Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Parmesan Peppercorn Ranch Crackers

I've been on a self-imposed $100-a-week grocery budget, which leaves little room for junk food or soda, and no room whatsoever for error. While I am willing to impose a stricter diet on myself, my husband and son are not so happy with the plan. So after seeing several recipes for Ranch crackers on Pinterest, I impulsively picked up two 99-cent bags of oyster crackers at Aldi.

Then I got home, and realized that virtually all of the recipes called for oil. Whaaa? Hello - butter is what you need, and it's what I'd been thinking all along. So I scrapped all the other versions I found and made this up as I went along. I really adore peppercorn ranch, and parmesan is always so good with that dressing - well, that's what I used.

And the end result rocked. Fabulouso, if I do say so myself. :) (Please forgive the crappy iPhone pics. I had a minor crisis with my desktop computer and had to resort to lesser means of photography.)

Parmesan Peppercorn Ranch Crackers

2 10-oz bags oyster crackers
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (the powdery kind will work best here)
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup butter, melted and cooled back to room temp
1/3 cup ranch dressing mix

Preheat oven to 250. Combine crackers and cheese in a large (I really mean large - it's hard to mix without crackers going everywhere) bowl. Mix pepper and ranch mix into the butter, then pour over crackers. Stir well to coat. Pour crackers into the biggest cookie sheet you've got. It's okay if they pile up a little; you'll be stirring them every five minutes. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes. Allow to cool completely before transferring to airtight container.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Crispy-Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

In my humble opinion, oatmeal cookies should be crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Delicious, if done right - and let me tell you, these babies are right. I modified this from Allrecipes and it is perfection. Enjoy them... we are!

Crispy-Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1 1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract
2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup toffee bits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment or lightly grease.

In a large bowl, cream together shortening, butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Mix in egg, vanilla, and maple until well blended. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir into batter until well blended. Mix in oats, toffee, and walnuts. Roll doll into walnut-sized balls (about one tablespoon) and place two inches apart on cookie sheets.

Bake for 12 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Allow to rest on cookie sheet two minutes before transferring to cooling racks. Cool completely before storing to retain the crispy edges.

Makes about 5 dozen.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Smothered Steak

Mom has made this for years. I cut the amount of oil down by more than half and added onions, which made it a little healtheir but didn't add much to the prep. In fact, it's easy to make and is comfort food at its best. The extended baking time makes the meat fall-apart tender. This is wonderful with mashed potatoes.

Smothered Steak

1 1/2 lb round steak, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c flour, plus extra for dredging
black pepper to taste
3 c. beef broth
1 large onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 8x11 glass casserole dish with cooking spray. Combine flour and pepper in a small bowl. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Dredge steak in flour mixture and cook in skillet until browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Use tongs to remove steak to prepared casserole dish. Cover steak with onions.

Whisk flour into remaining oil. If too dry, add a tablespoon of oil at at time until the lumps are out of the flour. Slowly stir in beef broth, stirring constantly. Cook over medium-high heat for about five minutes, or until thickened. Carefully pour gravy over steak and onions. Cover dish tightly with two layers of aluminum foil. Bake for one hour at 350. Reduce heat to 200 and bake another hour. Can sit, covered, for up to an hour before serving.

Serves 4.

Friday, November 4, 2011

White Bean & Bacon Soup

I am nearing the end of my preceptorship at the hospital; because I'm working second shift, it means I'm staying up weird hours. To keep myself awake in the middle of the night, I've taken to cooking. This is what I made at 4am - and I can hardly wait to dig in when I eat it for supper tonight! It's yet another Pinterest find (from Centsational Girl), and besides being easy, it's also quite economical.

White Bean with Bacon Soup

1 lb dry cannellini beans (soaked as directed)
3 14.5 oz cans chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 tbsp butter
2 bay leaves
¾ cup diced peeled carrots
5-6 strips cooked bacon
¾ cup lowfat milk
salt & pepper to taste

Prepare dried cannellini beans as directed on package (with overnight or quick soak) in a large pot, drain any remaining water. Melt butter in a small skillet. Add onion and brown until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add broth and onions to beans in pot and bring to a low boil. Cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes.

Add carrots, bay leaves, bacon, and salt and pepper and cook for another 25-30 minutes on low heat until beans and carrots are soft. Remove bay leaves, add milk, then with a hand mixer or in a blender, puree half of the soup until it becomes creamy. Add salt to taste. Reheat in pot to desired temperature. Serve warm with breadcrumbs, croutons, and/or diced bacon on top accompanied by breadsticks or sourdough slices.

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

Lately, just about everything I've made has come from Pinterest. I just can't get enough. This recipe (and another that I will post soon) marks my first attempt at using wine in my cooking. Next time I will buy the real thing, instead of cooking wine, but when you're in a hurry, you do what you gotta do.

This delicious pasta from Homemade by Holman was a big hit. Well, B didn't like it, but he doesn't like anything, so I'm not counting him. Jeff thought it was wonderful. I made it with whole-wheat pasta, but next time I think I'll skip the healthy stuff and go for regular. Usually I don't mind whole-wheat, but this time it overpowered the subtle flavors of the white cheddar and wine. Plus it just doesn't look as pretty. I also made a couple of minor edits; adding Parmesan to the sauce and omitting some of the thyme and the red pepper flakes. This was easy to make and tasted divine. It's definitely on my make-again list!

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 T olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Mix together mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and sprinkle over chicken pieces. When pan is hot, add chicken and onion and brown, stirring until cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.

1 pound rotini or macaroni
2 T butter
2 T flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 T Dijon mustard
8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
1 1/2 c milk
1/2 c heavy cream
1 T fresh oregano
Parmesan cheese to taste

Heat water to boil in a large stock pot for pasta, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente and drain according to directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Add wine, garlic, and mustard. Cook until mixed and heated through. Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk and cream, stirring to combine. Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken. Add cheeses and stir to melt. Add chicken and pasta and toss gently. Add oregano and serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Classic Chicken and Rice Soup

Oh, Pinterest, how I love you! I've found several wonderful blogs to follow from the Pins on the site, which gave me even more stuff to pin! :D

This yummilicious - yet super-simple - chicken & rice soup came from the Picky Palate. I was a bit surprised at the Dijon mustard, but it just gives the soup a little depth. I used a lot more than 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, and the soup has a nice, peppery, warm flavor. Otherwise, I pretty much followed the recipe as-is (except for the parsley. Too lazy to bother with it!). Good stuff, lemme tell ya!

Classic Chicken & Rice Soup

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled & chopped
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
7 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked white rice
1 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 c finely chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add onions; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minutes. Add celery and carrots, cooking and stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Stir and reduce heat to low. Simmer until ready to serve.

Seres 8

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

This recipe was originally a pasta salad that I found on Pinterest. It evolved quite a bit after we realized how greasy the hot wing sauce made the dish (especially when you reheated the leftovers). It separates when it's heated and becomes rather icky. We solved the grease problem by holding the hot sauce until you're sitting down with a big bowl of the pasta. This also lets you control how much heat (and heartburn!) you want. Now it's just about perfect, and Jeff devoured the stuff. I don't like buffalo anything, and even I thought it was pretty good.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

16 oz. penne
1 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup milk
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
3 cups cubed cooked chicken

10 oz blue cheese crumbles (2 small containers)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Frank's hot wing sauce
Ranch salad dressing

Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large bowl, whisk together evaporated milk, milk, soup, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Stir in chicken, blue cheese, and mozzarella. When pasta is cooked, draine (do not rinse) and pour into chicken mixture. Carefully stir to combine. Transfer to a 9x11 or 1.5-qt casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the top turns golden brown. Serve with hot sauce and Ranch dressing.

Serves 6

Monday, September 5, 2011

Crock Pot Chicken

I've been eating this since I was a kid. Mom edited a recipe from a book that (to me, at least) looked to be at least 100 years old. It's simple - both in content and preparation - and is one of the kid-friendliest meals I've ever made. Even Braeden eats it, and he doesn't like anything that isn't mac & cheese or peanut butter.

You can use reduced-fat soup and fat-free milk with no problem if you so choose.

One caveat - the milk in this will curdle if you cook it too long or too fast. It's a good idea to make it the first time on a day you can be home to keep an eye on it. My first slow cooker burned it if I cooked it longer than 4 hours, even on low. The one I have now does well on low for 6 hours. It's hit-or-miss, so give it a trial run before you leave it on all day while you're gone.

Crock Pot Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 10-oz can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 c butter or margarine
1/2 c flour
salt & pepper to taste
2 c milk
cooked rice

Spray bottom of slow cooker with cooking spray. Cut chicken into large cubes (2 inches is good) and place in slow cooker. Pour soup over chicken and stir well to coat.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour, salt, and pepper until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat until thickened, about 2 minutes (keep stirring!). Pour over chicken and stir to mix well. Cook on low 6 hours. Serve with rice.

Serves 6.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Make this Pinterest Recipe #2 - tried and approved. (See, I am doing more than just look!) The recipe came from Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour (how hysterical is that?). I tweaked it ever so slightly - leaving out the pepper because I didn't have one, adding a can of kidney beans, and using the whole can of enchilada sauce - and ooooh, it was tasty! Super filling, too, especially since I used whole-wheat pasta. I also used a reduced-fat sour cream without any problem. You could try low-fat cheese, but it probably won't melt as well. I might give it a go next time, though. This is not the spiciest dish I've ever had, but you could use chipotle chili powder or cayenne to crank up the heat a notch or two.

For the record, this stuff makes a ton, but it sure is good!

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

2 tbsp canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp chili powder
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 10-oz can red enchilada sauce
2 10-oz cans green enchilada sauce
1 15-oz can beans, rinsed & drained (your choice - I used kidney but black or pinto would work too)
2 c shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
1 c sour cream
16 oz penne
tomatoes, sour cream, avocado, and/or green onion for garnish

Cook penne according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onions in hot oil until nearly translucent. Add garlic and bell pepper; continue cooking until tender. Stir in cumin, chili powder, chicken, enchilada sauce, and beans. Bring just to a boil and stir in cheese until melted. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Add pasta. Garnish as desired.

Serves: at least 6, maybe 8.

Peanut Butter Pie

This ain't your momma's peanut butter pie, y'all.

Actually, it would be more appropriate to say this ain't my momma's pie... because it was her recipe I overhauled. The original was great - a super summery treat that I haven't had in years but have been craving something awful. I decided it needed to be, shall we say, edited.

And here's what I did: swapped out the graham cracker crust for a Nutter Butter crust, added caramel ice cream topping (because it really does go fabulously with PB), and added chopped Reese's cups. Mmmm....

Peanut Butter Pie

24 Nutter Butters
7 tbsp butter, melted
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 c peanut butter
2 c powdered sugar
2/3 c milk
8 oz Cool Whip, thawed
8 oz bag Reese's minis, coarsely chopped
caramel ice cream topping

Crush Nutter Butters in a ziploc with a rolling pin. Stir into butter and press into ungreased 8x10 glass dish. Sprinkle all but 1/2 cup Reese's over cookie crust. Cream together cream cheese, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and milk with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread mixture over crust and sprinkle with reserved Reese's. Drizzle with however much caramel you want. Refrigerate at least an hour to allow it to set up.

Serves 1. (Cause I ain't sharing!!! Okay... realistically it could serve 12, no problem. It's pretty rich. But still, that's only if I'm feeling really generous - which I'm not.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

A week or so ago, I saw a pin floating around on Pinterest that said something along the lines of "Thank you, Pinterest, for making me feel creative when I've actually been sitting at the computer for three hours." Let the record show that this recipe is adapted from one I found on Pinterest!

I am so not a slacker!

This came from this recipe at, but I had to do some significant adjusting because I just didn't have all the ingredients. What you see below is my version I rarely do that when I'm baking, but I have to say the experiment worked pretty well. It's a tad dry, but that probably has as much to do with the fact that I'm still trying to get used to a new oven and all its quirks. Hey, if nothing else, I used up the bananas that were going to go bad, and I feel confident that the entire loaf will be eaten!

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

3-4 mashed ripe bananas
1/2 c no sugar added applesauce
1/3 c creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 1/2 c flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, beat together banana, applesauce, peanut butter, butter, and eggs, using a mixer on low speed. Add sugar and brown sugar and beat until blended. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice until just blended. Spray a 9x5 bread pan with cooking spray. Bake for 1 hour 5 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. (dark pans may require less cooking time). Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Serves 12.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mexican Grilled Cheese

Don't run away screaming when you find out what's on this grilled cheese. Promise? Okay. Good.

I adapted the recipe from Jana Laurene's blog, which has been making the rounds on Pinterest. I have made these a couple of times, and learned a few things in the process. First, I have never been a fan of plain avocado, and even though I salted it to death, that part was still a little bland. So I tried it with my homemade guacamole (recipe here), and oh my word, it is heavenly!!!

Second, cook the bacon in the skillet, and wipe 95% of the fat out. Cook the grilled cheese in what's left. It adds to the sandwich, I promise.

Third, use a sweet, crispy apple - like Honeycrisp or Jazz. You really want that sweetness to offset the other flavors.

It's complex, but delicious. You gotta try it.

Mexican Grilled Cheese


sourdough bread
spray butter
apple, thinly sliced
pepperjack cheese

Cook bacon in large skillet until browned. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Wipe out most of bacon fat, leaving a tiny amount to cook in. Spray one side each of two slices of sourdough and lay in skillet, sprayed side down. Layer enough pepperjack to fully cover each slice of bread. Spread guacamole on one piece. Press apple slices into guacamole. Layer bacon over apple, and turn the other piece of bread over the bacon. Cook the whole thing over medium heat until cheese is melted and bread is browned. Then enjoy the heck out of this awesome grilled cheese!


Funny how taste buds can change with age. I had always been the person to have the kitchen hold the guacamole. That nasty-looking green stuff reminded me a little too much of the contents of a dirty diaper. Ew.

But not long ago, I tried the creamy guacamole concotion at Abuelos, and kinda fell in love. Then I had some homemade guacamole at a friend's house, and I decided I was hooked. But neither Jeff or I liked the store bought stuff, so I began the quest to make my own. I think this is perfect, so I will share! (Don't you feel lucky?)

Keep in mind that this is to taste; you might want to add more salt, less cayenne, more lime - I suggest starting with the amounts below, then adding to taste once it is all mixed up. Since I started with fairly conservative amounts, it should be adjustable for everyone. I mix this up in the container I plan to store it in, so it doesn't make much of a mess - just the cutting board, knife, fork, and bowl. Can't beat that!


1/4 red onion, finely chopped
7 grape tomatoes, finely chopped
juice of half a lime
dash cayenne
1 tsp Kosher salt
3 avocados

Combine red onion, tomatoes, lime juice, cayenne, and salt in a bowl. Mix well. Cut avocados in half, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Using a fork, mash avocado into onion mixture until desired consistency (I like mine really mushed, but others like big chunks.) At this point, you may want to add more lime, salt, and cayenne. Add it a little at a time until it suits you. Store in fridge.

Pumpkin Pie Cake

This cake is out of this world, especially when it is warm out of the oven. It's ten times better than plain old pumpkin pie, and it has practically no calories. Okay, so maybe I exaggerated on that last part, but you can just have a Diet Coke to compensate. :)

Pumpkin Pie Cake

1 29-oz can pumpkin (not pie filling)
4 eggs
1 13-oz can evaporated milk
1 1/2 c sugar
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 pkg yellow cake mix
1 c chopped nuts

1 c melted butter

Preheat oven to 350. Beat together pumpkin, eggs, evaporated milk, and spices in a large bowl. Pour into an ungreased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture, then sprinkle nuts over cake mix. Pour melted butter over top. Bake for one hour. (It won't look done, but if goes longer, it will dry up.) Serve plain or with Cool Whip.

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

I got this recipe from a Taste of Home cookbook years ago, and these are officially my favorite cupcakes ever. The PB cups act as a frosting, so these are a nice quick & easy option. I actually prefer the Wal-Mart brand PB cups to Reese's, because I think the smoother texture of the peanut butter works better for this particular recipe. (Don't be hating, now!)

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

1/3 c shortening
1/3 c peanut butter
1 1/4 c brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 c flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 c milk
16 mini PB cups

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, cream the shortening, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Fill paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup batter. Unwrap peanut butter cups and place in center of batter till the top of the cup is level with the batter. Bake 22-24 minutes or until toothpick inserted at an angle toward the center comes out clean.

Butterfinger Cake

This bad boy is rich! It is one of those that tastes better the longer it sits in the fridge - assuming, of course, that it lasts that long.

Butterfinger Cake

1 German chocolate cake mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 large butterfinger bars, crushed
8 oz Cool Whip

Prepare and bake cake as directed. Remove from oven and punch holes in cake with the handle of a wooden spoon. Pour milk over cake. With oven turned off, place cake back in oven for a few minutes until milk soaks into cake. Sprinkle candy bars over cake. When cooled, top with Cool Whip. Refrigerate.

Mississippi Mud Cake

I've found that there's more than one version of Mississippi Mud Cake. Ours is more like a brownie loaded with marshmallows and a thick layer of frosting. If the frosting is warm enough, it should be pourable. This will make it much easier to frost the cake. We like to use more than 12 marshmallows, though - in fact, we usually cover the cake in them!

Mississippi Mud Cake

2 c sugar
1 c shortening
4 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1/3 c cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
2 c chopped pecans, divided
12 (or more) large marshmallows
1 box powdered sugar
1/3 c cocoa
1 c butter or margarine, melted
1/2 c evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 300. Cream sugar and shortening in a large bowl. Using a mixer, beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa, and salt. Stir into first mixture. Stir in pecans. Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 pan. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place marshmallows on cake. Bake 10 minutes longer at 350. Remove from oven. While cake is still warm, mix remaining ingredients and frost cake.

Dad's Favorite Chocolate Cake

This is the cake Dad likes best. His mother made it for years, and she always called it "Mrs. Pace's Chocolate Cake." Doesn't matter what you call it - it's rich and tasty and ooey gooey. :) Dad likes it with buttercream frosting; I personally prefer chocolate. You can use whatever you like.

Dad's Favorite Chocolate Cake

3/4 c water
1/2 c cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
2 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together water and cocoa. Stirring frequently, cook until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Allow to cool while mixing remaining ingredients.

In a medium bowl, beat together sugar, eggs, and oil. Sift in flour, soda, and salt. Stir in well blended. Pour in lightly greased 9x13 pan. Bake 30 minutes.

Apricot Nectar Cake

We've made this many times over the years, and although you could use other types of nectar, apricot is definitely my favorite. It can be a little difficult to find, though - usually it's with the fruit juices, but I have found it in ethnic foods a time or two.

The cake can be baked in an angel food cake pan, bundt pan, or, as we prefer, a 9x13 cake pan. You may need to adjust times accordingly. Either way, it comes out ridiculously moist and delicious.

Apricot Nectar Cake

1 pkg lemon cake mix
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 can apricot nectar, divided
4 eggs
1 c powdered sguar

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine lemon cake mix, sugar, vegetable oil, 1 cup of apricot nectar, and eggs. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. For angel food pan, bake 25-30 minutes. For 9x13, bake 30-35 minutes. Allow cake to cool 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk powdered sugar with approximately 1/4 c apricot nectar to make glaze. Add nectar or powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency. Pour over cake. Allow to sit an hour or so before serving.

Peanut Butter Crunch Cake

This cake doesn't have frosting, and it doesn't need it. It had a streusel-like topping and is delicious warm.

Peanut Butter Crunch Cake

1 pkg. Duncan Hines Moist yellow cake mix
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c chunky peanut butter
1 c water
1/4 c vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (I prefer to use mini chocolate chips)
1/2 c peanut butter chips
1/2 c chopped peanut

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 9x13 pan. In a large bowl, use a mixer to combine cake mix, brown sugar, and peanut butter at low speed until crumbly. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture. To the remaining mixture, add water, oil, and eggs. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Stir in 1/4 cup each of the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Pour batter into pan. Combine reserved mixture and remaining chips; sprinkle over batter. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.