Monday, February 18, 2008

Home Economics Drop Out

If you know me then you know I do not pride myself on being a great cook, or even a cook. I can usually put something together that the kids and Ben will eat. This past weekend, with our ingredient stock very slim, I pulled together not one but TWO winners. I feel like a world class chef. The first, a Peanut Butter cake with Chocolate glaze icing, disappeared in a record 24 hour period. The second, Oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars, have made the children (and adults) of the house, who previously hated oatmeal cookies, beg for more.

Do you notice a theme...My motto is "If it isn't chocolate, it just isn't worth it."

Keep in mind these are SIMPLE recipes therefore I was able to make them correctly.

Peanut Butter Cake:
1 yellow cake mix and ingredients to make it (I used a butter recipe)
1/2 cup peanut butter

Here's the hard part, make cake mix according to package instructions then ADD peanut butter.

Bake according to package, I used a 9x13 cake pan

The Chocloate glaze is from another recipe I mastered (Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake) but today we just used the frosting.

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Place sugar, butter and milk in a small sauce pan over medium low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for one minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in chocolate chips. When chips have melted and glaze is smooth, pour it over warm cake so that it covers the entire surface. Glaze will be thin but will firm up.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 stick butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt (opt.)
3 cup Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup chocolate chips

Beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices; add to butter mixture, mixing well. Add 1 cup chocolate chips. Stir in oats. Press dough onto bottom of ungreased 13"x9" pan. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely; cut into 1 1/2" squares. Store in tightly covered container. 4 dozen.


Helpful hint: When your three year old wants to help crack the egg, have him crack it in a small bowl, then dig the shells out, send him to wash his hands, dump the egg he cracked down the sink, and re-crack an egg before he comes back. Viola, he helped!

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