Magic In The Middles


It is my favorite time of year! Christmastime! And on top of that, it’s my favorite blog event of the year! It’s the 4th Annual Christmas Cookie Swap, hosted by Bread Booze Bacon, White Lights on Wednesday, Home Made Interest, It Is A Keeper, Our Mini Family, Cooking On The Front Burners, and Create Craft Love. For the fourth year, bloggers are paired up to share cookie recipes during what I like to call, cookie season. Last year the cookies I was given to make were oatmeal cookies – this year took a different approach!

This year I was paired with Janae from Jay Tried and True. Janae shared her recipe for Magic In The Middles, a fun twist on the chocolate and peanut butter cookie. You get a chocolate cookie stuffed with peanut butter!

I love chocolate and I love peanut butter, so this was a great cookie to start my holiday baking. What a delicious cookie! And they seemed to turn out perfect.

This baking and photo taking did make me realize though that my camera needs to be cleaned, because every picture had the same dark blob in the middle of it. This picture happened to sort of hide it, because it’s right where the table is.

I plan to post more cookie recipes this season. There’s always room for cookies!

2015 Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap SQUARE

Magic In The Middles


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg

3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Extra sugar for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or the very handy Silpat which is my favorite thing ever.)
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In another bowl, beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy.
  5. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, making sure all the ingredients are well combined.
  6. Make the filling next, by stirring together the peanut butter with the powdered sugar.
  7. With floured hands, roll the filling into one inch balls.
  8. Break off 1 tbsp of the dough. Make an indention in the center and press a peanut butter ball into the dough.
  9. Bring the dough around the peanut butter filling and roll into a ball, so the dough surrounds the peanut butter.
  10. Dip the top of each cookie into your extra sugar. Place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  11. Grease the bottom of a drinking glass and use the glass to press the cookies to about 1/2-inch thick.
  12. Bake for 7-9 minutes.

See the rest of the delicious cookies here!

Peanut Butter Chili

I’ve been talking about how cold it is around here lately and I’m really not lying. I just attempted to chase my cat outside but gave up and decided he can come home when he’s ready, because unless I bundle up there’s no way I can manage the cold. I mean, I’m cold just sitting on my couch. There’s no way in hell I was going to chase him out for further than I did; he’s covered in fur. I don’t have much of that.

To keep warm on nights like tonight I have to make things that are known for their ability to warm up a cold person on a cold day. Soup works well for this. Chili does as well. I saw this recipe on Serious Eats and needed to give it a try.

The peanut butter in this chili gave it a very different flavor than what I normally associate chili flavors to taste like. I’m not complaining though. The addition of the peanut butter was definitely complimentary to the taste buds and also made the chili very creamy.

PS – while I was typing this the cat came home. I guess he got cold too.

Peanut Butter Chili

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 15-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 12-oz can tomato paste
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 15-oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen corn


 1. In  a large pot heat the olive oil. Add onion and garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent.

2. Add the fire roasted tomatoes and their liquid, the pepper, salt, chili powder, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Let simmer for 5 minutes and then add the tomato paste, vegetable broth, and peanut butter. Stir until the tomato paste and the peanut butter are well incorporated. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Reduce the heat and add all of the beans and the corn. Simmer for 20 minutes.

* serves 8
* 380 calories per serving
* This post is being shared with Ms. enPlace‘s See Ya in the Gumbo!