Well it is now safe to say that anytime I need a chocolate cake for any occasion at all, I have officially found the BEST chocolate sheet cake with the BEST fudgey frosting that I have ever ever tasted!  That is a huge statement to make because I have tasted my fair share of chocolate cakes and frostings.

The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The frosting that tops the BEST chocolate sheet cake reminds me of my mom’s brownie frosting that I would lick off the sides of the pan after the brownies were gone because it is that good.  And just for a little extra pizzazz and appeal, there is peanut butter sandwiched between the BEST chocolate sheet cake and that frosting.

The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Yep, while the cake was still warm, I spread a big glob of unadulterated peanut butter over the top.  The slight saltiness from the pure peanut butter paired with the sweet, thick chocolate frosting has had me literally salivating just writing about the absolutely perfect combination.

The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I love having classic go-to recipes in my back pocket for occasions when you realize that you want to make something but you don’t feel like scouring cookbooks or the internet for a recipe.  The BEST chocolate sheet cake itself is so ultra moist and dense, almost like a brownie.  I would love it with walnuts mixed into the batter too because I love that crunch that nuts give a cake.

The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Trust me on this one, next time you are making a cake for a special occasion, make the BEST chocolate sheet cake and you will have people asking you to make this cake again and again.

The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 9X13" cake (about 24 servings)

The moistest chocolate cake topped with slightly salty peanut butter and rich, fudge frosting becomes the all-time best chocolate sheet cake

Ingredients

    For the cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • For the frosting
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 16 ounces powdered sugar
  • sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

    For the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13" pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place flour, sugar and baking soda in to a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine butter, cocoa powder, water and buttermilk and whisk over medium-low heat until the butter is melted.
  4. Crack the eggs into a separate small bowl. Use a ladle to pour a small amount (about 2/3 cup) of the heated butter mixture into the eggs while whisking constantly (this is called tempering the eggs and will gently warm them up so that they don't scramble when added to the hot mixture).
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the butter mixture while whisking constantly. Increase the heat to medium and whisk until the mixture boils.
  6. Pour the butter mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients, add vanilla and use the whisk and a spatula to mix until the ingredients are well combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Cool cake for 10 minutes. Place peanut butter into a bowl and microwave until more easily spreadable, about 20 seconds.
  10. Pour the peanut butter onto the slightly cooled cake and gently use an offset spatula to spread it evenly. Cool completely.
  11. For the frosting
  12. Place powdered sugar into a clean, medium bowl.
  13. Place butter, cocoa powder and buttermilk into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil, whisking constantly. Add vanilla then pour the mixture over the powdered sugar and stir until smooth (work quickly as the frosting sets rather fast). Immediately pour over the cooled cake and use a spatula to spread it evenly.
  14. Top immediately with sprinkles if using.
  15. Recipe adapted from Southern Living

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Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite days mostly because of how girlie it is.  Pink, red, hearts, glitter, flowers:  it all adds up to a happy girl.  I saw the idea for this bark from Heather at Sprinkle Bakes back during the holiday season and I couldn’t wait to adapt the recipe to make this Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark for Valentine’s Day.

Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark Hearts {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I think this Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark would be so adorable wrapped up in a pretty cellophane bag tied with a ribbon.  I used a heart-shaped soft plastic ice cube tray that I have had in my collection just waiting to do something with it and it worked pretty well, but I think these treats would be just as cute without the heart shape, made in a mini muffin pan with festive paper liners.

Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark Hearts {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark begins with candy melts.  I used Sugar Cookie-flavored Wilton Candy Melts that I colored light pink as the base for the bark, but if you have trouble finding that flavor, use vanilla and add some of your own sprinkles.  The sugar cookie base could not be a easier to make and it’s nice to finish making a cookie dough and not even have to shape it into cookies!  You simply pour the dough out onto a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet, spread it out into an even layer and bake until the crumbles are lightly browned.  Next I melted the candy melts and filled each cavity of my heart-shaped tray 1/3 full and you would do the same with the paper liners of a mini muffin tin.  Lastly, top the still liquid melts with the cooled cookie crumbs and let them set.  Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark Hearts are fun to make and so delicious and cute.  Perfect for Valentine’s Day or any other special occasion.

Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark Hearts {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: ~30-40 hearts

Perfectly sweet and slightly salty cookie crumbles top colored candy melts to make this fun and festive bark

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (you could also use canola oil)
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 (10 ounce) package Wilton Sugar Cookie (or vanilla) Candy Melts
  • pink food coloring

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except candy melts and food coloring for the cookie dough. Use an electric mixer or a spatula to mix until well combined.
  3. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper.
  4. Spread the cookie dough evenly over the lined baking sheet. You want pea-sized clumps.
  5. Bake until lightly browned, about 25 minutes.
  6. Cool completely.
  7. Place the candy melts into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 1 minute increments until melted and smooth. Add a couple of drops of food coloring and mix to blend.
  8. Use a small spoon to fill the cavities of a silicone or soft plastic heart-shaped ice cube tray (or a mini muffin tin lined with paper liners) 1/3 full. Use the spoon to spread the melts up the sides of the cavities. While melts are still liquidy, sprinkle the cooled cookie crumble into the pan over the melts. Gently press down so that the cookie gets well incorporated into the melts.
  9. Cool completely before removing from the pan.
  10. Recipe adapted from sprinklebakes.com

Bonus:  I had a bit of cookie crumble left over and it is THE MOST fabulous ice cream topping that every existed.  Worth making a double batch??

Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark Hearts {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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Chances are if your hosting or attending a Superbowl party, you are finalizing your menu plans. Don’t forget a sweet ending for the big party and check out my board of Learnist for some fantastic and festive ideas:

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Dorie Greenspan is one of my all-time favorite cookbook authors.  She writes personalized stories about each recipe and in the end you feel like you understand what kind of person she is.  Dorie’s latest cookbook, Baking Chez Moi:  Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere is extra fun because it brings you recipes from Dorie’s fabulous French friends that look incredible but are mostly actually simple to make.

Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan Review

Dorie insists that when she asked her friends for recipes to share they would all insist that their favorite recipes were too simple, but that is exactly what she loves about them and why she wanted to share them in this book.

Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan Review

Dorie Greenspan has a knack for taking something familiar, such as eclairs, and transforming them into something new and more exciting, like the Bubble Eclairs that she shares in Baking Chez Moi.  Such a simple idea, yet so stunning and unique.  Some of the recipes in this book span multiple pages, but they are so well-written that you will never feel lost even if the recipe has many steps.

Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan Review

The photography in Baking Chez Moi is simply stunning and makes you want to lick the pages.  The book includes recipes for cakes of all kinds, cookies, pastries, frozen desserts and more.  I always look forward to Dorie’s cookbooks because as I mentioned, there is just such a personal feel to each recipe that she shares.

Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan Review

Whether you are a new baker or have your share of baked goods under your belt, you will love Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan and it will become a staple on your bookshelf.

If you want to see how adorable Dorie Greenspan is in action, check out this video of her making one of the apple cake recipes in Baking Chez Moi:

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*Houghton Mifflin Harcourt provided me with a review copy of Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan, but all opinions are, as always, my own.

 

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Gougères (aka cheese puffs) are so much fun to make and are the perfect appetizer or addition to a bread basket at any party.  The soft puffs are rich, buttery, cheesy and can be adapted with different types of cheeses or seasonings and can also be filled with a great variety of fillings from smoked salmon to chicken salad.

How to Make Gougeres {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Gougères are made from pâte à choux which is the same dough that cream puffs, éclairs and profiteroles are made from.  This fancy-sounding French dough is actually very simple to make and only requires four ingredients:  butter, water, flour and eggs.  When making Gougères, you add cheese, traditionally gruyere or Swiss, to this mixture.  The pâte à choux dough is a wet dough and the moisture in the dough causes steam to form when it is baking and that reaction causes the pastry to puff up.  The light, airy pastry that results is delicate and filled with cavities that are great for stuffing with a sweet cream or pudding in the case of cream puffs or éclairs, and salmon mousse or herbed goat cheese in the case of Gougères.

How to Make Gougeres {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Making Gougères is simple and the dough is actually very fun to work with.  The important points to remember are that you want cook the flour mixture long enough that the flour itself gets cooked so that you aren’t left with an unpleasant raw flour taste and that you mix the eggs well so they are incorporated adequately and therefore the dough is smooth and well-combined.

Follow along with these step-by-step photos and instructions and learn how to make Gougères and you’ll have an impressive, delicious appetizer to bring to the next party you go to.

in a medium saucepan, combine butter, water and salt and cook over medium heat until the butter is melted

How to Make Gougeres {satisfymysweettooth.com}

How to Make Gougeres {satisfymysweettooth.com}

remove the pan from heat, stir in the flour, then return the pan to the heat

How to Make Gougeres {satisfymysweettooth.com}

continue to cook the mixture over medium heat stirring with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until it forms into a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 2 minutes

How to Make Gougeres {satisfymysweettooth.com}

How to Make Gougeres {satisfymysweettooth.com}

remove the pan from heat, let it cool for 3-4 minutes, then use a whisk vigorously to fully mix in the eggs

How to Make Gougeres {satisfymysweettooth.com}

finally, mix in the cheese and pepper with the spatula

How to Make Gougeres {satisfymysweettooth.com}

use a spoon to drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto a greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet

How to Make Gougeres {satisfymysweettooth.com}

bake @ 400 degrees until gougeres are golden brown and sound hollow when you tap on them, about 20 minutes

How to Make Gougeres {satisfymysweettooth.com}

How to Make Gougeres

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 20-25 gougeres

Rich, buttery and cheesy pastry puffs are simple to make but impressive to eat

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded gruyere or swiss cheese
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, water and salt and cook over medium heat until the butter is melted.
  3. Remove the pan from heat, stir in the flour, then return the pan to the heat.
  4. Continue to cook the mixture over medium heat stirring with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until it forms into a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from heat and let the mixture cool for 3-4 minutes. Use a whisk to vigorously mix in the eggs until well-combined.
  6. Finally, mix in the cheese and pepper with the spatula.
  7. Use a spoon to drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake until gougeres are golden brown and sound hollow when you tap on them, about 20 minutes.
  9. Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
 

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