Blueberry PB & J Bites

image

It’s finally Summer! The beautiful bright sun shines well past 8, long walks at the lake reveal all sorts of beautiful new flowers and plants, and fresh berries are everywhere from farm stands to your favorite market.

These treats capture a little of that summery cheer, sweet and a little savory, with a nice crunch from the nuts. However, if you prefer to go nut free, you can leave them out of the mixture and they still taste great! While I used blueberries here, your favorite berry (or mixture of berries) is also delicious.

Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~
Blueberry PB & J Bites
Copyright 2016 Lauren Bradford (aka The Food Puzzler)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Yield: 24-2 ounce bites (as pictured)*
~~~~~~~~~

Ingredients:

1 pint fresh blueberries, rinsed and stems removed
1-12 ounce container of plain raisins
3/4 cup unsweetened 5-grain cereal (I use a brand by Old Wessex, with Oats, Triticale, Flax, Rye and Barley)
1/2 cup peanuts (optional)
4 tbsp chia seeds

Steps:

1. Place the first 4 ingredients in your food processor (or first 3 if omitting nuts) and pulse until the mixture is well blended.

2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the chia seeds. Let rest 10 minutes.

3. Using a tablespoon, take 2 scoops and form them into a patty.

*If you prefer truffle-shaped, use 2 teaspoon-size scoops (you’ll have more than twice the yield stated above). If you prefer bar-size, use 4 tablespoon-size scoops (you’ll have half the yield stated stated above).

4. Store in an airtight container in either the refrigerator for one week or freezer for three months.

YUM

image

The title comes from my biggest fan (OK, very often my only fan 😉 ) otherwise known as Mom.

I was trying to come up with a travel-friendly and shipping-friendly version of my chocolate-dipped banana-pb filled peanut butter bacon cookies:

https://thefoodpuzzler.com/2016/06/11/chocolate-dipped-triple-pb-bacon-cookies-with-pb-banana-chia-filling/

and realized that the same ingredients work if combined and baked in a cookie rather than used to create a chocolate-dipped cookie sandwich. They’re even more adorable as minis!

Mini Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Peanuts

Copyright 2016 by Lauren Bradford (The Food Puzzler)

~~Ingredients~~

– 1 cup peanut butter

– 1 cup peanut butter powder

– 1 teaspoon baking powder

(or the dry ingredients from a favorite peanut butter cookie recipe)

– Large banana, ripened.

– 1 teaspoon vanilla

– 1 large egg

– 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

– 1/2 cup chocolate chips of choice.

-4 strips bacon of choice, cooked near crispy with excess fat blotted away, chopped small.

– 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts.

Steps

1. Mash or purée the banana in a food processor, and transfer to a bowl.

2. Mix in the remaining ingredients, then cover and refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line sheet pans with parchment.

4. Using a mini-scoop or 2 teaspoons, portion out the dough onto the sheet pans 2 inches apart.

5. Bake for up to 10 minutes, then place on a cooling rack.

6. Cool the cookies completely.

Enjoy!

 

UPDATED! Chocolate-Dipped Triple PB-Bacon Cookies with PB Banana Chia Filling


I had just made some really yummy peanut butter cookies for my gentleman friend, where I substituted puréed sunflower and walnuts for the butter (mainly because that’s what I had) and they were incredibly good…
…but they weren’t quite enough, so I started puzzling over what else I could add to them, which John loved to eat, to make them special.

My first thoughts turned towards bananas, but then I realized that I needed some flavor and texture contrasts to this sweet and soft cookie. Chopped nuts as a topping and chopped cooked hickory-smoked bacon took these completely over the top.

But…I wasn’t done yet. I decided to use the banana as a filling for cookie sandwiches, enhanced with peanut butter powder, and to cover the sandwich halfway with chocolate and the chopped nuts. I admit, chia seeds entered the picture only because the banana-PB powder mixture seemed too loose to stay in a cookie sandwich, but they also add a little texture and nutrients. In fact, the banana-chia-peanut butter powder combination make a yummy pudding too!

The best part is its versatility! Homemade cookies or favorite box mix or even store-bought. Any type of chocolate. Any chopped nuts, and for that matter any type of nut butter. Bacon is optional…but it’s incredibly good here, and there are so many options nowadays–including Vegan–that this cookie can suit anyone’s needs.

I hope you try this and enjoy it as much as John has…and let me know how you make yours!

——

Chocolate-Dipped Triple PB-Bacon Cookies with PB Banana Chia Filling

Copyright 2016 by Lauren Bradford (The Food Puzzler)

~~Ingredients~~

*Cookies If Making*

– 1 cup peanut butter

– 1/2 cup peanut butter powder

– 1 teaspoon baking powder

– 1 large banana

– 1 egg

(or the dry ingredients from a favorite peanut butter cookie recipe plus the banana and egg, or your favorite store-bought)

*Sandwich*

– 1 large banana

– 2 tablespoons chia seeds

– 1 12-ounce bag chocolate chips of choice

-4 strips bacon of choice, cooked near crispy with excess fat blotted away, chopped small

– 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts

Steps

1. Mash or purée the banana in a food processor (both if making the cookies and sandwiches, then divide between two bowls).

2. In one bowl, mix 1/2 the peanut butter powder, chia seeds and, if using pre-made cookies, chopped bacon*. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to an hour.

3. In the other bowl, if making your own cookies, add in the egg and combine completely. Then, add in the peanut butter, other 1/2 cup peanut butter powder, and baking powder.ncover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line sheet pans with parchment paper.

5. Using large spoons, divide the dough into 12 evenly-sized cookies, ensuring at least 2 inches separation from each other.

6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, checking after 10.

7. Cool the cookies completely, if baked, and once the filling is thick enough, lay 6 of the cookies with flat-side up on a parchment-lined cookie sheet pan.

8. Spread the filling between the six cookies, then top with the other six.

9. Transfer, uncovered, into the freezer for about 30 minutes.

10. Place the chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl and melt by warming it 30 seconds at a time and stirring after every 30 seconds.

11. Take the sandwiches out of the freezer. Take each sandwich and, using a spoon, carefully drape half of the sandwich with the chocolate. Place it back on the parchment-lined pan and sprinkle the top with some of the chopped nuts.

9. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches. If you have any remaining chocolate, feel free to drizzle it over the cookies, then return the pan to the freezer for another 30 minutes.

10. Once frozen, wrap each sandwich in wax paper or parchment.

NOTE: each sandwich needs at least 15-20 minutes out of the freezer to soften for eating, but stand fine if left out for upwards of an hour or two if serving them to a group.