Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another Day of Choices

By no means is this a cooking blog, nor am I a big chef. I just make things that I get weird cravings for, and it usually works out, and sometimes it fails in an epic fashion. Tonight we're supposed to go to a cookout with some of our good friends, and I have been asked to bring dessert. Well of course, I do not like to bring things that are not impressive. If it's just me and pb, fine, we're lucky if dessert is something besides me eating ice cream straight out of the carton. But if we are going somewhere, dangit, I must look TALENTED. Like we should be putting me on Iron Chef sometime in the near future.

My grandmother makes the best cakes; they always turn out so pretty and delicious, and she makes them seemingly without effort. Me, I prefer to cook rather than bake most of the time. Once I decided to make a plethora of different kinds of cookies for our Christmas parade party and I swore over those stupid things more than I have sworn about anything, possibly ever. I had dough stuck to the rolling pin, dough on the counter, dough on the pan, dough and flour in my hair, and likely cookie ingredients on the ceiling. All I have to say is, that's why those Keebler elves live in that tree, and GOD FORBID I should put them out of a job trying to make my own cookies.

I don't mind pies - pies are easy, and I have some killer pie recipes (talk to me about my pecan pie recipe from my great-grandmother one day, it works miracles.) But often I feel like pie is not so impressive, and also that it's more of a spring/fall dish. Pumpkin and pecan in the fall, cherry and peach in the spring and summer.

So I have decided to make a cake later. I was going to make my grandmother's delicious coconut cake, with whipped cream icing, which you serve cold and is magically delicious. However, I always forget how much time it takes to get crap that has just been in the oven to be at a refrigerated temperature. It takes a long effing time, if you were not sure about such.

I was about to make a pound cake, but then pb (who is inexplicably not really a dessert person in the first place, so when he has an opinion, I listen) said he doesn't really like pound cake. It's "not sweet enough." Which I tried to tell him is due to the overwhelming nature of the 6 eggs, 2 sticks of butter, and cup of Crisco I put in a pound cake versus the measly 3 cups of sugar. Also I tried to explain that such a ratio is a good thing - as I believe fat > sugar. But alas, that combined with the fact that pound cake requires me to flour and grease a pan dissuaded me. Have you ever smeared a pound cake pan with Crisco? There is nothing to make you feel nastier, as Crisco does NOT WASH OFF. It's like a second skin (though probably excellent for moisturization purposes.)

So finally, I have decided on Paula Deen's gooey butter cake. Not sure if I shall make peanut butter or double chocolate, but I'm leaning toward peanut butter. Everything is better with peanut butter. I've had the pumpkin variety of this before, but as it's February, I'm a little over pumpkin at the moment. The general concept turns out to be something AMAZING, however. It's like a delicious dense cake on the bottom, with a warm gooey topping/center.

Here's the recipe for anyone who feels like clogging their arteries this evening. There's a reason she calls it "butter cake" and I mean, we all know that Paula Deen doesn't have a recipe without 400 oz. of butter in it. But who doesn't love butter? As Paula says - "I am your cook, not your doctor."

Peanut Butter Gooey Cake


  • 1 (18.25 oz) box chocolate cake mix (I think Duncan Hines is the best)
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (16 0z) box powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly grease a 13x9 inch baking pan.
  2. To make the cake: combine all the ingredients in the "cake" section and mix well with an electric stand or hand mixer; pat the mixture into the bottom of the lightly greased baking pan.
  3. Prepare filling: in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth, add eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together, add powdered sugar and mix well.
  4. Spread peanut butter mixture over cake batter and bake for 40-50 minutes; make sure not to overbake, the center is supposed to be gooey.
  5. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream, enjoy!

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