Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Chocolate Cake with peanut butter frosting topped with chocolate ganache! Can you handle it? I saw this recipe on the Smitten Kitchen website & it looked amazing, so I decided to make it for Sunday dinner tomorrow...wanna come? ;)

I decided to use a box chocolate cake instead of making the cake in the recipe. I just wanted to make it a little easier.

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes

Smitten Kitchen

This cake is INTENSE. Serve it in the thinnest slices possible, and keep a glass of milk handy.

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake; serves 12 to 16 (the book says, I say a heck of a lot more)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanut brittle (I skipped this)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (Deb note: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces seimsweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of d double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Crash Potatoes

I've been meaning to post this recipe for about a week now. We love potatoes in our house. A few weeks ago I was doing my weekly check of all the cooking blogs I like & I saw this recipe on Home Based Mom's blog (see top right where my favorite links are). These potatoes were super delicious. They had just the right amount of crunch & softness.

You really don't need a recipe for them, I will just tell you the steps (Home Based Mom has a TON of pics & great in depth directions on her site if you're interested):

1. Wash as many small red potatoes as you want to use.

2. Boil the potatoes until fork tender.

3. Put the potatoes on a 9"x13" pan that's been sprayed with cooking spray (the actual directions say to put olive oil on the pan liberally, but I wanted to cut a little fat & they still tasted awesome)

4. Mash the potatoes on the pan with an avocado masher one way then the other, like you would with peanut butter cookies.

5. Brush the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and any other seasoning you like on potatoes.

6. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.

I ended up broiling them for about 5 minutes to get more of a crunch on them.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chocolate Cobbler

Chocolate what? That was my immediate reaction when I saw this recipe on the Bake or Break cooking blog (link is in my favorite links on the right side). I had never heard of chocolate cobbler before. It looked like a Mississippi mud pie my mom use to make growing up. So today when I wanted a dessert that would go well with ice cream I decided to try this out. I'm sure glad I did. It was decadent & delicious. It's like a chocolate cake that makes it's own chocolate sauce. & the best thing about was how easy it was!

Chocolate Cobbler

Bake or Break

  • 1 & 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided into 3/4 cup and 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 tablespoons cocoa, divided into 3 tablespoons and 4 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 cups hot water

Preheat oven to 350°.

Stir together 3/4 cup sugar, flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir in milk, butter, and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Pour into an ungreased 8-inch square glass baking pan.

In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, and 4 tablespoons cocoa. Sprinkle evenly over batter. Pour hot water over the top. Do not stir.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Let stand for 15 minutes, then serve. Use the chocolate sauce in the bottom of the pan to spoon over servings. Garnish, if desired, with ice cream or whipped cream.

Makes 8 servings.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

I had a bunch of blueberries in my freezer that I needed to use, so when I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitten (look at sidebar for Smitten Kitten site) I knew I had a winner. They're like shortbread blueberry bars. Delicious!

Blueberry Crumb Bars
Adapted from

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rudy's-like Cream Corn

Last night we had a birthday party for some of our friends. We had bbq pulled pork & tons of sides. I really wanted to try to make Rudy's cream corn for it so I searched online & found a recipe on that looked like it might be a winner & it ended up getting rave reviews! I thought it tasted great. A few of the party goers thought it tasted better than Rudy's, that is the ultimate compliment!! The only change I made to the recipe is that I didn't add the Parmesan cheese.

Cream Corn Like No Other
Submitted by: DIANA YOCKEY
Rated: 5 out of 5 by 260 members
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Ready In: 15 Minutes
Yields: 8 servings

2 (10 ounce) packages frozen
corn kernels, thawed
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground
black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup freshly grated
Parmesan cheese
1. In a skillet over medium heat, combine the corn, cream, salt, sugar, pepper and butter. Whisk together the milk and flour, and stir into the corn mixture. Cook stirring over medium heat until the mixture is thickened, and corn is cooked through. Remove from heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted. Serve hot.