chocolate cake”. So, it went out our list.

It was also a great excuse to try out roasting sugar. Have you heard of this technique? I’ve seen it on a few food sites and I was super intrigued – you cook the sugar for a few hours and it gives the sugar a caramel-like flavor but you can still use it like you would regular white sugar. The results in this cake were pretty amazing – it’s more or less a regular chocolate cake, but then you get this beautiful caramel flavor at the end of the bite. I can’t overstate how awesome that touch is!

Roasting the sugar was also the only part of the cake that Jake didn’t have a hand in. He was particularly excited about helping frost the cake – and overrode my plans of topping it off with dark chocolate curls in favor of  mini chocolate chips.


I absolutely love how excited he was to see the end result – and hear again and again from friends and family we shared the cake with how awesome it was. Jake kept telling me, “I made that! I’m Baker Jake!” and they recreated the cake a million times over in his play kitchen. In the middle of a crazy week, it was such a good reminder to slow down and savor the moment. Thank you, Imperial Sugar, for helping create such a fun memory with my little guy!


Roasted Sugar Chocolate Cake
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes 1 9″ 3 layer cake

4 lbs. white sugar (I used Imperial brand Sugar)

3 cups of flour
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
2 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
7 cups powdered sugar (I used Imperial brand Sugar)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt

Start by roasting the sugar. Pour 4 pounds of sugar into a glass or ceramic 9×13″ baking dish. Roast at 350 degrees for 2 hours, stirring well every 20 minutes. You want the sugar to start to turn a lightly browned color, but not to melt. Once done, cool completely and store in an airtight container.

To make the cake, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3 cups of the cooled roasted sugar. Add in the eggs, water, vegetable oil, and vanilla and mix until just combined.

Grease 3 9″ cake pans and divide cake batter evenly between pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Let cake layers cool completely before assembling the cake.

To make the frosting, sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and fluffy.

Once the cake layers are cool, frost and decorate as desired.

See the rest of today’s #Choctoberfest recipes here:


Mint Chocolate Mousse #Choctoberfest

Note: I received complimentary products for this post. All opinions are my own.

Choctoberfest is, by default, a pretty indulgent event. Barlean’s is a great, healthy spin on the chocolate theme so I’m always excited to work with them as a sponsor.

This recipe is a dessert – but it’s not one you’ll feel guilty indulging in. Once chilled, the texture of this mousse is perfectly fluffy. It gets it’s flavor from two Barlean’s products – and they also pack it with flaxseed oil, greens, and other good stuff. A total win-win – especially when you have chocolate-loving little ones.

This also can be easily adjusted to your taste – leave out the mint, go light on the mint, make it super minty – do what you love!


Mint Chocolate Mousse
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Serves 4

1 can coconut milk
1 Tbsp. Barlean’s Essential Woman Omega Swirl Chocolate Mint Flavor
1/4 cup Barlean’s Greens Powder Chocolate Silk Flavor
1 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips

In a stand mixer, whip together the coconut milk, Barlean’s Essential Woman Omega Swirl Chocolate Mint Flavor, and Barlean’s Greens Powder Chocolate Silk Flavor until light and fluffy. Pour into four small bowls or ramekins. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.


See today’s other #Choctoberfest recipes here:


Chocolate Marshmallows #Choctoberfest #MadeWithRodelle

Note: I received complimentary products for this post. All opinions are my own.

I first made homemade marshmallows for Christmas a few years ago. They were amazing and I absolutely adored them floating in a mug of cocoa. And while vanilla marshmallows have been my go-to, I kept dreaming about chocolate ones.

Fluffy chocolate marshmallows floating in rich chocolate cocoa. Sounds heavenly, right?

It took a few tries to figure out how to make it work – trying to mix in cocoa powder never gave me the result I was hoping for but mixing the cocoa powder into a chocolate paste makes them just right.

I used gourmet baking cocoa from Choctoberfest sponsor Rodelle for this and it was such a great choice – the rich flavor is perfect for decadent marshmallows!

As we were sampling these, Jake requested making them into s’mores using chocolate graham crackers too – I’m pretty sure that will be our next project!


Chocolate Marshmallows
(a Kate’s Recipe box original)
Makes about 2 dozen

1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. cocoa powder, divided (I used Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa)
Vegetable oil
2 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 c. white sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup

In a bowl, sift together the powdered sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 c. cocoa powder.

Oil an 8×8″ baking pan with vegetable oil and then dust with powdered sugar mixture.

Mix remaining 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 2 Tbsp. hot water to make a paste.

In another bowl, put 1/2 cup cold water and sprinkle gelatin over. Set aside.

In a saucepan with a candy thermometer, combine the sugar, corn syrup and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Cook until it reaches 240 degrees then remove from heat.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the gelatin mixture and beat for a minute, until broken up. Add the chocolate paste and beat until well incorporated. While the mixer is going, slowly pour the corn syrup mixture in. Beat on high for about 15 minutes, until thick and doubled in size.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and cover top with more of the cornstarch mixture. Set aside overnight.

The next day, invert the pan to remove the marshmallows. Cut into squares and then roll in remaining cornstarch mixture to coat all sides. Stir in an airtight container.


You can see today’s other #Choctoberfest recipes here:


Sweet Potato Brownies #RecipeMakeover

Jake gets such a kick out of being my sous chef that I let him pick my last project for #RecipeMakeover week.  He picked brownies. Challenge accepted.

These, admittedly, still aren’t the healthiest brownies ever – but they’re a solid step in the right direction. This recipe uses less sweeteners than most and sneaks in some sweet potato to boot. And while I didn’t plan it this way, they’re vegan, too.

I mashed my sweet potatoes with a fork so they were still a little lumpy going into the batter. Jake isn’t picky (and is thrilled with anything chocolate), so he didn’t mind at all, but if you’re catering to a finicky crowd, pureeing the sweet potatoes would be a better way to hide them!


Sweet Potato Brownies
(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
Makes 1 9×9 ban

1/2 cup unrefined organic cane sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup almond butter
3/4 cup mashed, cooked sweet potato
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In a larger bowl, whisk together the almond butter, sweet potato, syrup and vanilla until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until everything is moistened. Fold in chocolate.

Transfer to the prepared baking pan and smooth out evenly in the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top looks dry and puffed. Cool completely before removing from the pan.

Dust with additional cocoa powder, if desired.


Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Date for Valentine’s Day? I have the perfect one. This cheesecake.

But seriously, if you’re looking for a dessert for the holiday, this is a great option. It’s decadent and special, but easy enough that anyone could pull it off. Want to make it even easier? Swap out the ganache topping for the fruit topping of your choice – I think cherries would be especially marvelous!


Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
(from OMG Chocolate Desserts)
Serves 16

24 Oreos, finely crushed
1/4 cup butter, melted

2 lbs. cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
4 eggs at room temperature
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Ganache topping:
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. sugar

Additional chocolate bar to make curls.

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9″ springform pan.

Combine the finely crushed Oreos and melted butter and press mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes then cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.

Melt 10 oz. of bittersweet chocolate and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Mix in the cocoa powder until well combined. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add the melted chocolate and mix until combined.

Pour the filling over the top of the cooled crust and smooth out.  Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the center is set and the top looks dry. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, run a thin knife around the pan to loosen the sides of the cheesecake, then refrigerate, uncovered until completely cooled – at least 8 hours.

Once completely cooled, stir together the cream, 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate and sugar together in a medium saucepan. When it is completely melted and smooth, remove to cool. Pour over cheesecake. Top with chocolate curls.