White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Guys, we actually had sunshine today in Glasgow. I thought maybe the sun had stopped working, but it’s back, and I love it. That doesn’t mean I’m going to run outside for a hike or something crazy like that, but I maybe I’ll treat myself to a cocktail before the sun goes away for good and we start marching toward the long winter.

I never got sun guilt when we lived in Hawaii, though a know a lot of people did. You could count on the sun to shine there. Here, if I don’t get outside on a sunny day, I never know when I might get another chance. It’s so precious here. It just makes you want to quit your life and give yourself over to the warmth.

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

A great way to enjoy the sunshine would be to have a picnic and bring along some white chocolate raspberry blondies. These little beauties have a hint of caramel flavor that compliments the tart burst of fresh raspberries. If you can summon the patience to wait for them to cool completely, they’re easy to slice and transport, making them perfect to take along to any sun drenched eating experience you may desire.

These are so simple to make. It’s really just dumping some stuff into a mixer, pouring it into a baking dish, and sprinkling on some toppings before popping it all in the oven. These are good if they’re slightly on the gooey side, but they shouldn’t be wobbly when you pull them out of the oven. If you can resist the urge to dig in until they’re cool, you won’t regret it.

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Don’t let the sunshine pass you by. And don’t wait for an excuse to make white chocolate raspberry blondies.

White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies
Serves 12
White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies will bring some sunshine into your life.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 200 grams (7/8 cup) unsalted butter
  2. 150 grams (5 ounces) white chocolate chips
  3. 300 grams (1-1/2 cups) light brown sugar
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 200 grams (1-3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1 small carton of fresh raspberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and butter a 9x9 inch baking pan.
  2. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan, then cook on medium low for five minutes.
  3. Stir in half of your chocolate chips until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Beat brown sugar and eggs together until light and smooth, about the color of peanut butter.
  5. Slowly stir in flour, salt, and vanilla.
  6. Fold in butter and white chocolate mixture until smooth.
  7. Pour batter into pan, then scatter raspberries and remaining white chocolate chips over the top.
  8. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and not wobbly.
  9. Cool completely in tin, then pack up and take on an adventure.
Adapted from How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day
Adapted from How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
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/
Swiss and Bacon Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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