Peanut Butter "Cheese" Ball

It's football season, and you're probably on the lookout for appetizers or finger foods.  This is a great snack.  It can be served as a dessert or an appetizer.  It's a sweet spin on the typical savory cheese ball.  The Peanut Butter "Cheese" Ball is like the inside of a buckeye.  I served this with graham crackers and sliced apples. 

Peanut Butter Ball

Peanut Butter "Cheese Ball"
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter chips
Graham cracker sticks, teddy grahams, and/or apple slices for dipping

Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until blended.

Spoon onto a large piece of plastic wrap; bring up all four corners and twist tightly forming into a ball shape.

Freeze for 1 hour 30 minutes or until firm enough to keep its shape. Place peanut butter and chocolate chips in flat dish. Remove plastic wrap from ball and roll ball into morsels to completely cover, pressing morsels into the ball if necessary.

Place ball on serving dish; cover and freeze for 2 hours or until almost firm. (Can be made ahead. If frozen overnight, thaw at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.) Serve with graham cracker sticks, teddy grahams, or apple slices for dipping or spreading.

Source:  The Girl Who Ate Everything; adapted from Nestle


Hummingbird Cake


When I was a kid, my grandmother used to sing me the song "If I Knew You Were Coming, I'd Have Baked a Cake".  In honor of her visit, I made a hummingbird cake.  This Southern cake is a mixture of cinnamon, bananas, pineapple, and pecans and is similar to a carrot cake.  It is a very easy cake to make; you don't even need an electric mixer. 


Hummingbird Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups chopped bananas

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 pineapple


Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.
Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.
Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake; sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans on top. Store in refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpats (French nonstick baking mats) or parchment paper.
Peel pineapple. Using a small melon baller, remove and discard "eyes." Slice pineapple very thinly; place slices on baking sheets. Cook until tops look dried, about 30 minutes (mine took nearly an hour). Flip slices; cook until completely dried, 25 to 30 minutes more (again, mine took longer, so be prepared). Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Source:  Erin's Food Files

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