Peanut Butter S’mores

So, remember last week when I posted that recipe for Paula’s Peanut Butter Cake? Well, after the cake was made I found myself with a box of graham crackers and a jar of peanut butter… hmmm what to do. Being summer time I see displays for s’mores supplies everywhere I go – thank you for shoving it in my face, America. But truth be told, I really don’t need my arm twisted to be convinced eating s’mores is a good idea. You may recall two of the first recipes I posted on this blog involved s’mores. That being said, it didn’t take long before a bag of marshmallows and a few jumbo-sized Hershey bars suddenly appeared on my counter. Obviously the work of some neighborhood deviant bent on littering apartments with horrible (yet tasty) indulgences. Bastards.

But, one must make the best of such situations. Thus, out came my beloved kitchen torch and behold, peanut butter s’mores were made. The version you see in the picture is without chocolate. I did also try it with a single square of Hershey’s and it was divine. Either way the trick is to spread a thin layer of peanut butter onto the graham cracker, add chocolate if you desire, top with a marshmallow, then microwave it until the marshmallow inflates, about 8 seconds. This ensures all the layers are heated through before you torch your marshmallow. As you can see, I like mine well done, but if you keep your distance you can toast it to a light golden brown.

I also just had the idea to do this with nutella instead of peanut butter… sweet god….

Peanut Butter Cake!

Usually as the weather gets warmer I manage to find ways to NOT turn the oven on and heat up my apartment even further. But for some reason I’ve had the need for baked goods, so you know what, I’m just going to go with it.

Last night I pulled out one of my long time favorites, Peanut Butter Cake. Mmmmmm. It also happens to be a favorite of my roommate as well. This is actually a Paula Deen recipe that I’ve had in my book for years, ever since I started baking when I was living in New York City. What I love about the cake is that it calls for 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, which gives it the most incredible texture and flavor. Combine that with real peanut butter and shortening and you get a ridiculously moist cake that no one can resist.

Now, is this a true starving artist recipe, you ask? Well it depends on what you keep on hand in your kitchen. One of the reasons I thought of this cake was that I had milk and eggs already in the fridge. I know many of us keep peanut butter in the cabinet at all times, so that’s set. I always have butter, I always have dry ingredients, and I have to confess that I keep a bucket of shortening on the top shelf that I only ever use to make this cake. Not ashamed. So all I had to buy was graham crackers and peanuts and I was good to go. Totally worth it for me.

I’ve given the link to Paula’s recipe below, and while I love you, Paula, I have to make one correction to your recipe. You absolutely should bake this cake at 350 degrees, not at 375 like her recipe says. I have baked this cake many, many times, and believe me when I tell you that 375 just kills it. 350 for about 35-40 minutes is perfect for a moist but browned cake. And it works the same in a glass baking dish. Enjoy!!

Paula’s Peanut Butter Cake

Outrageous Brownies


So a joyous thing happened this week – my roommate and I got a new oven in our apartment. Like, a legit, modern oven with an oven light and digital temperature control. It’s gorgeous. Now that I think of it I’m pretty sure I’ve never had an oven in my adult life that has had both a window AND a working oven light. Yay us! So, of course I suggested that we celebrate our new oven by christening it with some ridiculous new recipe. I have had Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies recipe in my book for years, but have never had the occasion, nor the balls, nor the motivation to make them. I mean, come on, the recipe calls for one pound (4 sticks!!!!) of butter, one pound of chocolate chips, 6 squares of unsweetened chocolate, 6 eggs… it’s literally outrageous… but let’s not kid ourselves, with that much butter, they’re bound to be more than delicious.

My roommate and I were recently discussing brownies as I was deciding what I would make for 4th of July. I gotta say, I’m not generally a brownie person, but when the mood/occasion strikes I always reach for Ina’s Brownie Pie. I made it for my roommate for the first time a month ago and she was totally blown away. I confessed to her that in addition to the brownie pie, I’ve had this other recipe in my book for years and years and have never made it…. when I described it to her she freaked out – holy s**t you have to make these!! And I agreed. The time had come. Why sit on such a sure fire knock out? Well, money of course. This is a payday recipe if ever I saw one. But still, the amount of brownies you get (an entire half sheet pan) make it pretty worth while. And again, you know they’re going to be mind-blowing. Since it had been on the table for the past couple of weeks, what better occasion than the christening of our new oven. And so it was done.

Friends, let me tell you, these brownies are absolutely deserving of their name – totally outrageous. Moist, full of chocolate and nuts. If you’re a brownie person, you will heartily approve. If you aren’t, these will be your exception. This is perfect if you’re looking for something to make for a big party… or for just you and your roommate… but seriously we had friends over. It was glorious. A little indulgent, yes, but let’s face it, the starving artist loves to indulge, especially if it brings people together. Friends come running when you call them and tell them you have fresh baked goods. And I just love it.

Happy weekend!!! :-D

Ina’s Outrageous Brownies Recipe