Snicker’s Cake

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When it comes to making a cake (especially the three layer, super involved kind), I need a good excuse to make one. My husband on the other hand would have liked me to make this because it was a Monday – no real reason and no company to help us eat it. I know better! The last thing we need is a giant cake all to ourselves,  not to mention how selfish that would be 😉

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I have used this particular chocolate cake recipe many times before, so I knew it would be really good. Also, for quality control sake, I had to taste the fluff and salted caramel I made – so I knew those were also really good. This is definitely not a cake I would have wanted to make in one day because of all the components; also, it’s much easier to work with when the cake layers have been frozen. On Friday, I made the salted caramel and the chocolate cake – let the cake cool completely, wrapped them up individually in plastic and then placed them in the freezer. I made the fluff on Sunday, stored it in a glass container and let it sit on my counter. Monday I made the nougat and I decided to reduce the amount of peanuts added; but other than that modification, I made it as directed. Also, I totally forgot to add the salted caramel to the top of the nougat filling – boo! I figured no one would care especially once i poured ganache and more caramel sauce over the top 😉

Verdict: This cake tastes as good as it looks – maybe even better. All the guests at our Labor Day party really enjoyed it and we only have about 1/4 of it left! 🙂  I’m glad that all that work I put into it paid off, and I’m sure I will get requests for it in the future 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Snickers Cake – adapted from Punky Purls via Brown Eyed Baker

For the Cake:

  • 2½ cups AP flour (312 grams)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1  teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil (*I used grapeseed oil)
  • 4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Nougat Filling:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup evaporated milk
  • 1½ cups marshmallow fluff
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup salted caramel sauce
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache:

  • 8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) heavy cream

For the Assembly & Garnish:

Directions –

1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).

4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

5. Make the Nougat Filling: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it in the cake. You can do this leaving it at room temperature or you can pop it into the refrigerator to speed up the process. Be sure to give a stir occasionally as it cools.

6. Make the Frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes (I like to use the whisk attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, but it’s not necessary). Pour in the salted caramel and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.

7. Assemble the Cake: If your cakes baked up uneven or have domed on top, level off the tops. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with half of the nougat filling and then spread a couple spoonfuls of the salted caramel sauce over top to evenly cover the nougat filling. Top with a second cake layer and cover with the remaining nougat filling and top with caramel sauce. Place the final cake layer on top face-down. Frost the cake with the salted caramel frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour, until the frosting is set.

8. Make the Chocolate Ganache: While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin whisking the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, yet still a pourable consistency.

9. Garnish the Cake: Transfer the ganache to a 2-cup measuring cup. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache into the center of the cake, letting it push itself outward and flow over the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes, giving the ganache a chance to set up. To finish garnishing, drizzle some additional salted caramel sauce over the top and side of the cake, and top with chopped peanuts. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.

Salted Caramel Sauce

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I have never made caramel before, but I watched this episode of Kelsey’s Essentials and decided that this should be easy enough to try. Thankfully it worked out really well and I will use this recipe again. This caramel is destined to become part of the Snicker’s cake that I will be serving on Labor Day. I am also going to attempt making marshmallow fluff from scratch so hopefully that recipe turns out as well as this caramel! 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Salted Caramel Sauce – adapted from Kelsey’s Essentials

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel, or kosher salt

Directions –

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. If necessary, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 7-10 minutes.

Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Transfer the caramel to a dish and cool.

*Cook’s Note: The salted caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Reheat before serving.

There-Is-Entirely-Too-Much-Halloween-Candy-In-This-House-Cookies!

The kids hit the mother load in our neighborhood! I knew I was going to have to find a use or I would eat too many myself. I started my search for uses a few days before Halloween and I came across this recipe. I like the fact that only one stick of butter is needed and this isn’t going to be a huge batch of cookies. The occasional batch of cookies isn’t a bad thing, but when the batch made over 50 cookies – well, that’s just way too many for me to avoid! 😉 I’ll make sure we will pass some of these out to our lucky neighbors – that is if M decides to be generous and share. He loves Reese’s cups! The kids are still counting their booty as I type this! And before they knew why I asked for their M&Ms and Reese’s cups they whined (thinking I was going to eat them), but once I revealed the true reason they were more than willing to give them up! 😉 We discovered that they have 15 KitKat’s so I may have to find another recipe for those – unless of course I take some for myself 😉
Candy Cookies – adapted from For the Love of Cooking
  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 7 “Fun Size” packages of M & M’s (about a cup)
  • 7 full size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, cut into bite size pieces
Directions: 
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray or line the cookie sheet with a silpat baking mat.
In a large bowl, mix the butter, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy and smooth. Slowly beat in the eggs. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt together thoroughly. Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixtures until well blended. Add most of the M&M’s and most of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and mix carefully.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls on cookie sheets. Add the remaining M&M’s and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup pieces to the top of the cookies.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before moving them to a wire rack. Enjoy

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bites

These are always welcome here, but thankfully they were meant for a cookie exchange. The kids were expecting these to stay home, but I don’t think they mind that there are 18 different kind of cookies to choose from now. These are so easy to make and you can use other mini candies in place of the Reese’s if you’d like. For example, I have tried Snickers in place of the Reese’s cups and I bought some Rolo’s thinking that those would be a perfect complement to these too. Maybe the next batch will have those in them! These were snapped up at the cookie exchange really quickly and I hope whoever chose these enjoyed them. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bites – adapted from Savory Sweet Life

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 40 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped from the brown paper

DIRECTIONS – Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray mini cupcake pan with non stick spray.  In a medium bowl, mix melted butter, sugars and vanilla.  Beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually add flour, cocoa, and salt and mix until combined.  Fill each cupcake slot slightly more than halfway but not more than 2/3 full.  Place a peanut butter cup in each slot pressing it down until it is almost level with the batter.  Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until done.  Allow the brownie bites to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the cupcake tin.  Enjoy! *Notes: Be sure to remove brownie bites 5 minutes after coming out of the oven.  Otherwise they might cool and stick to the sides making it difficult to get out.  If baking these in a pan, your baking time will increase to 25-30 minutes.  You can be sure they are close to being done when you can smell them from your oven.

Cookie Dough Truffles

Hi everyone! I haven’t blogged in a couple of years, so I’m hoping it becomes easier the more I post. I am definitely not a writer nor do like to write – but I do love cooking and baking!

I started posting on my FB wall a year ago about all the new recipes I was trying. Surprisingly, several friends told me how much they appreciated it or that they enjoyed certain recipes.  Last night my husband told me I should start a website to keep all my tried and true recipes organized and in one place. Over the year I have accumulated tons of bookmarks, emails and recipes I have handwritten. He’s right –  I really do need a better system so I don’t lose a favorite.

A few weeks ago, M (my husband) requested that I make these Cookie DoughTruffles for his college class. This Wednesday is his third to last class before he completes his Master’s degree – I’m so proud and happy it’s almost over! These aren’t difficult at all to make but they do take time because of the two separate chill times. Don’t skip these steps though, it’s much easier to work with the dough when it’s firm. Here’s the step by step pictures and the recipe for them!

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Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles – adapted from Love and Olive Oil

  • 2-½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1-½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Butter Or Margarine, Room Temperature
  • ¾ cups Sugar
  • ¾ cups Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • ⅓ cups Milk Or Soy Milk
  • 1 cup Mini Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 14 ounces, weight Dark Chocolate Candy Coating

Directions:

Beat butter and sugars and in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed (or by hand) until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.

When dough is firm enough to handle (it may help to lightly flour your hands), form dough into 1″ balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place sheets in the freezer and let chill for 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate candy coating in a double boiler or in the microwave according to package directions. Using forks or a dipping tool, dip cookie balls into the candy coating to cover. Tap fork on the side of the pan to remove any excess coating, and return to the waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill until set. Store, chilled, in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Thanks for reading! Enjoy:o)