Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Hubby!

Today is Hubby's birthday! Birthdays are a big deal to me. Not the numbers, and not the gifts, but the day to make sure that a person feels truly special. Of course, I try to make Hubby feel special every day, but his birthday should be a little something more. And, as you have probably figured out, one of the main ways in which I show my love and appreciation is through food.
Unfortunately, though, tonight is the one night a week I work. So our birthday dinner has to be postponed to tomorrow night... But I still needed to do something, right? So I looked for something to bake. Hubby suggested I make chocolate chip cookies. Which I could do... But I know that mine will never compare to his mom's, and I am ok with that! With that in mind, though, I want to bake something which won't be almost as good... One of Hubby's favorite combinations in the world is chocolate and peanut butter. So I got onto foodgawker and searched "chocolate peanut butter." There was a recipe I thought I had bookmarked that I thought Hubby would like, but I couldn't find it, so I had to start again. I found two things that stood out to me, and I decided there was no need to choose between the two, I would make both! But as I thought about it, I realized that, even if it is his favorite, there is only so much chocolate and peanut butter any of us should have at a time. So some creativity was called for.
First I wanted to make this Peanut Butter and Chocolate Bundt Cake. I have made Bundt cakes before, but never one with a filling. I also determined that this would be the easier recipe to change. Knowing that Hubby also likes "Black-bottom cupcakes," I chose to make the filling a chocolate chip cheesecake filling rather than a peanut butter one. I used a zip-top bag instead of a pastry bag to pipe in the filling. Next time, I think I can make a smaller amount, though. As you can see, there was too much to contain it to the center of the cake! Ah, if only this was the worst problem any of us had to face...!

Since this cake had to bake for an hour, I had time to make treat number two - No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars. (I know, it is a mouthful of a title...!) These were easy! While the oats soaked up the margarine and sugar, the chips and the peanut butter melted away in the microwave. It was then a matter of layering the oats, chocolate peanut butter goodness and more oats. The hardest part of this was keeping Little Girl happy, as she was overtired but pretending that she didn't want to sleep... I can't wait until she is big enough to help with the stirring without the risk of EVERYTHING ending up in her mouth!! I know, when that time comes I will be wishing she was small again... I love her to pieces, though, and I wouldn't trade any of these stages!!

Finally it was time to drizzle the rest of the chocolate peanut butter mixture on top of the bars and put them into the refrigerator to set. And by now it was also about time to get the cake out of the oven! It came out of the over looking great, but, more impressively to me, it came out of the pan beautifully!! I have had too many cakes stick to the pan to take for granted that this one wouldn't do the same. I was very pleasantly surprised!

The biggest problem now? I can't taste these! They are, of course, for Hubby, not for me. So he gets first crack at them. So no test tasting, even for the sake of full-disclosure blogging... Hopefully tomorrow there will be a follow up including how the ring of filling looked in the Bundt cake and, most importantly, how everything tastes!

Here are the finished products, calling my name as I try to resist them...!

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