Gooey Peanut Butter Marshmallow Brownies

IMG_6068Confession: I have never made a brownie before. Actually, I should say I have never successfully made a brownie before. I have tried numerous times but the middle it always not cooked through and I always get mad and just give up. But then these happened. These soft and delicious brownies came into creation after a company that was featured at the Texas Veggie Fair sent me a box full of their vegan products, one of which being marshmallows. I then decided to try brownies one last time, and they came out being the best, most addictive I have ever eaten.


Recipe: Gooey Peanut Butter Marshmallow Brownies

What You Need:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 & 1/2 cups marshmallows


    What To Do:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    2. Cream together the eggs and sugars.

    3. Add all remaining ingredients except for marshmallows.

    4. Gently stir in the marshmallows. Do not worry about them being fully incorporated into the batter, as they will rise to the top while baking.

    5. Pour the batter into a generously greased 8×8 baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the brownies comes out clean.

    6. Let cool before slicing.

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Vegan Sweet Potato Cranberry Cookies

IMG_6009It’s the first Thursday of the month, which means it’s time for the next Leftovers Club post! If you are new to Dining with Dani, The Leftovers Club is a monthly baked goods exchange between food bloggers all across the nation. This month I was especially excited because I was paired with a new member and wanted to share my love of the group with her. When Johanna and I started discussing likes and dislikes, it mostly became a love fest about our Pitt Bulls. We even ended up sending each other’s pups treats too! I hope Johanna loves these cookies as much as I loved the Potpourri Cookies she sent me. Yes, potpourri. Definitely check the recipe for these creative sweets and leave her some love!

Because it’s getting into that serious fall weather now (finally!!), I wanted to incorporate some of my favorite Thanksgiving flavors into whatever I made. These fluffy and light cookies are full of two traditional sides — sweet potato and cranberry. I loved the way the two came together. Feel free to skip a step and use sweet potato puree instead of making it from scratch like I did. Oh! I also went ahead and made these cookies vegan, my newest baking obsession. Look forward to more vegan baked goods on the blog this month!

IMG_6013Recipe: Sweet Potato Cranberry Cookies

Makes 2 & 1/2 dozen 

What You Need:

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries

What To Do:

1. Peel the sweet potato and cut it into small cubes. Add the potato and a little bit of water into a food processor and blend until completely smooth. Set aside.

2. Mix together all of your dry ingredients — the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and the brown sugar.

3. Add in all the remaining ingredients except for the cranberries. Mix until the batter is smooth. Gently add in the cranberries, being careful not to mash them into the dough.

4. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.

5. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

6. Drop the dough by generous teaspoons onto a greased baking sheet.

7. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes.

8. Let cool before devouring

leftovers-logo1Want to see all the delicious things my friends made this month? Here’s links to all of them!

Candy Corn Popcorn Balls – Take A Bite Out Of Boca

Lemon-Pistashio Biscotti – The Low-Acid Kitchen

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars – Food Ramblings

Pumpkin Pound Cake Cupcakes with Maple-Cinnamon Glaze – Eats Well With Others

Bourbon Soaked Orange Loaf Cake with Currants – The Spiced Life

Oatmeal Pumpkin White Chocolate Cookies – Pink Cake Plate

Pumpkin Cookies with Butterscotch Chips – Meadows Cooks

Neiman Marcus Bars – Lacey Moody

Pumpkin Bread With Dark Chocolate Walnut Streusel – Live Bake Love

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Life Beyond the Blog: October

Some of you might have noticed that for a couple of weeks last month the blog was quiet. Nothing was wrong; I promise. I was actually having such a fun-filled time during my favorite month that I would often forget I needed to spend time in the kitchen and, on the rare occasions I was, I would hurry through recipes and they would fail. I wanted to share all the things that made my October so incredible with you, with an added promise to be better about posting new recipes. Ready for a glimpse into one epic month? Here we go:

One of the biggest reasons I have been so busy this month is because I got a few promotions at work. They aren’t neccesarily big promotions, but they do make me work longer (and later) hours sometimes. I am far from complaining though, with all the opportunities this provides. A few weeks ago there was a special screening of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory film and the now-grown kids who played Veruca Salt and Mike Teevee did special Q&As before and after the film. I know these pictures aren’t the greatest quality, but I wanted to share with you a night I will definitely not be forgetting anytime soon.

IMG_2157IMG_2158 One of my favorite nights in October was going to see comedian Bo Burnham. Although he comes off as kind of a jerk in his stand-up, he is one of the sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He even signed his new poetry book for me (and then instantly liked my picture of it on Instagram!)



Of course, since my world revolves around food, one of my favorite things about my favorite month is my annual trip to the State Fair of Texas. The fair, and I’m 100% serious on this, is also known as the “Fried Food Capital of the World”. I ate so many deep fried snacks that day that I was actually ashamed. Pictured (in order) are the Fried Nutella, Deep Fried Spinach Dip Bites, and Fried King Ranch Casserole (in the shape of Texas, because we can). That sculpture, in case you can’t tell, is made entirely of butter. It weighs over 2 tons and broke the Guinness Book World Record.


IMG_2262 IMG_2290IMG_2291 IMG_2301 IMG_2313IMG_2304 IMG_2321

On a healthier note, I also found a new fair this year — The Texas Veggie Fair. It’s a one day only festival that hosts vegan vendors and restaurants. They also have yoga, animal adoption events, and Q&As with celebrity vegans. My favorite part was the vegan bakeries I found. The chocolate cupcake is from Austin-based Capital City Bakery. The witch one (the coolest cupcake I have ever eaten) is from a new local bakery called Reverie Bake Shop. I plan on visiting. Often.


  Meeting celebrities and eating my face off in fried food are both wonderful, but the most unforgettable thing that happened to me this month is when I got a recipe published in All You Magazine. My Chocolate Covered Espresso Cookies won a contest the magazine hosted back in April (which I had only entered because the winner got a Ben & Jerry’s prize pack), and one of the prizes was that you get your winning recipe featured in an issue. This is actually the November 15th issue, but it hit the stores early. I couldn’t believe that I got a half page spread, and that my name and picture were featured on the table of contents page as well!


My favorite part of October is and always will be Halloween. I am lucky enough to share my love of it with my nephew Michael. Besides pumpkin carving and baking holiday-themed snacks, every year Michael and I go trick or treating and then watch Hocus Pocus while sorting his candy. This year I promised that I would actually go up to a few doors with him (I am always in costume) because people often think I am a teenager who is actually trick or treating and he wanted to see if anyone stopped me because they realized I am an adult. (They didn’t.) So yes, that is me dressed as Vannelope Von Schweetz from Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph. Michael wanted to be a walker from “The Walking Dead”. His makeup and costume turned out phenomenally, don’t you think?


Happy November, dear reader! I hope this month is as great as the last!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Shake

IMG_5904Sometimes you just need some ice cream. For me, that is all the time. Really. Currently I am obsessed with this vanilla milkshake we serve at my workplace that has frozen pieces of chocolate chip cookie in it. Sounds amazing right? Well now you have the chance to taste it too. Obviously since the cookies are frozen, it takes some work to put this shake together. Have no fear, though. The payoff is worth it.

IMG_5915Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Shake

Makes 1 milkshake

What You Need:

  • 6 chocolate chip cookies
  • 1 cup vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • whipped cream (optional)


    What To Do:

    1. Place the cookies in a ziplock bag in your freezer for several hours or overnight.

    2. Take the cookies out of the freezer and chop them into small pieces.

    2. In a blender or food processor, blend together ice cream, cookie pieces, and milk. (Without the milk, the milkshake is chunky and not smooth.)

    3. Pour into a large glass and top with whipped cream.


    Happy Monday!

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Everything Bagel Macaroni & Cheese

IMG_5931Yes, you read that right. This pasta dish may or may not taste like one of the best bagels ever created. I am so pleased with how this came out. You see, making macaroni and cheese has been on my “Culinary Bucket List” for a while. Usually when I heat up pasta, it’s instantly slathered in marinara. That’s the Italian way! Then I read an article in Food Network Magazine about how to make the seasoning that tops everything bagels. And I became obsessed.

IMG_5952I would like to sincerely apologize to the couple that watched me pace back and forth in the dairy section at Central Market for over a half over while trying to decide what dairy goodness would go into this recipe. Ultimately I ended up picking up some asiago and mozzarella. While I love the way it came out, if you really love a different cheese then use that instead. What makes this recipe special is how you incorporate the seasoning, not the cheese. Go crazy. Make it your own. Or just come over and eat the leftovers I have. I need help.

IMG_5944Recipe: Everything Bagel Macaroni & Cheese

Makes 8 servings

For the Everything Bagel Seasoning:

  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic dried
  • 1 tablespoon miced onion dried
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


For the pasta:

  • 16 oz. corkscrew pasta
  • 1 & 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup asiago cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper



What To Do:


1. Heat the oven to 350 F.

2. Mix together all ingredients for the seasoning in a small bowl and set aside. Cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain.

3. In another bowl, mix together all three of the cheeses.

4. While the pasta is cooking, mix together the eggs, milk, sour cream, black pepper, and half of the bagel seasoning.

5. In a 9 x 13 baking dish, layer the pasta, egg mixture, and the cheeses. Top with the remaining bagel seasoning.

6. Cook for 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

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Almost-Famous Caramel Apple Spice

IMG_5889I know, I know. Everyone is excited that Pumpkin Spice is back at Starbucks. My Instagram feed was flooded with pictures of my beautiful blogger friends celebrating its triumphant return. For me, however, the return means that my favorite Starbucks drink is back in season — the Caramel Apple Spice. IMG_5898I’ve tried to recreate the popular cider a few times but never quite got it perfect. I knew that Starbucks uses Treetop Apple Juice to make it, after a barista once told me she was out of the brand and couldn’t make me one — even though her store was inside a Target. The apple juice and some cinnamon didn’t cut it though and I finally found out why. Starbucks uses a syrup called Cinnamon Dolce to make my favorite hot beverage. A giant bottle of it will run you $12.95 in stores, but it’s worth it if you want to recreate the drink at home since it’ll last you a while.

IMG_5893Recipe: Almost-Famous Caramel Apple Spice

Makes 1 drink

What You Need:

  • 1 & 1/4 cup Treetop Apple Juice
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
  • whipped cream
  • pourable bottle of caramel topping

    What To Do:

    1. In a small saucepan, bring apple juice and syrup to a boil.

    2. Let cool slightly before pouring into your favorite mug

    3. Top with whipped cream and caramel topping.

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Pumpkin Nut Cookies

IMG_5884There’s something so magical about October. I find myself counting down to it every year. Counting down to the weather change, the State Fair opening, the night where Michael and I go Trick or Treating and then eat all his candy while watching Hocus Pocus. My month is jam-packed this year, but I promise it won’t keep me out of the kitchen. My first October post is a fall-fueled cookie that I sent to my Leftovers Club partner Susan from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen. Look at this Fig Rum Swizzle cocktail she created! It’s definitely on my must-try list for the month!

IMG_5885Recipe: Pumpkin Nut Cookies

Makes 3 dozen

What You Need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup canned pumkin
  • 1/2 cup Crisco shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 & 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 eggsWhat To Do:

    1. Blend together shortening, sugar, and eggs.

    2. Add in flour, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice until mixture is creamy.

    3. Gradually add in the canned pumpkin until it is distributed evenly throughout the batter.

    4. Mix in 1 cup of the pecans.

    5. Refrigerate dough for a minimum of 2 hours.

    6. Pre-heat oven to 250 F.

    7. Using a tablespoon, scoop dough into balls and place on a greased baking sheet.

    8. Top each cookie ball with the remaining pecans.

    9. Bake for 15 minutes.

    leftovers-logo1Want to see what all of my friends are bringing to the table for October? Here’s links to all the other Leftovers Club recipes here:

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