Making Babies

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My Mom put me up to making dessert for our family lunch on Sunday this week. Not wanting to disappoint, I took to Facebook and Twitter to see if anyone had a show-stopping recipe I just had to try.

The ideas came pouring in and were SO delectable (seriously – drooling in my PJs circa 9am reading all of them!) that I decided to share them with you! If you’re ever in need of a dessert recipe, may I suggest:

Cookie Stuffed Cookies (you have to see these…)

Gooey Butter Cake

Butterscotch Blondies

Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow

Chocolate Trifle

S’mores Brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chip Pie

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chippers

Red Velvet Cake Brownies

Ritz Cracker Dessert

Fried Chocolate & Banana Ravioli

Banana Split Brownies

Plus tons of other recipes posted on my Facebook page. There were about five that looked so decadent I felt like I HAD to have them this afternoon – but I held out. Instead, I made babies.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Babies!!!

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Oh, you thought I meant…oh my, no!

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These sweet & chewy bites are basically homemade Larabars, squeezed into cute little baby balls – and they’re only 70 calories a ball!!

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I’ve had this recipe, courtesy of Chocolate Covered Katie, in my back pocket for the past couple of weeks and knew they’d be perfect to cure my craving for a sweet treat, at a fraction of the calories. I started by adding dried chopped dates, salted peanuts and vanilla extract to my mini food processor.

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Then I processed the heck out of it!

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My dried dates were UBER dry, so after 3 minutes of no luck getting the mixture to come together, I added a teaspoon each of peanut butter and water.

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Just the ticket!

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When the mixture was processed enough to stick together when I squeezed some between my fingers, I transferred it to a bowl and stirred in 1/4 cup chocolate chips.

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That’s right!

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Finally I pressed and rolled the batter into 9 balls.

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These will blow your sweet tooth out of the water, off the beach and clear onto the mainland. THEY ARE SO FREAKING GOOD. Only 70 cals a ball, and you’ll really only want 1 or 2 – they are really decadent. Sweet, chewy, peanut buttery (it’s a word) and those pops of chocolate are mouthwatering.

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Check out Katie’s site for this luscious recipe. NOTE: I added one teaspoon each of peanut butter and water to her recipe, but if I had been using softer Medjool dates, I probably could have omitted it. I also stirred in 1/4 cup of milk chocolate chips at the end!

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After rolling balls (twss) I took to the streets. A stop by my new tax accountant’s office (great advice about TurboTax, there’s just several other variables that make it a little too complicated to use this year!) and a pit stop at the gym later, I was home cooking dinner – Orange Tofu!

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The last time I made 30 Minute Lemon Brown Sugar Chicken aka Healthy Girl’s Sesame Chicken a reader commented that she had tried making it with oranges instead of lemons. I knew I had to have it!

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Instead of making it with chicken, though, tonight I opted for tofu.

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I cubed up a block of pressed, extra-firm tofu, then tossed it in flour seasoned with salt & paprika.

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I tossed the cubes around in a strainer to get the extra flour off,

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before sautéing in a about 1 teaspoon vegetable oil.

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Tofu is like a sponge so it soaked up the oil pretty quick, but I just let it sauté dry until it was golden brown.

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Then removed it to a non-stick sprayed baking dish.

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Into the still hot pan I squeezed in the juice of an orange.

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I let it bubble and reduce until it was slightly thick, then poured it over the cooked tofu.

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Yummy!

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You know what goes on next…brown sugar!

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Into the oven @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then I fired up the broiler and let the brown sugar caramelize up.

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Seriouslyholyfreakingcow!

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The orange juice got super thick and coated the tofu cubes. Hot shugah!

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I didn’t know whether the tofu was going to taste like candy from all the sweet flavors, so I cooked up some couscous in chicken broth to make sure I got some savory flavors in there too.

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Couscous is basically the easiest thing to cook ever. I just boiled 3/4 cup chicken broth then added 1/2 cup couscous, put a lid on the pot, took it off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.

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Like the texture of fluffy, soft sand. Love this stuff!

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But OMG this tofu!!!

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Yeah, sure, it was sweet – but definitely not candy sweet. The orange juice reduced down and became almost sour like lemon juice.

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I think I may have liked it even better than the lemon version!!

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I couldn’t bring myself to eat just a plate of yellow things so I quick sautéed some baby spinach with garlic salt to add vitamins and color. LOVE this dish!

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Fed and full, I must go clean the house. We are having some friends over tonight and I’ve got to make the place look presentable!

TGIF! :mrgreen:

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Comments

  1. Oh man, I’m pretty sure my bookmark ratio of sweet to savory recipes is 10:1.

  2. lauramich 02.25.2011

    Congratulations … those photos, and your description, have turned me into a drooling zombie. All I can do is stare and think, “Must … make … Chocolate …. Peanut … Butter … Babies!” :p

  3. erica 02.25.2011

    your tofu dishes always look amaaaaazing!

  4. Speaking of desserts, my class had a day of trading today for our economics unit.
    One of my kids brought these amazing treats in that I got to take home!
    Two big ritz crackers in between a layer of thick peanut butter. Then fully dipped in white chocolate or milk chocolate. I was in LOVE.

    My favorite was a GIANT cookie cake with the words: “Are you ready to barter?” written on it though.

    I have been wanting to try tofu for awhile now. This looks like a great place to start!

  5. Your babies are so cute! And they look super delicious. I could just gobble them right up!

    Have a great weekend, Kristin!
    -Dana

  6. Kendra! 02.25.2011

    Loved the TWSS reference!! bahaha

  7. oooh i love the idea of tofu w/ orange sauce. yum! and thanks for linking me up :) enjoy your night!

  8. That tofu looks delicious! The orange flavor sounds intriguing!

  9. elise 02.25.2011

    if you soak dates first, it softens them up and adds moisture. that way you could probz omit the other part…not that youd want less peanut butter!!!

    • Excellent tip! I’ll have to try soaking them. Thanks!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.26.2011

      Great idea! I don’t know what I was thinking buying those hard, trail-mix type chopped dates. Next time I’ll for sure buy softer ones!

    • anna 02.26.2011

      You can soak the in any liquid too depending on what flavor you want – water, juice, alcohol, etc.

  10. I love making babies, lol! I need to buy dates in bulk!

  11. Those babies looks delicious!! and I love calling them babies :)

  12. I have your PB &Chocolate chip balls in the fridge cooling, and now I want to make these too! Too much goodness!

  13. Sandy a la Mode 02.25.2011

    gah!! your food photography and your step by step instructions are amazing girl!!! i’m soo hungry now!!!

  14. TGIF! Gotta try those PB Choc babies! YUM

  15. Anita 02.26.2011

    Ummm, YUM! Those little chocolate peanut butter babies look like a little bit of heaven. Have a good weekend!

  16. Britt 02.26.2011

    I just found your cite yesterday & today I tired the sweet n sour chicken from a few post ago. I loved it, it tasted great and was really easy. I’m going to be making this either tomorrow or the next day. I <3 your blog.

  17. Kristen 02.26.2011

    I can’t believe you made tofu look to delicious! I checked out the photos of all the desserts listed…insanely tempting and good!

  18. Your blog is so freakin adorable! Oh my word. I love the baby photos, and the tofu tutorial is terrific. I never know how to cook my tofu!
    p.s. Just sent you an email :).

  19. Katie 02.26.2011

    Ooohh I posted the link to Chocolate Covered Katie for you a few weeks ago and I really really hope I was the inspiration for you to make those fabulous little babies! Aren’t they amazing?!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.26.2011

      Oh my word – probably!!! Sorry, I try and give credit when inspiration is given and I blew it. I bow down to you because they are INSANE!

  20. Runeatrepeat 02.26.2011

    I think couscous is my favorite carb outside of bread! Love it :)

  21. Keeley 02.26.2011

    Can you tell me where you get your Israili cous cous? I can’t find it at my Hy-Vee (Ankeny). They do have regular cous cous in the Health Market section in the bulk bins and pre-packaged. I just can’t find the Israili kind which I think looks much better.

  22. Meg Mullan 02.26.2011

    I made the cookie stuffed cookies on Wednesday… they were a huge hit!!! SOOOO yummy and sooo indulgent!
    ps I love all your stirfrys! Last weekend my friend and i made you fried rice… yum yum yum!

  23. Meg Mullan 02.26.2011

    oops *your!

  24. anna 02.26.2011

    The tofu looks awesome, and I think I even have all the ingredients except couscous. The food so nice they named it twice!

  25. Jacki 02.26.2011

    Not surprised you made the babies…..they are little!

  26. Emily 02.26.2011

    I’m drooling! And you did hook me with that title silly girl

  27. [...] Comments « Making Babies [...]

  28. Sally 02.27.2011

    Just finished making the peanut butter babies. My dates were so fresh that I had to roll the babies in cocoa. Not a problem. They are delish. Naked ravioli next!!! Thanks so much for the wonderful recipes.

    This Ohio gal likes your taste!

  29. [...] reviewed your suggestions over and over and in the end, the thick caramel, sweet apples and warm crisp this recipe called for [...]

  30. [...] Inspired by: Eat Run Live, Blog is the New Black, and Iowa Girl Eats [...]

  31. [...] last time, I used chewy, California pitted dates instead of dried, chopped [...]

  32. [...] dinner is a Frankenstein combination of Jenna’s Lemon Brown Sugar Chicken and my Orange Tofu, and is seriously [...]

  33. Jessica 11.30.2011

    I just found this recipe, it looks great! I noticed you have a tofu press. I’m sorry if you have already said this somewhere but where did you get it/ what brand is it? I have been looking for one and would love a recommendation.
    Thanks!

  34. [...] A tofu recipe from Iowa Girl Eats [...]

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