Peanut Butter Chocolate Triple Layer Cake

Peanut Butter Chocolate Triple Layer Cake.

Our family is pretty much huge fans of Reese’s peanut butter cups and all things peanut butter and chocolate.

So when it came time to celebrate one of my son’s birthdays recently, I was excited to try this Peanut Butter Chocolate Triple Layer Cake recipe I found at Life, Love, and Sugar.

Disappoint it did not!!! Oh the chocolately peanut buttery amazingness!

Want to see it a little closer?!

This cake is not for the faint of heart….  yes -it is only for the most serious of chocolate and peanut butter addicts!

Want to see what a slice of it looks like?

Yep – that is three heavenly layers of moist chocolate cake separated only by a fluffy peanut butter frosting and chopped up Reese’s peanut butter cups!

Can you even stand it??!!

As much as we all love our peanut butter cups, we decided this cake would be just as delicious or possibly even better with half the frosting, so that is how I will likely make it next.

You decide – half the frosting or all…. but I’m betting you are going to be somebody’s super hero if you make and serve this cake!

Here is how I made it.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Triple Layer Cake

  • Servings: 1 large cake
  • Print

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup canola (or vegetable) oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup hot water

Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 9 cups powdered sugar
  • 6-8 Tbsp half and half

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Garnish:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare three 9″ cake pans by spraying them with Pam Non-Stick Cooking Spray then placing a parchment circle on the bottom.

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and powder, and salt in a bowl.

Combine milk, oil, vanilla, and eggs in an electric mixing bowl.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in mixing bowl, and mix until well combined.

Slowly add the hot water to the batter, and mix on low speed until well incorporated.

Pour the batter evenly between the three prepared pans, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove pans from oven, and allow cake to cool in pans for 3-4 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.   When completely cool, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for several hours, overnight or for several days or weeks.

When ready to assemble cake, prepare frosting by combining the butter and peanut butter with electric mixer until smooth and creamy.  Slowly add half the powdered sugar until incorporated.  Add half of the half and half and combine.  Add remaining powdered sugar, then remaining half and half, and combine until smooth and fluffy frosting is formed.

Place first layer of cake on a serving plate.  Top with frosting and 3 chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Add the next cake layer and repeat frosting and peanut butter cups.

Add the final cake layer and frost top and sides of cake, reserving 1 cup of frosting for piping decorations if desired.

Make chocolate ganache by heating 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream in microwave for 1 minute.  Add one cup of chocolate chips.  Let set for a couple minutes, then stir until smooth ganache is created.  Pour on top of cake allowing some to drip down sides.

Decorate top of cake with chopped and halved Reese’s peanut butter cups and piped florets of frosting.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles.

It’s the most pumpkiny time of the year…….. (are you singing with me to the tune of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?”)

Seems we just can’t get enough of it.

I know I’m having fun trying new things with pumpkin…. Like my recent Pumpkin Chili recipe!  YUM!

How about a new twist on old-fashioned snickerdoodles by pumpkin’in them up?

Oooo Laaa Laaaa!

They just taste like Autumn!

Hope you’ll give them a try.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles*

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • For rolling:  1/4 cup sugar + 2 tsp ground cinnamon, combined

Directions:

Cream together butter and sugars with electric mixer.  Add egg yolk, vanilla and pumpkin, and combine.

Add next 8 ingredients, followed by the flour, and mix until combined.

Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll and shape dough into golf ball sized balls.  Roll balls in sugar-cinnamon mixture.  Place on baking stone or sheet and bake approximately 12 minutes until tops begin to crack.  Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking stone/sheet for an additional 10 minutes.  Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Recipe tweaked very slightly from Cooking Classy

 

Old-Fashioned Tomato Pie

Old-Fashioned Tomato Pie.

Looking for something to do with the abundance of fresh, juicy, sweet, beautiful tomatoes in your garden or available this time of year?

How about an old-fashioned tomato pie?!

It’s like a deep dish pizza  in an old-fashioned crust….

Layers of tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil and parsley… topped with cheesy yumminess.

Make one, and enjoy it hot, warm, room temperature, or even cold.  It is a wonderful treat to celebrate the end of summer’s bounty and the delight of vine-ripened tomatoes.

Old-Fashioned Tomato Pie

Ingredients

  • Single Pie Crust
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1/3 cup Crisco shortening
    • Dash of salt (6 shakes)
    • 1/3 cup cold water
  • Filling
    • 2-3 lbs tomatoes, thinly sliced (I used a variety of red and yellow heirloom tomatoes)
    • 1 sweet onion, coarsely chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil and parsley
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
    • 1/2 cup freshly shredded Gruyere cheese
    • 1/8-1/4 cup cup mayonnaise

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Prepare pie crust by blending flour, shortening and salt with a pastry blender to create coarse crumbs.  Add cold water, and mix until just combined.   Do not overwork (this is the secret to flaky pie crust).  Roll out dough on floured surface and line a 9″ pie plate with dough – folding overhanging dough under itself along rim to create rustic edge.

Line piecrust with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans (or pie weights) to keep crust in place.  Bake for 20 mins.  Cool completely.

To prepare filling, place thinly sliced tomatoes on paper towels, and sprinkle with salt.  Let stand 10 mins.  Pat dry with another layer of paper towels.

While tomatoes are resting, saute onion and garlic, sprinkled with salt and pepper, in olive oil for 3-4 minutes until tender.

Layer tomatoes, then onion/garlic mixture, and a sprinkle of freshly chopped herbs into pie crust.  Continue layering until all tomatoes, onions, and herbs are used.

Combine shredded cheese and mayonnaise.  Spread over top of tomato pie.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until lightly browned, shielding edges with foil or pie shield (the GREATEST invention ever for pie bakers!) to prevent excessive browning.

Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, whichever you prefer. 

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Recipe adapted slightly from Myrecipes.com.

Chewy Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Is anything really better than a good old-fashioned homemade chocolate chip cookie?  Well, this time of year, there sure is!
After all, it’s pumpkin and spice time.
So why not make Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies?!

This cookie is a crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside version – unlike most pumpkin cookies, which are more cake-like (and wonderful too!)

Feel free to vary the spices to your liking.  No need to add nutmeg or ginger if you don’t have or don’t like.  Feel free to adjust the amount of cinnamon to your taste.  Some might like milk chocolate chips in these, but I prefer semi-sweet.  Milk chocolate chips seem almost too sweet to me.

I found a recipe at Chelsea’s Messy Apron, and tweaked it up to my liking.  Here is how I made them.

Chewy Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: approx. 6 dozen
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. butter (4 sticks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 6 cups flour
  • 3  1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Soften butter in a large bowl in microwave until just melted.  Stir in sugars and completely combine.  Whisk in egg yolks.  Stir in vanilla and pumpkin.  Add salt, spices, and baking soda, and stir well.  Add flour and stir until all is combined and a soft dough forms.  Finally, stir in 3 cups of the chocolate chips, reserving 1/2 cup for decorating tops at end.  (If you prefer, you can just add them all at this time.)

Cover bowl with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

When dough is fully chilled, and you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll dough into golf ball-sized balls.  Place on baking stone or cookie sheet, and bake 9-12 minutes until lightly brown on top.  Decorate tops with 3-5 chocolate chips after removing from oven, but still leaving on baking stone/cookie sheet.  Remove from baking stone/cookie sheet after 5-7 minutes, and cool completely on cooling rack.

Once cool, place in large gallon-size Ziploc freezer bags and store in freezer.  Cookies thaw quickly and taste delicious right out of the freezer.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Quick and Easy Peach Puff Pastry Tartlets

Quick and Easy Peach Puff Pastry Tartlets.

This Sunday, we had the family over for dinner.  Hubby made the most amazing BBQ spare ribs, which we served with grilled sweet corn on the cob, cowboy baked beans and a caprese salad.  A fresh peach dessert seemed the perfect ending for this BBQ, but I didn’t feel like fussing much.

Knowing I had a package of puff pastry in the freezer, I quickly googled “peaches and puff pastry” and found this wonderful recipe at Natasha’s Kitchen.

These only took about 10 minutes to throw together and 15 minutes to bake for a beautiful and super delicious dessert.

Well – at least that is what I hear…. You’ll have to take my family’s word for how delish they were as I didn’t get to try one.  They’re gone (which is always a good sign).

When your sons ask for a second (or a third), you happily feed them and drink a glass of wine instead <wink>!  I can make these anytime I want again, but feeding my guys and daughter-in-laws and granddaughter and a bestie – – – seeing smiles, hearing yums, and getting hugs – – – well – that’s all this momma needs.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be making these again!  I’m betting sliced apples and walnuts would be a wonderful Autumn version as well as loads of other fruit and nut combinations.

Here’s Natasha’s recipe as I made it.

Quick and Easy Peach Puff Pastry Tartlets

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed 20-30 mins.
  • 1 egg
  • 2 large fresh peaches
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Cut thawed puff pastry into 9 equal sized squares and place on parchment lined baking sheet or baking stone.

Beat egg in a small bowl and set aside.

Slice peaches and place in a medium mixing bowl. Sprinkle with sugar,  flour, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Gently fold together.

Place 3 -4 peach slices in the center of each pastry square. Avoid getting peach juice on pastry edges. Brush edges generously with beaten egg. Sprinkle sliced almonds over pastry and peaches.

Bake at 400˚F for 15-18 minutes or until puffed and golden on the edges.  Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.

While cooling, make the glaze by stirring together powdered sugar, vanilla and milk in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add more milk if needed to reach desired consistency.   Drizzle over cooled tartlets.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#Natashaskitchen

S’Mores Cookies

S’Mores Cookies.

It’s been a tough week.
Have you been feeling it too?

It’s time to have some fun!

And what s’more fun than homemade cookies?

Especially when they are loaded with milk chocolate and graham crackers and tiny bits of marshmallow yumminess?

It was s’more fun to take my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe and give it a s’mores twist.

Are you going to make s’more?
Hope you think they are s’more fun and delicious!

S'Mores Cookies

Ingredients:

4 sticks (1 lb.) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
5 cups all purpose flour
6 1.55 oz Hershey’s milk chocolate candy bars, coarsely chopped
6 honey graham crackers, coarsely chopped
1 cup mini dehydrated marshmallows

Directions:

With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until completely incorporated. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until light and fluffy. Add baking soda and salt, and mix another minute. Gradually add flour and beat until well incorporated, but do not overbeat.

Fold in 4 of the coarsely chopped Hershey’s bars, 4 of the coarsely chopped graham  crackers, and 3/4 cup of the mini dehydrated marshmallows.  Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With your hands, form a cookie dough ball about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.  Place on baking stone. Decorate tops of cookies with reserved candy, graham crackers, and marshmallows.  Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Allow to cool on baking stone for 5-6 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

S’more Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Funny Kitchen Towels – A Wedding Shower Gift Idea

Funny Kitchen Dish Towels – A Wedding Shower Gift Idea.

This past weekend, I went to a bridal shower for a sweet young lady who I wanted to get something special for.

Becky has been out on her own for a while, so she has most of the “basics” some brides need when starting out.

One thing she is known for is her an amazing sense of humor, so when I saw these adorable funny kitchen towels on ETSY at WorksOfHeartDesignCo., I just knew I had to get them for her.

In case you can’t read on the photo, they are each personalized with her name and have the following sayings:

  • I Like Big Bundts and I Cannot Lie (Bundt Pan)
  • This is How I Roll (Rolling Pin)
  • Don’t Go Baking My Heart (Pie)
  • Chop it Like its Hot (Knives)
  • Shake it Up Baby (Salt & Pepper Shakers)
  • I Say Whip It, and Whip it Good (Whisk)
  • You Spin Me Right Round Baby Right Round (Electric Mixer)

I added a few kitchen tools and gadgets, put it all in a fun basket and wrapped with clear cellophane tied with a big bow.

If you are looking for a cute and unique idea for a bridal shower, wedding gift, or someone who loves (or hates) the kitchen, I think these are so cute!  (and FYI – I have no relationship to Jess at WorksofHeartDesign Co., nor did I receive any compensation for promoting – I simply just love her products!)

Wishing Becky and Michael a lifetime of happiness and love!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake.

What is a girl to do when a bestie friend comes home after a long time away?!

Well…. run over and visit and hug as soon as possible!  Right?!

But you can’t go empty handed!

So – what to bake to take?  I needed something quick, but yummy, that my sweet friend Janet and her Mom and Dad would enjoy…

I had some amazing fresh blueberries in the fridge I had recently bought at a local farm market, so I decided to make a blueberry cake.

And OH was it yummy!  (I know because I kept half for hubby and me and took half to them.  She is that kind of friend!  The best kind – that you can take half a cake to – LOL!)

I arrived just in time to serve it to them for dessert!

Oh the joy of friendship!  Oh the joy of baking and sharing!

Make this for yourself!  Make this to give away!  But make this amazing Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake today!  (oh dear – am I still rhyming?! )

Welcome home sweet Janet!  Looking forward to our time together.

Here is the recipe I made as I adapted from LifeLoveandSugar:

Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

Streusel:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp. salted butter, melted

Cake:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (light sour cream works fine)
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used Skim)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare an 8-9 inch cake pan by greasing bottom and sides with shortening and then placing a circle of parchment paper in the bottom.

Prepare streusel by combining ingredients in a medium bowl with a fork.  Set aside.

Prepare cake batter by beating sugar and butter in electric mixer for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add sour cream and milk  until well incorporated.  Add egg and vanilla.  Finally, add baking powder, then flour just until thoroughly combined.

Spread half of the batter in prepared pan.  Top with half of the streusel mixture, then  3/4 cup blueberries.  Repeat batter, streusel, then 1 cup blueberries.

Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then remove from pan.

Prepare glaze by  by combining powdered sugar and milk until a glaze consistency is achieved.  Add more powdered sugar or milk as needed.

Drizzle cooled cake with glaze, and top with remaining 1/4 cup fresh blueberries.

Serve warm or cold – plain or with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream!

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Caramel M&M Cookies

Caramel M&M Cookies.

Have you tried the new Caramel M&Ms yet?

O. M. Geeeee!

I would never have believed the Mars Candy Company could made an M&M better than my favorite – Peanut.

My sons love the Peanut Butter M&Ms, and I know they make Crispy and Pretzel and Dark Chocolate, and of course the good old standby – Plain – but these Caramel M&Ms….

They are just the Rock Stars of the family!  The cat’s meow… The bee’s knees.. The bomb dot com!

Once hubby talked me into buying a bag and we tried, I knew I had to make cookies out of these little gems of heavenly deliciousness!

And they did not disappoint!  I made them for a picnic this past weekend, and it’s a good thing I took them all, because I might not be able to resist these babies!

I used my standard chocolate chip cookie recipe – replacing the chocolate chunks with the Caramel M&Ms.  Simple – but oh so delightful!

Give them a try!  Let me know if you agree.

Caramel M&M Cookies

  • Servings: 4 dozen large cookies
  • Print

Ingredients:

4 sticks (1 lb.) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
5 cups all purpose flour
2 9.6oz bags Caramel M&M Candies

Directions:

With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until completely incorporated. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until light and fluffy. Add baking soda and salt, and mix another minute. Gradually add flour and beat until well incorporated, but do not overbeat.

Fold in Caramel M&M Candies.  Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With your hands, form a cookie dough ball about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.  Place on baking stone. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Allow to cool on baking stone for 5-10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#MadewithM

I am not being paid by M&Ms to promote them, though I wish I was!  

Homemade Old-Fashioned Glazed Donuts

Homemade Old-Fashioned Glazed Donuts!

Seriously…….
could anything be more decadently delish?!

A tender ring of fried sweet dough
drenched in a glorious glaze?

I couldn’t resist making these,
and they did not disappoint.

Every once in a great while,
I allow myself to be treated to a donut….
a wickedly wonderful waste of calories.

But since it is only Hubby and me at home,
a dozen donuts AND holes
are way too much sugary goodness!

So after enjoying one each
(and a few holes – which are completely calorie free  – right?)
I shared the rest.

That really is my joy in baking…
giving it away.

Hopefully creating a brief smile…
a tiny treat or surprise for a loved one or friend.

These are soooooo worth making!
They are easy and quick to make.

I hope you will treat yourself and those you love!

Homemade Old-Fashioned Glazed Donuts

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cup  cake flour  (no cake flour?  no problem!  make it easily by the cupful – take one level cup of all-purpose flour, remove two tablespoons, and then add two tablespoons of cornstarch back in)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup  sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup  sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Canola oil, for frying

For the glaze:

  • 3 1/2 cup  powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hot water

Directions:

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until sandy. Add egg yolks, and mix until light and thick. Add dry ingredients to the mixing bowl in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream, ending with the flour.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

On a floured surface, roll dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Use a donut cutter to cut out approximately 12 donuts and holes.

Pour 2 inches of canola oil into a heavy bottomed pot with a thermometer attached. Heat to 325°F.  Fry donuts a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry on each side about 2 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Let drain on a paper bag to soak up the excess grease.

For the glaze:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until smooth.  Dip each donut into the glaze. Place on a wire rack above a sheet of waxed paper to catch any excess glaze. Let sit for 20 minutes until glaze is set.

Best served the day they are made, but may be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for a few days.

Cheers & Sugary Sweet Hugs,
Jodi

Recipe found at:  Huffington Post’s “The Greatest Homemade Doughnut Recipes You’ll Ever Find.