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Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

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If there is one truth in the universe that everyone can agree on, it’s that chocolate and peanut butter is a holy combination. A divine duo, if you will. Any dessert utilizing this decadent pairing will be an inevitable hit. It’s science!

Unless, of course, you happen to be allergic to peanuts, in which case I offer my most sincere condolences. It truly is that good

Which is why today I have yet another PB/chocolate recipe for you all today (see chocolate party bark, no-bake pb & chocolate cereal bars,  classic puppy chow, peanut butter chocolate chip banana bread,  peanut butter cup cheesecake bars, baked peanut butter cup s’mores dip) Chocolate-stuffed peanut butter cookie cups!

That’s right. 

Chocolate-stuffed peanut butter cookie cups. 

Chocolate stuffed peanut butter cookie cups

A chewy, rich, peanut-buttery cookie, cooked until golden and soft, filled with creamy milk chocolate and garnished with a drizzle, should you so desire. Goes well with a tall glass of milk and a smile. 😉 

As if that weren’t good enough, these bad boys get even better–there’s only six ingredients. That’s it! Right now, you are five ingredients away from your own chocolate-stuffed peanut butter cookie cups. All they take are a cup of peanut butter, a splash of vanilla, a cup of sugar(s), one egg, your milk chocolate of choice, and a tablespoon or so of coconut oil. 

You probably have all of those ingredients in your pantry, too. Simple and delicious. That’s how I like ’em!

To make these, you combine the peanut butter, sugars, and egg in a medium bowl, mixing until fully combined. The dough for these is rather sticky, so I recommend either chilling the dough for an hour or two before baking, or rolling the dough after running your hands under water so they’re slightly wet. It helps the dough to not stick so much!

You then put about a tablespoon of dough into each mini muffin pan divot, pressing it into the sides to leave room for the chocolate. Once that’s complete, you melt your chocolate and combine it with the coconut oil, which gives the chocolate a smoother, creamier texture without affecting the taste. You then add in your desired amount of chocolate into each cookie cup, leaving some for garnish. 

With the remaining dough, you seal the tops of the cookie cups, stamp with a fork to make the signature peanut butter cookie crosshatch, and then bake for fifteen-twenty minutes until the edges are golden and the middles are set. 

Now comes the tough part. 

You have to let them cool  c o m p l e t e l y  before taking them out of the tin, or the melted chocolate will cause the cookie cups to fall apart. Once you do get them out of the pan, however, you can drizzle with the remaining chocolate and enjoy with a tall, cold glass of milk. 

I can practically taste it now. 

Let’s get to it, shall we? 😀

Peanut Butter Cookie Cups
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Ingredients
  1. 1 c. smooth peanut butter
  2. 1/2 c. granulated white sugar
  3. 1/2 c. light brown sugar
  4. 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  5. 1 egg
  6. 3/4 c. milk chocolate of choice
  7. 1 tsp. coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease two mini muffin pans with 12 divots each. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugars, vanilla, and egg until combined.
  3. Add the peanut butter to the sugar mixture, stirring until even. Chill dough for at least one hour for best results.
  4. Melt chocolate. Stir in coconut oil until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Press about a teaspoon of dough into each divot, using the back of a spoon (or melon baller) to get an even thickness. Spoon chocolate into cookie cups, making sure not to overfill. Leave room to cover with dough.
  6. Cover the chocolate-filled cookie cups with remaining peanut butter cookie dough.
  7. Bake for fifteen to twenty minutes, until edges are golden and middles are set.
  8. Cool completely before removing cookie cups from tin and garnishing with remaining chocolate.
  9. Enjoy with a tall glass of milk!
Sweet Grace's Life http://www.sweetgraceslife.com/
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Summer Running 2.0

Running in ideal conditions is hard enough as is, let alone in 90 degree heat in 90% humidity at 9 o’clock in the morning when you could still be sleeping. Because of this, I’m up for anything that’ll make it less miserable–and why I’ve gathered a few tips & tricks to share with you and make running this summer a little more fun. 😛

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Tip #1: Go early. I know, I know. I’m cringing too. But, it makes a h u g e difference conditions-wise. For my school’s cross country summer camp, we meet at 7 in the morning, and while that is painfully early, it’s often ten-to-twenty degrees cooler and significantly less humid than it’ll be even a few hours later. Plus, by going for a run not long after you wake up, you don’t have to worry about eating something before you go. By the time you finish showering off after your run, you’re ready for breakfast and you still have your whole day ahead of you to do with what you please. It might take a day or two to adjust to running earlier, but trust me, you won’t regret it!

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Tip #2: Track your runs with some sick gear. I’m someone who likes to be in-the-know and I’m proud of it. I like to know what’s going on, be it the endings of books or plot twists in movies or, in this case, my running stats. I recently broke my old green watch (RIP Garmin Forerunner 10) and replaced it with it’s older sister that’s got a few more bells and whistles. 🙂 I now use the Garmin Forerunner 25 (linked above), which not only gives you the standard features (GPS, pace, distance, etc.) but also provides bluetooth connectivity that syncs up with your phone whenever it’s turned on. Garmin also has a pretty decent app set up (it’s similar to the Fitbit app, if you’re familiar with that) where you can view your progress, as well as connect with friends or family members also on the app. This watch also can act as an activity tracker, counting steps and tracking your sleep, if you so choose. I don’t use it for this particular factor, only because it doesn’t really go with my usual style. 😉 Using a watch also makes keeping track of pace and distance much easier while running. I highly recommend it! 

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Tip #3: Get a good playlist goingMusic makes such a massive difference while running, and because we don’t get to use it during cross country runs, it makes it more of a treat when I do get to have it. It makes running by yourself a little less lonely, too. 😛 I don’t shy away from dancing at stop lights or mouthing the lyrics to myself when running, either. Makes it more interesting ;). Right now, whatever they’re playing on the radio is really workin’ for me (both country and pop 😉 ) so I’ve got a mixture of both on my playlist. Thomas Rhett (T-shirt, anyone?) and Carrie Underwood make some clutch appearances on my playlist, as does that one Ariana Grande song, Into You. So. CATCHY. The new One Republic and P!nk songs are fab, too. You can find my playlist here if you’d like to give it a listen! 😀

That’s all I’ve got for you today! If you’ve got any tips on summer running for me, I would love to hear them! Any help I can get is much appreciated. For real. 😉 

-Grace 

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Mini Berry Tarts

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Happy Wednesday to ya, folks!

Today (like most days) I was craving a little somethin’ sweet. It was a gorgeous day and I had a five-mile run under my belt, so it only felt appropriate that I treat myself. 🙂 To do so, I enlisted the help of a long-time best friend (and blog follower–she’s made it on here before!): Lizzardbacon (Elizabeth works too, I guess 😉 )

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Since it was a bit on the warmer side of things (to the tune of upper-80’s, might I add), we both thought something a little lighter (but still just as delicious) was in order. A quick scroll through Pinterest and we landed on the perfect solution: mini berry tarts! 

These are the perfect summer treat. They’re light, tart, a tad crumbly, and very satisfying. They look very patriotic, too (Fourth of July is coming up, you know!). Plus, they’re mini, so you can eat six (or ten?) and be a-okay, right? 

These little tarts also come together pretty quickly, and you probably have all of the ingredients for them on hand in your very kitchen. Right now. Seriously,  go check. 😉

The base is a simple sugar cookie crust that consists of some unsalted butter, a dash of salt, a splash of vanilla, and a bit of powdered sugar. That’s it. No eggs, milk, soy, nuts…nada. 😀 Simplicity is key. 

Once the dough comes together, you make the filling by rinsing and draining about a cup of your berries of choice (it’s blueberry season!) and tossing them with some cornstarch, lemon juice, and plain ol’ granulated sugar. About a tablespoon (maybe a little less) of the mixture goes into each tart, and the leftover juice can be drizzled onto the tarts as well. 

You then pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes until the cookie turns all golden and wonderful, let them cool (maybe?), and proceed to eat the entire batch. 

I’m not kidding about that. We maybe made 15 of them, and by the time we were done taking pictures for the blog we had about eight left. And right now, two. 😈 Gotta love summer!

Ta-da! Simple and muy delicioso. 

Let’s get to it, shall we? 

Mini Berry Tarts
A sweet summer treat with a simple sugar cookie crust and fresh berry filling.
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For the sugar cookie base
  1. 1/2 c. (one stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
  2. 1/3 c. powdered sugar
  3. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  4. 1/4 tsp. salt
  5. 1 & 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
For the filling
  1. 1 c. fresh berries of choice, rinsed and drained
  2. 2 tbsp. granulated white sugar
  3. 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  4. 1 tsp. lemon juice
  5. 1 sheet crushed graham cracker for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease/line two mini-muffin tins. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and smooth.
  3. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat until combined.
  4. While the mixer is on a slow speed, add in the flour carefully. Mix until fully combined.
  5. Press a little less than a tablespoon of the cookie dough into each of the mini muffin cavities, making sure to cover the sides and bottom evenly. Set aside.
  6. In a medium bowl, toss the berries, cornstarch, sugar, and lemon juice until mixed completely. Spoon about a teaspoon of filling into each tart. The crust won't puff up while baking, so feel free to fill the tarts all the way until the top.
  7. Bake the tarts for about 15 minutes, or until the cookie base is golden. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from tins.
  8. Top with crushed graham crackers and enjoy!
Sweet Grace's Life http://www.sweetgraceslife.com/