Thanks a lot Pinterest...

This is the Birthday Cake that I made my stepson last night...

ChocFudgeCake011312008PSE-398x600.jpg
ChocFudgeCake011312009PSE-398x600.jpg

Okay, so maybe it doesn't look like this.. at all.  But it is this cake none the less.  Which leads me into my rant... Put on your seat belts folks.

How many of you out there are Pinterest-ers?  I would assume a good number of you have at least looked at the website... Well, let me just start by saying I love it.  I do. 

My name is Ashley, and I am a Pinterest-aholic. 

That being said..  The cake that you see above is a lovely photo by Sifting Focus, and her cake looks fantastic.  Fan-freakin-tastic.  I spent a long time on this little loaf of sugary goodness, and I followed the instructions precisely.  But still... My cake looks absolutely nothing like this.  

You know it's bad when your handsome hubby takes the spatula from you and says "Here, let ME help".  Oh, geez.  

So, thanks a lot Pinterest.  Thanks for suggesting such high hopes of talent and creativity for oneself, only to be let down time and time again.  I even consider myself somewhat crafty.. or I did.  I even made these:

39427423.jpg
39427429.jpg

However.... My name is Ashley, and everything I bake turns out ugly.. Yummy, but ugly.  

I didn't take a picture of it because I am honestly hoping that by the time I get home today, it will have magically morphed into something out of a Martha Stewart Magazine.  Even though it is a hot holy mess, the recipe is super easy and very yummy!  Here is the recipe I followed.. to a t... and still got a monstrosity of a cake.  It honestly looks like the icing is melting off.. Oh well.... 

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Cake:
3  ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water

Chocolate Fudge Frosting:
4  ounces unsweetened chocolate
9 tablespoons half and half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar sifted *

For the cake:  Grease and flour two 9-inch layer cake pans and line with parchment paper rounds.  Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted, stirring in between intervals – approximately 1 1/2 – 2 minutes; set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Mix in vanilla and melted chocolate, beating until smooth.  Add the buttermilk, flour, soda, and salt; mix until incorporated.  Add boiling water and beat smooth.  (Batter will be thin.)  Divide batter evenly between the two cake pans.  Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the layers comes out clean.  Do not over bake or the cake will be dry.  Remove to cooling racks and cool for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of the cakes and invert onto the cooling racks.  Cool completely.  At this stage the layers can be wrapped tightly and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to a month.

For the frosting:  In a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan, place the chocolate, half and half, vanilla extract, butter, and salt.  Stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted.  Mix well with a wooden spoon.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the powdered sugar at a time until the frosting is smooth.  Frost cake  immediately , as it hardens quickly.  If frosting becomes too stiff, add hot water a teaspoon at a time.

**Place one cake layer bottom side down on a serving platter lined with 4 strips of waxed paper extending from underneath the cake on all sides to protect the platter while frosting.  Spread approximately a quarter of the frosting over the layer.  Top with second layer, bottom side up.  Frost the top and then the sides.  Carefully remove the waxed paper strips.

* This measurement is approximate.  Add the final cup of powdered sugar in 1/4 cup increments until the proper spreading consistency has been reached.

** I would change this last part up if I ever got the cojones to try to make this cake again.  Putting the bottom rightside up and the top upside down creates a monstrous gap in the layers.. I would put the bottom upside down (that's normally how I do layer cakes and never have any problems) and the top rightside up so that they middle is flush.  But then again.. whudoiknow.. 

Check back tomorrow just in case I decide to post a picture of this warlock.. It honestly belongs on this Pinterest Fail Page... 

Nailed it.

Monster Cookie Goodness..

MonsterCookie6.jpg

Oh. My. Goodness...  I've got one word for you... Well, Two.

Monster.  Cookies. 

Do you like Oatmeal?  

Peanut butter?  

M&M's?  

How about Soft Chewy Jumbo Cookies?   

If you answered yes to all of these, then you have got to try these!!

Like, Now.   

MonsterCOokie1.jpg

Here's what you're gonna need:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 box (3.4oz) vanilla pudding 
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 stick of butter, softened 
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. quick cooking oats
  • 1 c. mini M&Ms
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter chips

Directions:

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and vanilla pudding and set aside. Using your KitchenAid Mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy - about 5 minutes.  Slowly add the egg and the vanilla.  Reduce your mixing speed to low and add flour mixture.  Mix until combined. Add oats, M&Ms, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips... YUM.  The batter should be thick enough to work with and roll. 

*Note: If you do not have a stand mixer, the dough can be mixed by hand.  However, be prepared to put some muscle into it!! 

 

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. You want these cookies to be very large, and they do not spread. Roll a large amount of dough into a ball, and space cookies 2 inches apart.  Slightly press down on cookie balls to flatten, and don't worry when the edges crack a bit.. It gives the cookies character!  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  

Let cool for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack. 

Last but not least..... ENJOY!  These are so yummy, you don't wanna miss out! 

 

MonsterCookie.jpg

Cheater Cheater Pancake Eater

So here is the predicament..

You're hungry for some yummy flavored pancakes, but all you've got is a package of Betty Crocker Muffin Mix laying around...

Dangit.  

Here is what ya do.. Gather these ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

Mix all of them with your muffin mix, and cook them just like regular pancakes!  We used blueberry muffin mix, and they turned out super yummy.  

(I've never been much of a food photog, so forgive the yucky pancake photo quality) 

pancake.jpg