Puppy Chow Cookies

Muddy Buddies, Puppy Chow, Sweet Minglers, or whatever it is you call that addictive chocolate and peanut butter covered cereal coated in powder sugar. Seriously though. What do you call it? I grew up calling it puppy chow. Maybe puppy chow is just an Iowa name for it.

Puppy Chow Cookies

Whatever you call it you know that they are FABULOUS. Around Christmas I saw a recipe for muddy buddy/puppy chow cookies. COOKIES! Chocolate covered peanut butter cookies tossed in powdered sugar. Of course! When I first came across this recipe on Cookies and Cups I found myself asking, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” It makes complete sense now that I’ve made them.

Puppy Chow Cookies

As you can see I made two versions. One is dipped entirely in the chocolate and the other one is my lazy version. The lazy version just has the melted chocolate mixture smeared on the top and dusted with powdered sugar. Dinner time was quickly approaching and the kiddos were getting fussy. You know how it goes.

If you believe chocolate + peanut butter = true love forever  then you need to make yourself a batch ASAP!

Puppy Chow Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1-1/4 cups flour
For the chocolate layer
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line baking sheet with parchment paper
2. In mixing bowl beat together butter, peanut butter, and sugars on medium speed until smooth, 2-3 minutes
3. Add egg, vanilla, soda, and salt. Mix for 1-2 minutes
4. Turn down to low and slowly add in flour, mix until just combined
5. Scoop dough on to cookie sheet, place 2 inches apart, press cookie dough to flatten
6. Bake for 8 minutes
7. Remove to cooling rack and cool completely before covering in chocolate

1. In a medium size bowl place chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter. Melt on high heat for 1 minute
2. Whisk together until well combined
3. Using a fork dip each cookie in chocolate, tap off the extra
4. Pour powdered sugar in a pie plate
5. Dip chocolate covered cookie in the powdered sugar coating both sides
6. Return cookies to the cool rack and allow to cool completely



Posted in Desserts | Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Asian Chicken Napa Wraps + Spicy Cashew Sauce

This wrap you guys! Dy-na-mite! And the sauce? The Spicy Cashew Sauce? I’m going to just refer to it as awesomesauce from now on.

Asian Chicken Napa Wrap with Spicy Cashew Sauce

Let me give you a little back story to these wraps. I’ve recently reconnected with a good friend from high school via Facebook, Instagram, and her blog. Thank you internet! She stated she was starting a whole foods reboot like Whole30 and told me to do it with her we could be accountabilibuddies (my word not hers).

In a nut shell (not peanut) Whole30 is a commitment to eliminate gluten, grains, dairy, alcohol, sugar, and legumes from your diet for 30 days. The testimonials about how great everyone feels afterward really intrigued me. For the last eight months I have been dealing with horrible stomach pains and medical tests are showing everything is with in the “normal” range. It has been frustrating. It has effected me/my life so much. I am moodier, sadder, and more frustrated than ever before. So I have hopped on the band wagon to see if I can change the way I feel with food instead of taking pills and pain medications daily.

Asian Chicken Napa Wraps with Spicy Cashew Sauce

Currently I am on Day 3 and it is going well. My energy levels today are super low but that is also due to the fact that I have small children that haven’t been sleeping through the night this week. You can follow along on Instagram where I post my food photos. Come follow me and be my cheerleader! You can find me @thekitchenarium

These wraps were devoured promptly at dinner last night sans sauce. Today I thought a spicy Thai peanut sauce would work so well. So off to the kitchen I went to mix something up. Peanuts aren’t compliant on Whole30 so cashew butter would work instead. After mixing and tasting and devouring I double checked the Sriracha label and saw it contained sugar. Boo! I could have cried. So if you’re doing Whole30 the sauce isn’t compliant but it is AWESOME. I learned the lesson that you need to always always always read labels and don’t assume that it doesn’t contain sugar because EVERYTHING seems to contain sugar in one sneaky form or another.

Ginger, garlic, scallions, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots provide great Asian inspired flavor to the ground chicken breast. I ground my own chicken using my Kitchenaid attachment that my in-laws got me for Christmas. Instead of soy sauce I used coconut aminos which provided the soy sauce flavor. You could use regular soy sauce if you’re not following Whole30. Traditionally wrap fillings like these are put in butter lettuce. They provide a nice bowl but for me napa cabbage is truly an Asian vegetable and I loved them with this dish. Wrap them how you like though.

Asian Chicken Wraps with Spicy Cashew Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
2 inch section of ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic
1 pound ground chicken breast
1- 8 ounce can water chestnuts, drained and diced
1-8 ounce can bamboo shoots
3 scallions, julienned + more for garnish
1/4 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce
napa cabbage, leaves peeled off for serving
1 tablespoon cashew butter
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sriracha *if you like super spicy add more!
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon coconut aminos or soy sauce

1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat melt the ghee or heat the oil, add the carrot, celery, onion, ginger, garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or until carrots and celery have begin to soften
2. Add ground chicken and cook until no long pink, about 5-8 minutes
3. Stir in water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, scallions, and coconut aminos or soy sauce. Cook together 5 minutes before serving in lettuce or napa cabbage leaves

1. In a small dish mix together all ingredients until smooth. Drizzle on top of wraps. Keep covered and refrigerated

Posted in Appetizers, Gluten Free, Main Dishes | Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Smoked Almond Hummus

How do you feel about hummus? Are you new to hummus? Or are you a total lover like me? I think hummus is well on its way to becoming the number one dip in the United States. My unscientific research says salsa is probably number one but I wouldn’t doubt if hummus was a close second. You can buy a container of hummus at gas stations these days. Seriously.

Smoked Almond Hummus

My first hummus experience was in college. Oh college the time where try crazy new things… like hummus. My friend Chris frequently hosted gatherings of friends where we would sit around, eat his wonderful food, and drink bottle after bottle of wine and imported beers. It was in Chris’s smoke filled apartment where I first tried this exotic dip. I was hooked instantly. In my fridge today I have some of this smoked almond hummus and three or four varieties of store bought hummus. Addicted I tell you.

Smoked Almond Hummus

This hummus was inspired by a boiled peanut hummus my grandma made at Christmas. It was so good. I could not stop thinking about it and finally the craving became so strong I needed to make something similar. Boiled peanuts aren’t something I’ve ever seen in the stores, she got them while vacationing in the south. Smoked almonds seems like a good substitute though. And boy where they ever! Hummus is traditionally made with tahini but Grandma said she used peanut butter, so I opted to do the same here. I added a little smoked paprika, chili powder, and cumin to bump up the smokey flavor even more. Serve with vegetables or crackers.

Smoke Almond Hummus

1 cup smoked almonds
1-15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons peanut butter
juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
pinch of salt
1/4 cup light olive oil
water if needed to thin hummus


1. In food processor on high speed process almonds until they become paste like
2. Add beans, garlic, peanut butter, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Process until smooth
3. Drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil if need to thin add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until desired smoothness is reached
4. When ready to serve sprinkle a little smoked paprika and chili powder on top and drizzle a little olive oil

Posted in Appetizers, Gluten Free, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Mardi Gras, Carnival, Fat Tuesday, a last day of celebrating and indulging before the Christian season of Lent, which begins on Wednesday. Fat Tuesday is also known as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Pancake Day? That is a day I want to celebrate! Not with some plain ole hum-drum pancakes but with pancakes with a flair. It is Carnival season after-all. Cha-cha-cha. Ricotta, lemon zest, and lemon extract are all stirred into the batter. The ricotta and lemon make for really fluffy and cheery pancakes. They taste like Spring. You may forego regular ole pancakes forever.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

You will want to skip the maple syrup with these pancakes. I paired my cakes with freshly whipped cream flavored with a little lemon lemon extract and lemon zest. Heaven. Fresh berry jam or lemon curd would be equally delightful. If you find yourself currently buried under a mountain of snow I recommend making a batch of these beauties. You will be able to almost taste Spring with each bite.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Yield: 10 cakes 

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
pinch of salt
1 cup ricotta
2 eggs, yolks and whites divided
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk

for the whipped cream
1-1/2 cups heaving whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Note: If your ricotta is really watery pour it into a fine mesh strainer and allow the excess water to drip out for about 20 minutes

1. Preheat pan or griddle to medium/medium-high heat
2. In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, zest, salt
3. In a medium size bowl stir together ricotta, egg yolks, lemon and vanilla extracts, and milk
4. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer whip egg whites until stiff. Starting on low and slowly increasing speed. You may need to occasionally scrape the bowl to ensure all whites become whipped
5. Gently fold in whipped eggs whites into the batter
6. Lightly butter pan or griddle
7. Pour 1/3 cup batter onto pan/griddle and cook about 3 minutes per side
8. Serve with freshly whipped cream 

For the whipped cream
1. Using a stand mixer whip the cream on high speed until light and fluffy
2. Add sugar, extract, and zest whip together until combined


Posted in Breads, Breakfasts | Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments
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