Chocolate-Peanutbutter Bars

Happy first day of winter!  No, the world didn’t come to an end today like some people predicted. I’m sure that most of us knew it wouldn’t! Winter here in the south came in with very strong cold winds. Yesterday we received over 3 inches of rain which was desperately needed. Today is sunny, but not warm by any stretch of the imagination!

With just 10 days remaining in 2012,  I have just one more post to write after this one to reach the 200 mark! And I need only 101 more views to reach 7000! Many thanks to those of you who have shared my blog with your friends!

Today’s recipe is the one that I use to make chocolate covered peanutbutter balls. I experimented this year and used an idea that a friend shared. Instead of forming all those balls and standing forever in front of the stove dipping them into chocolate, I decided to press them into a pan and cut them into bars.  I think that it was a successful experiment!  The only thing I discovered is that I used just half of the peanutbutter mixture, but all of the chocolate mixture! So if you want to use the entire amount of peanutbutter mixture, double the amount of coating ingredients! Oh, and if you have many helping hands at your house, shape it into balls and dip them!

Filling:

4 c. powdered sugar

1 c. butter, softened

1 c. creamy peanutbutter

Coating:

12 oz. chocolate chips

2 tbsp. butter

Mix sugar, butter and peanut butter together in a large bowl.  Melt chocolate chips and 2 tbsp. butter in a small saucepan over low to medium heat. Stir well to make a creamy mixture.

Lightly spray a 9×9 glass baking pan.  Spread half the chocolate mixture in the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.  Divide the peanutbutter mixture in half.  Pat half the mixture in a layer over the chocolate.  Spread the other half of the chocolate mixture on top and refrigerate until firm, about another 15 minutes.  Wrap the remaining peanutbutter mixture in plastic wrap and put in fridge until you are ready to make some more!

When the layers are hardened, cut into small squares.

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Kilo Krispies

This recipe comes from a fellow Citadel Mom who shared it on the Facebook page for parents.  I love all the added ingredients to make these a unique krispy treat!  But first of all, do you know what happens when a Pyrex measuring cup falls onto the hardwood floor?   Seriously, I’ve never seen such a mess of glass.  There were little chunks, slivers, and huge pieces all over my kitchen floor. This was my 4-cup measuring cup.  I definitely need to get a new one because I used it all the time.

Here is the recipe for the Kilo Krispies.  I think that next time I make them, I will use a few more marshmallows.  This recipe makes a lot, so cut it in half if you don’t want tons!

9-1/2 c. crisp rice cereal

5 c. oats

2 c. milk chocolate chips

1 c. peanuts

2 large bags marshmallows

1/4 c. honey

1/4 c. butter

1/4 c. vegetable oil

1/4 c. peanut butter

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a very large mixing bowl and set aside.  In a large saucepan over low heat, melt marshmallows and butter stirring constantly to avoid burning.  Add honey, oil and peanut butter, mixing well until peanut butter is melted.

Pour marshmallow mixture over dry ingredients and toss to coat.  Pour into two greased 13×9 baking pans and press down firmly and evenly.  Cool and cut into squares.   I have a huge tray that I used for mine.  It made  about 6 dozen treats about  1/2 inch thick.  These treats are perfect for sending in a care package!

*For variety try using almond or walnut pieces instead of peanuts, semi-sweet chips instead of milk chocolate chips, or raisins or dried fruit.

 

Chocolate Lover’s Delight

If you’ve read through my other posts, especially those at the start of this process, you remember that I have over 70 cookbooks in my possession.  My very first cookbook was a Betty Crocker cookbook that I got one Christmas while in college.  My second cookbook came from my sister about 23 years ago.  It is called “Great Desserts” and it is full of just that. . .great desserts! It was in this cookbook that I found a chocolate cake recipe that I first made for my husband when we were dating.  Because of the time it takes to make this cake, I haven’t made it since!  But on the occasion of his 50th birthday last weekend, I figured it was about time to make it again.   For my chocolate-loving husband on his special day, this was a no-brainer!  Hope you give it a try.  Your family will love it.

CHOCOLATE-CHOCOLATE-CHOCOLATE-CHIP FUDGE CAKE

Cake Layers:

1 stick plus 2.2/3 tbsp. butter, at room temperature

2 c. sugar

3 eggs

2 c. sifted all-purpose flour

3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1-1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1-1/2 c. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. chocolate syrup

Fudge Filling:

2/3 c. sugar

1/2 c heavy cream

2-1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate

1 tbsp. light corn syrup

2 tbsp. butter

1/2 c. Chocolate Chips

Chocolate Cream

2-1/2 c. heavy cream

3-1/2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

7 tbsp. powdered sugar

3-4 tbsp. chocolate syrup, room temperature

Prepare the cake layers: Preheat the oven to 350. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with waxed paper; butter and flour the pans; tap out any excess flour.  In mixing bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until smooth. One at a time, beat in the eggs until well blended.  Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the egg mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk, mixing only until blended. Blend in the vanilla and chocolate syrup.  Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake until the tops of the cakes are springy to the touch, 40-45 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set on racks to cool for 30 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and unmold. Peel off the waxed paper. Set the cakes on a rack and let cool completely.

Prepare the Filling: Combine the sugar, cream, chocolate, and corn syrup in a small heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat, dot the top with the butter, and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. When cool, stir in the butter until the fudge filling is smooth and creamy.

Prepare the Chocolate Cream: Beat the cream and cocoa until soft peaks form. Gradually add the powdered sugar and continue beating until stiff.

Assemble the Cake: Cover one cake layer with all of the fudge filling. Sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips. Spread 1/2 cup of chocolate cream on top of the chips. Top with the second cake layer and cover the top and sides of the cake with half of the remaining chocolate cream. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.

Serving: Drizzle chocolate syrup over cake in criss-cross design. Allow to drip down the sides of the cake.  Cut into slices and serve with vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!

Serves 12-15.