Warm Weather, Sunshine, And Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

We’ve finally had a few days of sunshine and 80 degree weather! This means that we can be outside and enjoy the great outdoors. It also means that my son, who used to be a landscaper and still loves working in the garden, is once again tearing my yard apart. I keep telling him that his mother is a plant killer, but he refuses to believe me. Apparently his logic is to make them as easy to take care of as possible. With this in mind, he has planted several Hostas, all different types and colors of them. It seems Hostas are un-killable. So far he has been correct, and they are still living after 4 years of me neglecting my garden. I love looking at the beautiful garden he’s made for me, but I just hate to weed it. This year, he has decided that we will put mulch in between the plants to help eliminate the weeds. We will also make a patio under the big tree in our yard so I can sit there and drink my morning coffee. I’m really happy about that idea!

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My plant killing instincts do not seem to include herbs. I love growing them every year and using fresh herbs to cook with. This year I found a really neat idea on Pinterest. You have to love Pinterest for great ideas! Anyway, you take a small, a medium and a large clay pot and use them to make a planter. In the picture on Pinterest they had flowers in them but I thought it would be a great way to grow herbs this year. So far they are doing great and I am very happy to have fresh herbs again.

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When I can’t sleep or something is bothering me I tend to think about new ideas. This can follow several different avenues. The latest sleepless night brought to me the newest of my baking creations. I made a Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe with chocolate whipped cream and peanut butter whipped cream in between the layers, and then covered the whole thing with a light chocolate buttercream. My daughters, who love chocolate and peanut butter together, loved it. The recipe is below. Happy Baking!

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Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cake
Hershey’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake
Ingredients:
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1-2/3 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/3 cups water
Directions: Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Combine butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl; beat on high speed of mixer 3 minutes. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and baking powder; add alternately with water to butter mixture, beating until blended. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Slice each layer in half horizontally. Spread the first layer with chocolate whipped cream. Place a cake layer on top of that. Spread the next layer with peanut butter whipped cream and then top that with another layer of cake. Add another layer of chocolate whipped cream, then top with the last layer of cake. Place in the refrigerator for about an hour before frosting. Then cover the whole cake with Chocolate Buttercream frosting. Keep chilled.

Hershey’s Chocolate Whipped Cream: in a small mixing bowl, combine 2/3 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of Hershey’s Cocoa. Add 1 ½ cups of whipping cream and 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract; beat on low speed of electric mixer to combine. Beat on medium speed until stiff.

Peanut Butter Whipped Cream: in a small mixing bowl, combine 1 cup whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 Tablespoon sugar. Mix on low speed until it begins to thicken, add 1 tablespoon peanut butter and mix until stiff.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: ½ cup softened butter, ½ cup shortening, 4 cups powdered sugar, ½ cup Hershey’s Cocoa, 1/3 cup milk, and 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract. Place in a large mixing bowl. Beat on low speed of electric mixer to combine. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

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