Monday, October 19, 2009

REESE's PEANUT BUTTER CUP Brownie Cake to Celebrate JACKIEtober

JACKIEtober continues! Today, as you are reading this, I am winging my way southward to America's treasure, New Orleans, Louisiana! Our vacation coincides with my wife's birthday, so much of the week will be spent in various celebrations that are all about JACKIE. I am going to take a break from blogging and grilling during the next few days (since 9/11, it is difficult to get a gas grill through security screening). But that does not mean I will not have NEW and VERY (some may argue more) interesting content in my blog daily. I have been blessed with some amazing guest bloggers that have really gone above and beyond to keep my blog going while I am stumbling up and down Bourbon Street. So, come back and check daily... You are in for a treat. Starting today, no new grill content till I get back. But check back for a grill related guest blogger post (what is more grill related than peppers?), some great native New Orleans travel advice with a wonderful recipe I will be trying (bloggers helping bloggers - I LOVE IT!), A very frightening time for me, as a popular blogger agreed to cook some of my recipes as part of her family Canadian Thanksgiving celebration (it is always an honor when something you worked on is admired enough to be cooked, let alone cooked for family on a holiday). And speaking of honoring bloggers great recipes, I have made two items. Items whaich had me screaming, "I AM NOT IN MY COMFORT ZONE", but because these bloggers did such a good job making it look easy, I left my grill and fire cooking behind me as I became a baker and...


... How about this??? This was my wife's first birthday cake of the season (so far, she has had three, but this is the one I made). I made this to serve at the neighborhood chili throwdown. It is made with my wife's favorite candy bar, and the guts are all influenced by said candy bar... The REESE's PEANUT BUTTER CUP!

OK, first thing first, I need to credit the inspiration for this recipe to a fellow blogger. I spend about an hour a day surfing around some of my favorite different bloggers. I have a data base with over 100 recipes and links I want to try. Someday I will get to them all (but I suspect by then, my hydra headed data base will have 5,000 recipes... but I digress). When I saw this cake, I knew I was going to have to try this to launch the two week long JACKIEtober celebration...

I have tried to direct you to my blog buddy, REALLY RAINEY's site, THE PROJECT TABLE before. It really is the prettiest blog on the net, and she gives great content as well. Including this masterpiece that you can find by clicking HERE. A Reese's Peanut Butter cup decorated Chocolate cake that my wife would LOVE. But, I made a few minor changes...

First change... no cake (OK, maybe the changes were more major than I implied). I made a two layer brownie cake. I made a box mix (actually, two boxes, as I was making two layers). I selected a mix from that fancy chocolate factory in San Francisco (rhymes with Bhiradelli). That was the brand that also included a package of fudge topping that was to be spread on top (will get to that soon).

Mix the batter and be happy in our work.

Bake as directed on the box. My wife let me borrow her spring pans to make it easy to get them out (she is always very agreeable when she suspects JACKIEtober is about to start). I made two, one a little smaller than the other.

Jackie's favorite frosting is a butter cream. Since this is all about Jackie, I made a butter cream frosting...

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (best if it is clear, I didn't have any clear, so her cake is a dirty white... could you expect anything more from my hands???)
4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
if needed, 2 tablespoons milk to thin

Apply a layer of frosting over the large piece of brownie.

Take that package of fudge from the box and put that on the top... BUT

Only spread around the top leaving an inch around the edge white (off white).

Melt 1/2 cup of Peanut Butter.

Spread the peanut butter over the chocolate... again, being careful NOT to get any peanut butter outside of that magic 1 inch white barrier, so that when you lay the smaller size hunk of brownie on the larger one, you have only white (off white) showing.

Well, mostly not showing... But as master cake decorators know, "a bit more frosting will cover all mistales". Then, put the smaller hunk centered on the bigger piece. At this time, cool the entire thing in the fridge for awhile. This will make the PB hard again, and make the cake solid, so that while you are frosting the edges, it is easier to not have it all ooze out and mix with the white.

And now, ice the whole thing. A thin layer on the top, as you have more Chocolate and Peanut butter to add...

Same as before, add the Chocolate fudge carefully (remember, I used two boxes, so I had two packages of the fudge frosting).

Melt another 1/2 cup of peanut butter, and spread over the top... Again, let it cool.

Once it is cool, it is easy to add another layer of white (off white) frosting.

It's a grown up cake for a grown up girl (celebrating the anniversary of her 29th Birthday). I went to MICHAEL's, that hideous store with all that arts and craft crap, and bought a fake flower to use as a top.

I also started cutting the mini REESE's Cups in half and started arranging in a pleasing pattern.


My buddy who smokes helped me light the candles...

I didn't want my smoke alarms to go off, so I didn't use all the candles she earned. Instead, I used 10 candles on the top level and 11 candles on the lower level (married 10 years, and we adopted our cats 11 years ago ... in my opinion those are the important years anyway).

And she was very happy. Actually, I told her I screwed up and that it was a cake that was just flat because I didn't plan right... Sadly, her response says a lot about me. She of course believed that without blinking. I wanted the brownie part (her favorite) and the inside tribute to Reese's PB Cups (again, her favorite) to remain a secret till she took a bite.

The girl can blow... she got em all out in one breath!

It was a very rich cake... er, BROWNIE. Two layers of brownies, double fudge icing in the middle, the "extra" kick of the peanut butter and lots of butter cream icing... But heard no complaints. There were 12 people at the party, this was the only piece left at the end of the night.

And here is why she was so touched by the gesture...

My wonderful bride is a bit of a cake decorator. She took a few lessons, and happily makes wedding cakes for our friends that are getting remarried. She has yet to make a cake for a first time bride, but she has made over a dozen for those taking a leap for the second, third... and in one case sixth time. Here is the cake she made just Friday night for a Saturday afternoon wedding. Kind of a busman's holiday to have someone else go to effort to make something special for her. She knew I was WAY out of my comfort zone, yet thanks to REALLY RAINEY's site, THE PROJECT TABLE, I was able to make unique, pretty, specialty cake that screams that I made it just for her. So, THANK YOU, my fellow blog buddy for making me look good!

And BTW, click on the smaller pictures of my wife's wedding cakes and the magic of the internet will make them bigger and you can see just how talented my wife is.

And one more BTW, I suggested she start blogging. Her response, "Are you just trying to get me to cook again?"

Dave again... Do me a favor and drop by REALLY RAINEY's site, THE PROJECT TABLE, and thank her for being a great help to this blogger jumping out of his comfort zone of sorts today, as I stole her ideas for decorating this incredible cake. Take a minute, drop by her site and let her know how much we appreciate great ideas, and thank her for sharing to make us all better... grillers, cooks, bakers and in this case... Cake Decorating! I hope that she is honored by my efforts and pleased with how well her instructions worked! Rainey, thank you so much for inspiring this post!

Just a reminder, I am in the middle of the BIGGEST giveaway contest I have ever held... Coupons for 4, 15-oz bottles POM WONDERFUL (you pick the flavor). Check my post from Sunday (you can get there by clicking HERE) for the details on how to win, but one of the important ways to enter is to go to leave a comment, then return here, and comment to me that you thanked Rainey for her guest inspiration blog. You will get one entree for each of my guest bloggers (or inspirees) you thank for giving me a blog vacation. On Sunday, I will select one commenter to win this terrific prize!


  1. That is one awesome cake! Have a great vacation!!

  2. Both of the cakes are impressive! Jackie does a beautiful job.

    Have a great time in New Orleans.

  3. I love fancy cakes..I'll go to a wedding just for the cake! Shoved more than one kid out of line, so I get one of the corner pieces- more frosting!

  4. ooooh Dave...your cake looks heavenly. PB cups are my favourite as well, perhaps you'd like to come to Calgary in May????? And my god, tell Jackie that her wedding cake is beyond gorgeous! She has an amazing talent!

  5. i hope you have a great time on vacation and that is one impressive cake, for a guy anyway, LOL!

  6. You did a truly amazing job! The cake looks delicious and super cute! Go you!

  7. I'm sure your beautiful wife will surely love this beautiful cake :D

  8. A cake that's really a brownie! Sign me looks sinful :) Delish.

  9. Um, pretty sure that cake is insulin worthy! Holy yum!

  10. First of all I am more than honored! Thank you so much for your comments about my blog and my cakes and stuff... I too am/was not much of a baker... easy stuff that's all. But I found inspiration in bloggerville and I'm so happy to have been your inspiration.

    Your cake came out fantastic! And JACKIE looks so thrilled! I would have been too if my hubby made that for me! WoW, now its my turn to be impressed! I love it that you put your own twist on the cake, I did that as well... That's what makes it even better.... Plus its so apparent that you put extra TLC into it too... I mean, I know for a fact my Hubby of 28 years would never set foot in Michael's! (even for me) Hahaha!

    And I'll leave you with a question... Tell me again why Jackie doesn't have a blog? Her cakes are incredible! Her cakes alone could carry blog content!

    Happy Be-lated birthday Jackie! Hope you are having a fantastic trip!

    ~Really Rainey~

  11. Your wife is indeed a cake decorator! Beautiful!

  12. OOHHHH!!! What a most special cake with my favorite candy, next to milk chocolate godiva. Your wifes work is beautiful, please tell her.

  13. Have a wonderful trip, sounds fun. What an awesome husband and cake decorator you are!! I swear I am sending my husband your way for some serious schooling!!


  14. Yummy Peanut Butter Cups on the cake - delicious! Your wife really does beautiful work as well:)

  15. Aww, I'm so impressed, it looks delicious and I love the decorations! Your wife's cakes are also gorgeous! I hope you have a great vacation :)

  16. Wow that is one gorgeous cake! Your wife is a lucky woman!

  17. Dave, very well done! I am so pleased for your beautiful wife that she has someone as dear as you in her life. I would be thrilled if my sweetie ever made me a birthday cake (or even remembered to buy me one). You are some special guy to step out of your comfort zone to do something as amazing as this cake.

    Her cakes are absolutely gorgeous. I love wedding cake. Don't want to have to get married to have one though, grins.

  18. Ok...did you get a fire permit for all those candles? LOL and i don't know if the reeses would've lasted long enough to make the decorating....they're my FAVORITE candy! Beautiful cake!

  19. Thank you so much for joining my blog and for all of your kind comments! How sweet was it for you to make this for your wife!! I will tell you...VERY. It looks amazing. Happy birthday and have fun on your trip!

  20. You are such a good husband! Have fun in New Orleans!!

  21. Good grief does this look delish, Dave! I'm a big fan of Reeses, so this one would have a special place in my heart. You're wife is so talented! She should get a blog to showcase all her wonderful cakes.