Monday, May 25, 2015

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

One of the few recipes that I tried recently is a peanut butter swirled brownie. Chocolate and peanut butter are one of my favorite flavor combinations. I tried doing a peanut butter swirled brownie, but the peanut butter was completely overshadowed by the rich chocolate brownie. Tonight, I decided to keep the peanut butter and brownie separate by layering them and topping them off with a layer of chocolate. The result was truly like a merging of a brownie and a peanut butter cup. I highly recommend you try this brownie!

Brownie Base

4 ounces Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Dream
  cup regular olive oil
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp Dutch cocoa powder
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coffee extract
Peanut Butter Filling
6 oz Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Dream, melted (for chocolate topping)

·      Preheat the oven to 350°F.
·      Grease and flour a square 8 inch cake pan.
·      In a medium bowl, combine and whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
·      Melt the chocolate with the oil over low heat.
·      Once melted, turn of the burner and add the sugar.
·      Quickly stir in the eggs.
·      Add vanilla and coffee extracts.
·      Gently add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated.
·      Pour into the prepared pan.
·      Bake 23-25 minutes.
·      While the brownies are still hot, gently spread the peanut butter filling.
·      Melt 6oz. of chocolate and spread over the peanut butter layer.
·      Cool until the chocolate is firm.
·      Cut into 16 squares and remove from the pan.

Peanut Butter Filling

cup peanut butter
1 tbsp dairy free margarine (I use Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine Sticks)
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 tsp rice milk

·      Combine all the ingredients until smooth. It will be very thick.

Random Thoughts Pt. 5

Hi there! I’m back. I didn’t mean to be MIA, but life happens. I really haven’t done much new baking/cooking since the last time I posted. My attention has been focused more in other areas.

We are very fortunate to have our daughter in a Montessori school. It’s a small, but amazing school. We love it and more importantly, so does she! I’m not going to get on my soapbox, but I truly wish more, if not all, schools were set up this way.  It’s amazing how much Maddie has learned since she started school there. She is already doing addition and subtraction using 4 digit numbers. . The last I time I spoke with her teacher, I was told that she is also doing division! Maddie has always loved reading and her reading skills have exploded. She’s in kindergarten! The amazing this is that none of this is forced. They learn their lessons when they are ready and they can take their time learning something if they need to. When her afternoon teacher found out about my science background, she invited me to come to class and do experiments with the kids, so I started coming Wednesday afternoon to do a variety of fun science experiments.  I also went on their first field trip to the Nature Museum. They are a great group of kids. It’s hard to believe that her first official year of school is almost over. She’s growing up so quickly.

Maddie has been taking gymnastics since the summer of 2012. From the moment that she saw the US Women’s Olympic Gymnastics team on the Today Show, she has been hooked. And that’s putting it mildly. She would beg to watch the Olympic gymnastics on YouTube over and over again. She would study it and then “try” to do what she saw. After that initial summer, she has been going twice a week. This year she really started talking about being on team and competing. She auditioned for team and made it! We are so proud of her. This summer will be busy with gymnastics camps and lessons. She keeps talking about winning a gold medal and with her focus and determination; I won’t be surprised if she meets that goal head on.

I have also been trying to purge and organize my house. For some reason, this year, it has descended into chaos and it’s been difficult to focus on the things that I wasn’t to do. Sometimes it is difficult to let go of stuff that I don’t use or need. The hard part is the question what if I need it some day? keeps popping into my head. This time I have been forcing myself to ignore that little voice in the back of my head and I am getting rid a lot of stuff. 

I never did post about Maddie’s birthday this past December/January. One of the things I love about her is that she doesn’t pay attention the typical gender stereotypes. She loves both “girl” and “boy” stuff. Personally, I HATE how so much is categorized into gender stereotypes. Toys, books, interests, and even colors are divided into girl and boy categories. Anyway, back to the birthday party. This year she wanted a pirate ship birthday cake, specifically Bucky the Pirate Ship from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. And she wanted it to be a 3 dimensional cake. YIKES!  I have never done anything like that before.  I decided to challenge myself and see if I could do it. I used her toy Bucky as my model and mold for some pieces. I also decided to use just buttercream icing and only parts of it were fondant/gum paste. I am quite proud of how it turned out. Most importantly, she loved it!