Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Salted Nut Roll Bars

I realize I've been remiss in my blogging lately.  It's not that I haven't had anything to blog about (I actually have boatloads), but with hubby's recent surgery, Bubba's summer activities, and trying to transfer my blog files and photos to a new "cloud" server, it's just been C-R-A-Z-Y!

All excuses aside, I found this recipe online after seeing a similar one in a cookbook at Sam's Club.  Salted Nut Roll Bars.  I may be in the minority, but I've never actually consumed Salted Nut Roll candy bars before.  Perhaps it's because of the name.  Couldn't it sound a little more appetizing?  Or creative, at least?  But the photo in the cookbook looked really yummy, and when I saw the ingredients list in the recipe, well, I obviously had no idea what I was missing.  How can you go wrong with peanut butter chips, yellow cake, and marshmallows?  So now I wonder where these been all my life!

Salted Nut Roll Bars
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1 box yellow cake mix
1 egg
3/4 cup melted butter, divided
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 - 10-oz. bag peanut butter chips
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups peanuts
2 cups crispy rice cereal

Mix the cake mix, egg, and 1/4 cup of the butter together. Press the crumbly batter into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. Evenly distribute the marshmallows over the top of the hot crust. Return to the oven for 3-5 minutes, until the marshmallows are puffy. Meanwhile, melt the peanut butter chips, corn syrup, and remaining 1/2 cup of butter. Stir until smooth. Add the vanilla and blend in thoroughly. Add the peanuts and rice cereal and mix well. Pour the cereal mixture over the marshmallows and distribute as evenly as possible. Allow to cool thoroughly (or refrigerate) before cutting into 24 bars. Store in a sealed container.

Calories:  295 per bar (not light!!)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How We Celebrated...Part II

And now, what you've all been waiting on the edge of your seats for.  The conclusion of How We Celebrated...

Of course our celebration of Hubby's birthday included food.  Isn't that the highlight?

Hubby asked if I wouldn't mind whipping up a batch of cupcakes for him to take to work on his birthday.  Me, bake?  Twist my arm.  He selected my chocolate sour cream recipe with Madagascar Bourbon vanilla buttercream frosting.  I added the cupcake picks (from Hobby Lobby) myself, which were very basic.  I might try making some myself next time.

For his actual birthday cake, Hubby wanted his mom's recipe for "Crazy Cake."  It's basically an uber-moist, egg-less chocolate cake, similar to red velvet but without the food coloring.  The method for making it is a bit bizarre, but it is really, really good.  Unfortunately, we sort of ruined it by using a store-bought sugar-free vanilla frosting.  It really calls for a vanilla cream cheese frosting, so I'll try that instead next time.

At our house, the birthday person gets to choose the food that he or she wants for dinner.  I grew up with this tradition, which for me started by selecting lasagna and later turned to pizza.  And since these days I cook pretty much every night, the tradition has evolved into choosing a birthday restaurant.  Hubby chose a local pizza joint, Crust.

Crust is downtown and housed in an old wagon factory.  They serve a free appetizer known as pizza bites -- bits of fried pizza dough topped with cheese and dipped marinara sauce.  Bubba adores them, but I try not to fill up on the bites because I want to save as much room as I can for the main attraction, the pizza.  Crust also serves pastas and sandwiches, but we have only ever ordered the pizza.  I'm not generally a fan of thin crust pizza, but Crust's simple cheese pizza with extra cheese is just so yummy.  The cheese blend they use is amazing, perfectly salty, and there is lots and lots of it.  No other toppings required.  Hubby made a good choice!

I was so thrilled when the pizza arrived, I forgot to snap a picture.  Guess we'll have to go there again soon so I can get a good one...