The weather lately has been snowy and spring-like. South Dakota is known for Spring snow storms and this past weekend was no exception. There was about 8 inches dropped on us early last week- and really it snowed on and off until Saturday morning, and then another storm moved in and it dropped another 10 or so inches. It’s now partly cloudy, not too cold (about 28 or so), and there’s another storm on the way that should be here Wednesday and will drop another 2-5 inches. As much as snow while we’re calving isn’t ideal, with the current conditions due to drought, we’ll take the moisture however we can get it!
Friday night was a slight reprieve from the snow (it snowed on us pretty much from Monday until then), but even then it was wafting around during heifer checks in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Saturday a couple of our nieces showed up and found themselves snowed in by Sunday! It snowed, and snowed, and we had some freezing rain and more snow Saturday night and more snow on Sunday.
Which meant that Sunday we had to find something to do. So my niece and I decided to bake. I have good memories of wrecking my mom’s kitchen making stuff, and this girl is a good helper, so we checked Pinterest and found a couple ideas and then decided we’d create something new from a couple different things we found.
At Christmas, we made homemade Reeses cups. And yes, our lives were forever changed. Sunday we wanted to make the peanut butter filling, add in some chocolate chips, and roll that goodness up in Crescent Rolls. We were short about 6 graham crackers so our filling turned out a bit different than last time. Here’s what we did:
1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
4 crushed graham crackers (we used a mini-chopper)
1 3/4 c crunchy peanut butter (because that is all we had)
1 lb confectioners sugar
2 cups of milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips
Beat the butter until creamy. Add in the graham cracker and mix well. Then add in peanut butter and combine. Add sugar slowly, while mixing, until all is combined. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
We basically stuffed the crescent rolls exactly like I do for my Green Chile Bacon Stuffed Croissants- so I’m not going to give you further instructions here. We baked until golden brown and frankly, they were RICH, creamy and yummy!
Now, we were limited in crescent rolls (we made 16) and had about 3 cups of the peanut butter mixture leftover so we had to decide what to do with it. I mean, sure we could have just eaten it, that’s true. But our creative juices were flowing. We considered a peanut butter pie. And we did consider just eating it- again! But, in the end, decided a peanut butter cake would be better!
I pulled out a yellow cake mix (from a box). I’m a big-time cheater, I know. I had my niece mix it up, but told her to reduce the amount of oil needed by half. Seeing as how the peanut butter mixture had a lot of butter in it, that would work as a substitute!
Once the cake was mixed, we put the remaining peanut butter mixture into the cake, stirred by hand, and added another cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. We baked until a toothpick came out clean (about 45 minutes at 350).
Then we made a fancy, less dense buttercream frosting:
2 1/2 sticks of butter
3 cups of confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons half/half
1-2 tablespoons real vanilla
Cream the butter. Add half the sugar and combine. Add 2 TBS half/half and the remaining sugar. Cream in Vanilla and remaining half/half.
Please, for the love of all things good, wait until your cake is completely cooled to frost it. It takes a couple hours. So drink a glass of wine or watch a movie.
We decided it needed something more, so we took about a 1/4 cup of Reeses pieces, the ones that look like little M&Ms, and ran them through the mini-chopper and then sprinkled them on top of the now frosted cake.
This is what you get:
Now, all of this said, if you wanted to make this cake, only, and not have a day full of peanut butter filled projects the cake would be just as great if you put no oil into it, and simply poured the WHOLE kit and caboodle of peanut butter goodness into it (you’d probably also not add extra chocolate). I promise. Please also note, we used chunky peanut butter which added another dimension of texture and it was lovely.
Now run, don’t walk to the kitchen!