Giant Peanut Butter Cups | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Giant Peanut Butter Cups

Giant Peanut Butter Cups | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I have a hardcore love of peanut butter. And a very specific type of peanut butter. It’s gotta be the super smooth American peanut butter that basically takes any hint of health out of the game. Jif is my favorite, but I’ll go for Skippy if I need to. Do NOT ask me how much money I’ve spent on a jar of peanut butter while living in countries where it’s really hard to get the good stuff. 

For as long as I can remember, my favorite candy has been Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. There was a short period in seventh grade where I didn’t eat them because of the over-packaging, but it didn’t take me long to get over myself and start devouring them again. I actually just had a dream about eating these babies. Best nap ever. They don’t sell Reese’s in Taiwan. When someone brings them back from the states, those things are more precious than diamonds.

Giant Peanut Butter Cups | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I recently discovered that it’s super simple to make your own Giant Peanut Butter Cups. They’re made in a mini tart pan, These things are three inches in diameter and heavenly to eat. It’s a lot of chocolate peanut butter intensity, though, so unless you’re a champion eater, you’ll want to share one with someone you love.

All we’re doing is melting some chocolate, whipping some smooth peanut butter with powdered sugar, and bringing them merrily together in a mini tart tin. You can easily make more if you need to. It just takes a bit of patience to get the chocolate coaxed into all the corners and some will power to let them chill out in the fridge to set.

Giant Peanut Butter Cups | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

If you have a deep and abiding love of peanut butter, Giant Peanut Butter Cups are about to be your new favorite.

Giant Peanut Butter Cups
Serves 4
Giant Peanut Butter Cups are a hardcore peanut butter lover's dream come true.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup chocolate chips (you might not use all of this but better to have too much than too little)
  2. 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  3. 1/4 powdered sugar
  4. 2 mini tart pans
Instructions
  1. Melt your chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a glass bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the water doesn't touch the bowl. Stir every couple of minutes until the chocolate is melted and smooth, then remove it from the heat.
  2. Spoon a couple tablespoons of chocolate into the bottom of each tart pan and gently tilt and prod the gooey chocolate to cover the bottom and work it's way into each of the little fluted bits of your pan. If you want to get really fancy, you can also coat the side of your tart pans with chocolate, but I was too lazy for that. Allow these to set up in the fridge for half an hour.
  3. While your bases are hanging out, mix together peanut butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until you have a smooth paste.
  4. Divide your peanut butter mixture evenly between each tart pan, and use an offset spatula to smooth this evenly over your base. Remember to get right into the fluted edges.
  5. Finally, add more chocolate to the top of each pan and once again prod and and tilt your chocolate into those pretty corners.
  6. Allow this to sit up in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
  7. I like to let the tarts sit out at room temperature for about 10 minutes before eating so that the chocolate isn't rock hard.
Notes
  1. If you're really trying to impress, you can line the bottom of your tart pans with parchment for easier removal. I just served them still stuck to the bottom of the tart pan because I'm lazy.
Adapted from Sweet ReciPEAs
Adapted from Sweet ReciPEAs
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Did you know that I’m a compulsive list maker? I keep lists for everything. When I get really bored, I get the urge to update a list or come up with a reason to make a new one. I’m sure all you psychologists out there can tell me why this makes me particularly crazy. I don’t know the reason. I just know I’ve lost my mind.

I have long lists on my computer of books I want to read, movies I want to watch, recipes I want to try, things I could make for dinner in the next week or two, not to mention Pinterest, which is basically just a massive hoard of lists. Then I carry around a notebook with me everywhere I go that contains no less than 13 lists. 

One of those lists is of old recipes that I’ve shared with you that have devastatingly horrible photos. Currently, my food photography skills are around a 3 out of 10, but when I first started blogging, I was hovering around minus 9. So even if I can’t make my food look as good as it really is, I can make it look a lot better than I did in 2013. You might have noticed some of these classics coming back. Here’s to growth.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Today’s re-envisioned recipe is Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting. This cake is fluffy and buttery and so nostalgic. This is definitely the type of cake (though probably from a box and in a 13×9 pan) that my mom would have made when I was a kid. And the frosting is so fluffy and chocolaty. I could take a bath in this. I definitely ended up eating way too much of this as I was making this cake. I just couldn’t help myself.

If you’re nervous about baking a cake from scratch, you needn’t be. This cake uses a simple reverse creaming method, but you don’t even need to know what that means. You just need to know that it’s really easy. You just need a good mixture. A kitchen scale also helps to make sure that your cake layers are roughly even. Then add to that a bit of patience and an offset spatula, and you’re good to go. I promise you can do it.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Bring a classic cake into your kitchen, and bring a smile to the face of everyone who eats it. And sneak as much chocolate frosting as you want. They’ll never know.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Serves 10
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting is eternally awesome.
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
30 min
For the cake
  1. 4 whole eggs
  2. 2 egg yolks
  3. 1-1/4 cup buttermilk
  4. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 3 cups (360 grams) cake flour
  6. 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
  7. 1 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp baking powder
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temp, cut into small pieces
For the frosting
  1. 6 oz unsweetened chocolate (the baking kind, not the kind you eat) melted and cooled
  2. 4-1/2 cups (563 grams) powdered sugar
  3. 3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, room temp
  4. 6 Tbsp half and half (any dairy will do, but skim milk won’t be as rich)
  5. 1Tbsp vanilla extract
For the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Butter and flour 3 20 centimeter round cake pans. If you have it, line the bottom of each pan with parchment, just to be safe. I skipped the parchment this time out of laziness, and everything was fine.
  2. Crack the eggs and yolks into a separate bowl, then add ONLY 1/4 cup of the buttermilk, and all the vanilla. Whisk to blend.
  3. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and use your lowest setting on your electric mixer to combine. This will only take a few seconds.
  4. Add the butter and remaining 1 cup buttermilk to the dry ingredients and mix on low until combined.
  5. Turn your mixer up to medium for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be light and fluffy.
  6. Turn your mixer back down to low. Add the egg mixture slowly. Scrape down your bowl and give it one more mix, just until everything is incorporated.
  7. Divide the batter between your waiting pans. If you have a kitchen scale, you can weigh them to make sure they're roughly equal.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes or until your cake tester comes out clean and the sides have started to pull away from the edge.
  9. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning them out. Use wire racks if you have them. Allow cake to cool completely. If you're waiting until the next day to frost your cake, wrap your layers on plastic wrap. Storing them in the fridge will make your cake decorating even easier.
For the frosting
  1. Make sure the first thing you do is melt your chocolate so that it can cool a bit before adding it to the butter.
  2. Sift the powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add your butter and mix on slow just until the powder sugar stops flying all over the place. Add in the chocolate, half and half, and vanilla. Mix on medium until everything is combined. If you want your frosting to be more on the fluffy side, allow it to mix on medium for about five minutes.
  3. I assembled my cake by placing the first cake layer onto my plate, then slapping on about 1/3 of the frosting. Spread it evenly, then place another cake layer on the top and do the same. Place some frosting on the top and work it over the edges, then frost the top. Get as creative as you like.
  4. I smooth the frosting around the edges with an offset spatula as best as I could, then used my rotating cake stand to make a little swirl on the top. I also used a small star tip to add a border around the bottom just to make it look a bit tidier. And since sprinkles make everything better, I tossed a few colorful sprinkles on the top of the cake. Why not?
  5. You can make your cake look as fancy or as homemade as you like. Just have fun with it. It will taste awesome no matter what.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I think I might be allergic to spending money on myself. Every time I want to buy myself something, whether it’s a chai latte, a book, or a new pair of shoes, I have to go through hours of overly dramatic rationalizing about why I should be allowed to have this thing in exchange for paper money. I work really hard at my job, so why don’t I think I deserve nice things every now and then just like everyone else? Could have something to do with my crap wage. There’s no telling. 

It’s probably just because I’m just a neurotic freak who’s too cheap to pay for therapy. Either way, I’ve been wearing the same clothes for more than ten years, and I’m still riding this bus with people who may or may not have had a shower in the past week.

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

When I do finally decide to splash out, I can’t quite bring myself to by real vanilla beans, but I did pick up some vanilla bean paste, which is still pretty gorgeous. This Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake is a superstar. It’s tender and moist, and the vanilla really shines through. 

This cake comes together easily, and the glaze can be made in one bowl with a whisk. Make your glaze just barely drippy. It will boost the sweetness and cover up any bits that might have stuck to your pan. Beautiful in so many ways.

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

If you want something simple and sweet and a little bit splashy, make this Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake for your friends. It’ll be awesome.

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake
Serves 12
Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake is tender, moist, and extra special.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
For the cake
  1. 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 9 ounces (255 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  6. 1-3/4 cups (350 grams) sugar
  7. 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
  8. 4 eggs
  9. 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
For the glaze
  1. 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  2. 2-4 tablespoons milk
  3. 1 cup powdered sugar
For the cake
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and butter and flour your favorite bundt pan.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about five minutes.
  4. Turn your mixer down to low and beat in the vanilla bean paste, then add the eggs one at a time, combining completely before adding the next egg. Scrape the side of your mixing bowl, and give it another quick mix.
  5. With your mixer on its lowest speed, add a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the buttermilk, a second third of the dry stuff, the rest of the buttermilk, and finally what's left of the dry ingredients, combining well before each addition. Scrape your bowl and mix for a few more seconds to get everything well mixed.
  6. Pour your cake batter carefully into your waiting bundt pan. Make sure there are no bubbles and and try to spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour until a skewer or cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for an hour, then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely before glazing.
For the glaze
  1. Whisk together vanilla bean paste and two tablespoons of milk in a measuring cup.
  2. Put your powdered sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk in your vanilla and milk mixture. Add some extra milk a splash at a time until you reach the desired consistency. I recommend keeping it on the thicker side.
  3. Coax your glaze from it's bowl and pour it evenly around the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Slice generously and serve to happy friends.
Adapted from Sweetapolita
Adapted from Sweetapolita
http://awesomeon20.com/
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