Bunny Butt Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

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Get ready to shake your cotton tail!

No, you’re not looking at the wrong side of these treats. These are Bunny Butt Pretzel Bites, not Bunny Face Pretzel Bites. If you ask me, their little fluffy butts, with the tiny feet in the air and a plush cotton tail, are even cuter than their faces.

Last year, bunny butts became quite popular, especially on Pinterest. I guess I’m not the only food blogger with a bunny butt fetish. I wasn’t sure if it would be a trend, or if the butt-fest would continue this year, but it’s looking like the bunny butt is here to stay. Whoopie!DSC_2329

I made an adorable Bunny Butt Trifle last year, complete with triple chocolate layers and a bunny’s behind sticking out of the top, face buried headfirst in the trifle. This year, I wanted to give you butt-loving foodies a simpler, no-bake way to enjoy a delicious Easter treat, hence where these Bunny Butt Pretzel Bites come in. You’ve got a creamy, salty-sweet peanut butter filling sandwiched between two crunchy pretzels then dunked in silky white chocolate. Regardless of the rabbit rear end décor, these are seriously delicious, so the cute factor is just a bonus.

Join me for an Eastertastic time in the kitchen with my how-to video, and see how easy peasy these Bunny Butts are to make.

Side note: This is probably the most I ever have or will say the word “butt” in a post.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. Use milk or dark chocolate in place of the white and have chocolate bunny butts instead!
  2. These are not hard or time-consuming to prepare, but you need to set aside some time for them to chill.
  3. These are great for parties, especially for children.
  4. Check out my Easter recipe page for more Easter eats!DSC_2270

Bunny Butt Pretzel Bites
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Yield – about 3 dozen bites

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. butter, softened
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 72 small pretzel twists
  • 2 4.4-oz. bars white chocolate
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • Pink frosting
  • 18 mini marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter, and salt until thoroughly combined. This will take some elbow grease.
  3. Spread about 2 tsp. of peanut butter mixture onto a pretzel. Sandwich another pretzel on top and press down lightly. Use a knife to smooth off any peanut butter that has squeezed through the holes in the pretzels. Place on prepared baking sheet and continue until you’ve used all the peanut butter.
  4. Place sandwiches in freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes, preferably 1 hour or up to 3 hours, until completely frozen. They should be rock solid.
  5. Once sandwiches are frozen, place the all the white chocolate and shortening in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 second intervals, mixing well in between so it melts faster and does not burn. As long as you mix well, this should only take 3 intervals.
  6. Using either a fork or your hands, dunk frozen pretzel sandwiches into the chocolate one at a time, coating one side and the edges completely (you may coat the bottom too if you like). Let excess drip off and set back down on paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining sandwiches then return to freezer for ten minutes or until set.
  7. Turn the pretzel sandwiches so the two mounds are facing down (like a really badly shaped upside down heart). Use the pink frosting to draw two feet on the bottom of the pretzel, one on each “mound.”  For each foot, you’ll have one big circle and three smaller circles for toes. The toes should face down.
  8. Slice all the mini marshmallows in half width-wise. Use leftover melted chocolate or frosting to glue the marshmallow cotton tails onto the top center of each sandwich. Viola, you’re done!
  9. Store in fridge in an air-tight container. Let come to room temperature before eating.DSC_2349

White-Out Hello Dollies

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You know when you buy a specific ingredient for a recipe that you wouldn’t normally have on hand, but then you don’t use it all for that recipe and you’re like, “Great, what the heck am I going to do with this now?” That’s been happening to me, except not just as a one-time occurrence, but in a cyclical manner.

I bought a box of Nilla Wafers about a month ago to use for my Nilla Wafer Truffles, and was left with extra. Then I used those Nilla Wafers for my Strawberry Sweetheart Bars, but there weren’t quite enough, so I had to buy more and was left with ANOTHER half-empty box. This happened once again when I made the Strawberry Sweetheart Bars a second time. So I basically had my thousandth box of Nilla Wafers hanging out in the pantry that I had no clue what to do with.

Don’t get me wrong; Nilla Wafers are delicious, and I would’ve loved to just inhale the rest of that vanilla-scented yellow box all by myself. However, I also enjoy not resembling a cow, so I decided against that. Instead, I needed another recipe to bake them into and get them the heck out of my pantry.

Nilla Wafers are commonly made into crusts for pies, so I was initially leaning in that direction, until I thought about my recipe for my Grandma’s Hello Dollies. Those beloved bars have a graham cracker crust; what if I did a variation with a Nilla Wafer crust instead?DSC_0924

Following that lead, I crafted these White-Out Hello Dollies. Like the original recipe, they’re composed of 5 layers that bake together like magic to form ooey gooey and chewy bars of bliss. Instead of the graham cracker crust, we’ve got a buttery Nilla Wafer crust. Instead of milk chocolate chips, we use white chocolate. And instead of walnuts, we use almonds. The coconut, since it’s white, stays the same.

Everything’s bound together by caramelized sweetened condensed milk to create an albino treat reminiscent of its relative, the traditional Hello Dolly, but delving into new, sweeter territory. It’s rich and buttery with that white chocolate and the Nilla Wafers, but balanced out by the salty nuts. Basically, it’s gooey heaven in a bar.

To make these thick white-out beauties, all you have to do is pile the ingredients in a pan and bake. Then, you’re only a few minutes of magic away from the dessert of your dreams. If you like regular Hello Dollies, then you’ll love these. Stop wasting time; get your butt in the kitchen asap!

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. Get my original Hello Dolly recipe here.
  2. Longing for more Hello Dolly heaven? Try my Hello Dolly Ice Cream!
  3. These bars freeze GREAT, probably better than any cookie/bar I’ve frozen before. They taste great right of the freezer too if you’re too impatient to let ‘em thaw. Just pack them in an airtight container, and they’ll last in the freezer for months.
  4. Also try macadamia nuts instead of the almonds.DSC_0833

White-Out Hello Dollies
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted
  • 2 cups Nilla Wafer crumbs (about ½ a box’s worth of Nilla Wafers, crushed in a food processor)
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 2 cups chopped almonds
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 2 15-oz. cans sweetened condensed milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour melted butter into a 9×13 baking pan. Sprinkle Nilla Wafer crumbs over top in an even layer.
  2. Sprinkle coconut over top in an even layer, followed by the almonds, and finishing with the white chocolate chips. You may add more or less chips depending on how chocolatey you like things. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over top in an even layer and gently spread out.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes then turn oven temperature down to 325 degrees F and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown all over and bubbling. It should be nice and set in the middle.
  4. Let cool for at least an hour before cutting into squares. They’ll cut cleaner if you chill them in the fridge or freezer for a while first.DSC_0825

Strawberry Sweetheart Bars

 

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Roses are red, violets are blue.

I love food, and so do you.

And that, my friends, is why food is the best Valentine’s Day gift I could give you. We share a mutual love for food, you and I, and that’s an incomparable bond. I don’t even have to know anything else about you to know that you’re worthy of being my Valentine. If you’re on this site, that means you like food. And if you like food, that means I like you.

So here’s something sweet for all you Smart Cookie readers: My Strawberry Sweetheart Bars. They are chewy, moist…and sweet like me! I Sorry, I had to. I guarantee you Mother Cookie is rolling her eyes right now and saying, “Oh god.”DSC_0384

I absolutely love these bars because they’re so darn simple, but they make one heavenly treat. It’s a one-bowl recipe, and you just need a few ingredients. This is stress-free baking, giving you soft and chewy strawberry bliss in no time at all.

We use a boxed cake mix as the base then added eggs and butter to yield a texture that’s sturdy, but very moist and rich, like a strawberry blondie. Then, each bar is speckled with creamy white chocolate chips and chunks of Nilla Wafers that soften like cake when you bake the bars. The end product is like strawberry shortcake, but even better.

Festive pink and red V-Day sprinkles are the perfect finishing touch to these simple but scrumptious bars. Be cautioned: you will want to eat the whole pan before ever sharing with you sweetheart. Hence why I’m giving you guys a recipe for V-Day, instead of the actual bars…DSC_0380

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. I tried making this in an 8×8 pan, and the bars burned around the edges before cooking in the middle, so stick to the 9×13.
  2. Easily double or triple and bring these babies to a party!
  3. Leave out the sprinkles or sub with rainbow ones, and these delicious bars are perfect all year-round.
  4. Don’t overbake these, or they’ll dry right out. I recommend pulling them just before you think they’re done, rather than after.DSC_0313

Strawberry Sweetheart Bars
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • 1 box strawberry cake mix (I used Pillsbury Super Moist)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup crumbled Nilla Wafers
  • ¼ cup Valentine sprinkles, plus 2 tbsp. more for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, eggs, and butter on low speed just until well-combined. Mix in the chips, Nilla Wafers, and 1/4 cup sprinkles.
  3. Transfer batter to the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Cover with remaining sprinkles. Bake 20-25 minutes, checking after 15, or until puffed and set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Let cool completely then slice and enjoy.

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3-Ingredient White Chocolate Walnut Truffles

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Truffles seem so fancy, not to mention they taste like they were crafted in Heaven’s chocolate shop. But I’m going to share a little secret with you: truffles are not quite as hoity toity as they seem. In fact, I can show you how to make luscious, dreamy truffles in your own kitchen with only three ingredients.

My 3-Ingredient White Chocolate Walnut Truffles require only heavy cream, white chocolate, and walnuts. Plus, they’re extremely easy to make; it’s a matter of melt, mix, chill, and roll. But when you bite in, you won’t believe something so simple could taste so good; I’m talking slap-Santa-upside-the-head good!

These truffles are so beautifully smooth, creamy, and rich. After you bite through the initial crunchy layer of salty walnuts, the luscious truffle center instantly begins to melt in you mouth like a snowflake does when it hits your tongue. You get that buttery, sweet white chocolate combined with the salty, robust walnuts for the perfect balance of flavors.

These heavenly little truffles are exactly what you’d get if you could fuse freshly fallen snow into a sweet confection. They’re a little bit of naughty and nice for this holiday season, giving you sinful indulgence along with pure sweet divinity. They make a perfect gift that’s sure to impress the receiver with their elegance, but you’ll be the only one who knows how easy they were to make. Or you could always skip gifting them and make them as a sweet treat for yourself._DSC7746

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. Melting chocolate is a precise process, but easy if you follow these rules: Firstly, use a low heat. As long as you’re gentle in heating the chocolate, it won’t burn. Also be sure to stir constantly. Not only does this prevent burning, but it makes it melt quicker. Finally, you don’t have to keep the chocolate over the heat until it’s completely smooth. Once the chocolate is about 75% melted, you can take it off the heat and whisk it, and its own heat will melt it.
  2. Don’t like walnuts? Roll these babies in pretty colored sprinkles or shredded coconut instead.
  3. Easily adapt this with dark or milk chocolate instead; just switch out with whatever kind you want and keep the proportions the same.
  4. If you don’t chill the melted chocolate-cream mixture, you’ll have one hell of a chocolate sauce!

White Chocolate Walnut Truffles
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups finely chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Pour the white chocolate and heavy cream into a medium sauce pan over low heat. Stir continuously as it melts (don’t stop mixing; chocolate burns easy). When chocolate is almost completely melted, remove from heat and keep whisking until totally smooth. You don’t have to get the chocolate hot to melt it completely.
  2. Pour melted chocolate into a heat proof container and let cool to room temperature. Cover and chill until completely firm, about 2 hours.
  3. Put chopped walnuts into a shallow bowl. Use a mini ice cream scoop or spoon to scoop out balls of white chocolate. Or you can do what I did and just just roll chunks of chocolate into balls with your hands like you would clay. Roll the truffles in the walnuts to coat the outsides and gently pack so it sticks. Set in an airtight container lined with waxed paper or parchment paper and store in fridge._DSC7794

White Chocolate-Walnut Toffee + How-To Video

Caution: the candy I’m about to share with you is not for the faint at heart. It’s rich, it’s decadent, and it may just send you into a blissful sugar coma. But is that any reason to steer clear? Most certainly not. In fact, this is the kind of heavenly treat you need to experience at some point in your life. With this, I must offer one last warning: 99% of those who try this candy will develop an addiction.

Better to be addicted to sweets than drugs, right?

My White Chocolate Walnut Toffee is the pinnacle of decadence. From the buttery, nutty, & sweet toffee to the rich, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth white chocolate topping, this stuff has “pure, unadulterated indulgence” written all over it. But is it too much? Of course not. In fact, your sweet tooth is going to thank you. Even if you think there’s not a single sweet tooth in that mouth of yours, this toffee will change that. It’s just divine, loaded with heavenly sweetness and balanced out by a sprinkle of salty walnuts.

This is the kind of indulgence you enjoy in privacy. Close your eyes, melt away, and revel in it. Sweet & salty, smooth & crunchy, it’s a multidimensional experience. But between you and me, this toffee’s got a secret: it’s easy as pie to make. We’re talking beginner-level stuff, and only 5 ingredients required. Too good to be true? No way! You know I’d never lie to you about food.

Whip up a batch of this dreamy confection right now for the perfect gift, or keep it all for your naughty self to enjoy in privacy. Nobody has to know…

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you should be okay. You can basically tell when it’s turned dark amber and is done.
  2. Use milk chocolate or dark chocolate if you prefer.
  3. You can use any kind of nuts you like (or no nuts at all).
  4. This is great for a gift, especially at Christmas time. Decorate it with sprinkles to match the holiday.
  5. Some reviewers of the original recipe say they have an issue with the butter separating. If this happens, just keep mixing to incorporate it back in. If worse comes to worse, you can dot off the extra butter with a paper towel.

White Chocolate Walnut Toffee
Adapted from allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 25 oz. good white chocolate (do not use white chocolate morsels; they won’t melt correctly)
  • 1 – 2 cups chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  2. In a large, shallow heavy bottomed saucepan (like a cast iron skillet), combine the butter, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Allow to come to a boil, stirring occasionally, and cook until the mixture becomes a dark amber color, and the temperature has reached 285 degrees F (137 degrees C).
  3. As soon as the toffee reaches the proper temperature, pour it out onto the prepared baking sheet and smooth out. Immediately sprinkle the chocolate over the top, and let it set for a minute or two to soften. Gently spread the chocolate into a thin, even layer once it is melted. Sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate, using more or less depending on your preference.
  4. Place the toffee in the refrigerator to chill until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.