As always, I pick my recipes largely based on the way they are described. So the "better than crack brownies" obviously caught my eye.  But really, who thinks up these names? I guess parents have an alternate name for these when serving them to their kids?

Anyways, basically after trying these brownies I came to the conclusion that not only are these brownies (supposedly) better than crack, I'm pretty sure they are so much better that these little suckers could put crack dealers out of business (for the sake of staying on this metaphor). Although I'm a peanut butter/chocolate maniac, I never include the nuts on any recipe. For this one I gave in and put the peanuts in. I also added some Reese's peanut butter chips. I just can't even describe how good these are. I'm at a loss for words. Maybe that's how whoever made up this recipe decided to name them better than crack brownies..these are so good they couldn't think of anything comparable? Not worth thinking about because all you should be thinking now is when can I get into the kitchen to make these.

Better-Than-Crack Brownies
1 batch brownies 
1/2 cup salted peanuts (if don’t have salted, add sea salt)
1 cup chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups
1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
Mix brownies according to directions, and bake for 20-25 minutes in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Remove and top with peanuts and peanut butter cups, and bake for 4-6 minutes more.
While they are finishing baking, melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Stir in cereal. Remove brownies from oven and evenly pour chocolate mixture over top.
Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

I know this is something most people have never given much thought to, but I personally have always had serious issues with key lime pie ice cream. I absolutely love key lime pie and every time I see it as a flavor somewhere I always get a sample (I've told you how I'm the sampling queen before, right?). Time after time I end up disappointed. For me, the best part about key lime pie is the tartness, and this is the part that most ice creams leave out. I know it's difficult to do "tart" in ice cream, why not just turn it into a sorbet? Sorbets are tart. Ice creams are creamy. I get it.

But, I don't want sorbet. I want rich, creamy ice cream that can somehow be tart at the same time. So demanding.

All I have to say now is, once again, I am so glad I follow the Sugar Cooking blog. She found the easiest and most amazing key lime pie ice cream in Cooking Light. Not sure how I missed this recipe since I read Cooking Light like it's my job, but I did. This ice cream tastes exactly like key lime pie. It also was by far the easiest ice cream recipe I have ever made...which means this recipe may have been a dangerous discovery. All you have to do is whisk together the ingredients, throw them in the ice cream maker and freeze them for an hour afterward. Why can't all ice cream be this easy? I'll stop myself here so I don't go on for too long about how amazing it is. Just make it and see for yourself!

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
Recipe from Sugar Cooking (Adapted from Cooking Light)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup bottled Key lime juice (such as Nellie and Joe's)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free)
  • 6 graham crackers (1 1/2 cookie sheets), coarsely crushed, divided
  • Key lime wedges (optional)
Directions: Combine first 5 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Pour mixture into freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Stir 1/3 cup graham crackers into ice cream. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container, and cover and freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon graham crackers. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

After over a month, my life has finally calmed down a bit. Hope at least a few of you didn't lose faith in me posting! To be honest, I've been baking up a storm recently. I just haven't had time to photograph anything. For rush I made sugar cookies in the shape of the Greek Alpha, Delta and Pi and decorated them with royal icing. That was my first time experimenting with royal icing and the test batch turned out amazing. The real batch, eh, not so much. Isn't that always the way it goes? But, of course, I picked out the better ones for the actual rounds and refused to bring over the rest. I also made my favorite cookie cake, which is actually on here, but I definitely need to post it again. It's my first or second post ever, and I tried to make it Halloween themed which was a big fail. I remember at the time wondering why Tastespotting turned me down. Ha! It's pretty embarrassing.

Today, I made truffle brownies. The name really says it all. These are so deliciously rich... almost to the extent that I would advise you not to make them for anyone who is not a chocoholic as they probably will be way too much. For those of you who could not possibly ever eat anything too chocolatey (like me), make these now! They are extremely easy, but because of cooling times do take a little longer than the average brownie. Luckily, when it comes to awesome desserts I manage to find the tiny shred of patience that fails to appear in traffic/while I'm on hold/during class lectures/etc. As always, I opted out of the nuts.

Truffle Brownies

Recipe from First Look, Then Cook

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped, divided
  • 11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 9x9x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, leaving overhang. Spray foil with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Combine 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate and butter in medium metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water and stir until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water and cool chocolate mixture until lukewarm, 5 to 10 minutes.
Whisk sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt in large bowl to blend. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Stir in flour, then chopped toasted walnuts. Transfer batter to prepared baking pan. Bake brownies until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 26 to 28 minutes. Transfer pan to cooling rack and let brownies cool completely.
Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add remaining 6 ounces chocolate to hot cream and let stand 5 minutes to soften, then whisk until melted and smooth. Pour chocolate ganache over brownie sheet in pan and spread to cover completely. Let stand at cool room temperature until topping is set, about 4 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.
Using foil as aid, lift brownie sheet from pan. Fold down foil edges. Using large sharp knife, cut brownie sheet into 25 squares, wiping knife with hot moist cloth after each cut. Arrange brownies on platter and serve.

Ok, ok, these sound exactly like a million things I've made before, don't they? Well, they kind of are. That doesn't mean they aren't delicious! The last time I tried banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting it was a completely different recipe, and as I remember it, a bit more complicated. These were so easy. I put half the batter in a mini muffin pan and made baby cupcakes. Who doesn't love a mini cupcake? All the flavor and less guilt, so who cares if you eat three or four?

Rush starts tomorrow, and I know I wont be able to post for a few days. It'll be about 12 hours at the sorority house tomorrow, and then Saturday I'm driving to Atlanta for the kickoff game. Go Heels! (We don't need to discuss anything in the news that is going on with our players.) Sunday it's back to rush. Oh boy.

Good news, though, after rush I've got a whole list of recipes to try out. For now....peanut butter and bananas. Nope, I'll never get tired of the combination.

Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe from First Look, Then Cook


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 very ripe large bananas, peeled
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk


  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 8-ounce package light cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned or freshly ground)
  • Chopped lightly salted roasted peanuts (optional)



Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 12 standard (1/3-cup) muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Mash bananas with fork in another medium bowl until smooth. Mix sour cream and vanilla into bananas.
Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and egg yolk and beat until well blended. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with banana-sour cream mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating just until blended after each addition. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups (generous 1/4 cup for each).
Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center of each comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to rack and let cool completely.


Sift powdered sugar into large bowl. Add cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until smooth. Spread frosting over top of cupcakes, dividing equally. Sprinkle lightly with chopped peanuts, if desired. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Makes 12 cupcakes.