There were some Snickers cupcakes in Food Network magazine a few months back and I’ve been looking for an excuse to make them. I got tired of waiting and decided to make them when I was wandering around the grocery store one day (my favorite hobby). I used my phone to check what ingredients I needed and luckily noticed the reviews on the Food Network website. Dry cake, nougat sliding everywhere, there were complaints about every little thing in the recipe. I still thought the idea was a good one but it needed major changes.
Basically this is vanilla cake with peanuts, a peanut butter & marshmallow nougat, and chocolate frosting. It turned out awesome. The cake was so soft and the peanuts added a great saltiness to it. The nougat layer was good enough to be eaten with a spoon. The chocolate frosting was good but I wish I had used my favorite one.
Did they taste like a Snickers? Yes and no. The top definitely did, although it could have used more peanuts. Know what else they were missing? The most important part of a Snickers! CARAMEL! I didn’t even realize they were missing caramel until I sat down to write this post. A caramel drizzle would have made these even better. But I heard no complaints and there are definitely none left so I guess no one missed the caramel too much!
cupcake from Ina Garten
For the cupcakes:
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup salted peanuts
For the nougat:
1 7-ounce jar of marshmallow fluff
1 cup creamy peanut butter
For the frosting:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar
3 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 - 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
salted peanuts, for garnish
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, then add the yogurt and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.
Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Gently stir in peanuts. Fill the cupcake liners to the top with batter. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.
For nougat layer, use a spatula to fold marshmallow fluff and peanut butter together until combined. Spread a thin layer on cooled cupcakes.
For frosting, melt the 2 kinds of chocolate in microwave, stirring as needed. Set aside to cool slightly.
Beat butter until creamy; add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Add chocolate, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Beat until everything comes together and add powdered sugar as needed. Spread on top of nougat layer. Top with salted peanuts.
My sister-in-law turns 17 today and when it came time to make her cake, her mother suggested a cookie cake. I agreed to make it and it came with my standard warning, “You know I’m not a cake decorator” because let’s face it, I’m not.
I used a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe for this, the one from the Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip bags. I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually made the recipe (as cookies) but I was happy with how it turned out as a cake. I had worried that the outside would brown a lot faster than the inside but it all seemed pretty even in the end. Just be careful because the cookie does expand – I would suggest using a pan with a higher rim than I did or you could probably refrigerate the dough in the pan for a little while to stop the spreading.
My favorite part of the cake was how easy it was to decorate! A few dots here, a few there, and it almost looked like the cookie cakes you buy at the mall!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. package) chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375.
flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan (or pan of choice). Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack.
Ever since I made that awesome chocolate biscotti last month I’ve been looking for an excuse to make some more – and a new recipe to try! I stumbled upon this one by accident and knew immediately that it would be amazing. I’d never seen peanut butter in biscotti and now I’m trying to figure out why. Peanut butter makes everything better, right?
Beat 1/3 cup peanut butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, beating until blended.
Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; add to peanut butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead in peanuts and 1/2 cup chocolate mini-morsels.
Shape dough into a 13"log on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 325F for 40 minutes or until firm. Remove to a wire rack to cool (about 20 minutes).
Cut log diagonally into 1/2"-thick slices with a serrated knife, using a gentle sawing motion; place slices on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 325F for 7 minutes; turn cookies over, and bake 7 more minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Combine remaining 1 cup chocolate mini-morsels, 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter, and shortening in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until chocolate and peanut butter melt. Dip one end of each biscotti in chocolate mixture. Place biscotti on wax paper until chocolate hardens.
About a week ago I read a blog post about high-fructose corn syrup. It wasn’t anything scientific, it was just the blogger saying that once she has something with high-fructose corn syrup, she wants more and more. I’ve never really bought into the whole HFCS debate but this made sense to me. I cannot be trusted around granola bars which is one of the only things I buy for myself that contains HFCS.
Enter these bars. Oh my gosh, they were so good. Chewy but a little crisp around the edges. Lots of chocolate chips, coconut, and a tiny hint of banana. Mmm! So much better than the packaged stuff and none of the HFCS for me to stress over (or convince myself that HFCS is the reason I could eat boxes of granola bars at once ;))
These are also easy to customize. Dried fruit, chopped nuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds – they would all be delicious. Don’t like honey? Try brown rice syrup, it would be perfect in these!
Peanut Butter Granola Bars
1/2 cup peanut butter (natural or regular)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 small banana, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup coconut
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.
Heat peanut butter in microwave just until it’s easy to stir. Combine it with brown sugar, honey, banana, and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Add in oats, coconut, and semisweet chocolate chips.
Press mixture into a prepared 8 x 8 baking pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting.
Lately when I’ve gone searching for something to bake, my requirements have been:
Doesn’t require me to spend any money
Isn’t something that Spencer would like (because of his diet)
I thought I’d covered both of those when I was thumbing through Dorie’s book and saw chocolate biscotti. I adore biscotti and spent my Starbucks years wishing and hoping for broken biscotti every time I was in charge of unloading the truck. Spencer never liked them. He did however really like these. Like, really. He told me that they tasted like “extra baked brownies” and I guess they kind of did. I’m not too into chocolate (especially something made with cocoa powder AND mini chocolate chips) but these were excellent. They would’ve been great with coffee if only they’d lasted long enough.
from Baking: From My Home to Yours
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes until light. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and vanilla; beat for another 2 minutes. Decrease the speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until a dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in the chopped nuts and chocolate.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead a few times just to incorporate any dry ingredients that didn't mixed in before. Divide into two portions; on the baking sheet, shape each portion into a 12 x 2 inch log. Sprinkle each log with a little sugar. Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the sheet from the oven and let it cool on a rack for 20 minutes. Then, with a very sharp, serrated knife, slice the logs into about 3/4 - 1 inch slices and leave the slices standing up on the baking sheet. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes of baking.