Peanut Butter

Chocolate Peanut Butter Extravaganza Cake

This past Monday (Memorial Day) was our middle son’s 14th birthday.

The weather has been so beautiful these past couple of days that we just couldn’t resist a trip to the beach. We decided to get an early start and headed out knowing that it was probably going to get crowded later in the day.

Our first stop was Bonjour for breakfast, the birthday boy ordered french toast, my husband and his brothers all went with the ham, cheese and mushroom omelette, and I ordered the salmon crepes. Everything was delicious!

Breakfast at Bonjour in Dana Point
After breakfast, we drove a couple of miles down to the beach. The boys tossed around the football for a bit, we tried playing badminton but it was just too windy. I layed out on the beach and read a little while the boys braved the very cold Pacific – BRRRR. The only way I was going in was in a full wet suit.

Beach Time
Some people made sure they got the full beach experience, including bathing in what felt like ice cold water to me.

Fun in the sun
Later in the day we headed back home and rested a little then we washed up and got ready for dinner. The birthday boy chose our favorite local Sushi restaurant.

Everyone chose their favorites which included a rainbow roll, fresh oysters, a couple of snow drop rolls, seared ahi tuna, and an albacore garlic roll that was fantastic!

Birthday boy chose sushi for dinner
Once we were done with dinner, they dimmed the lights and brought out a softball sized Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream which was gone in a flash!

Birthday Dinner at Marui Sushi
After dinner we headed back home, sang Happy Birthday and ended the evening with a small slice of Peanut Butter Extravaganza Cake.

Cake Time
Peanut Butter Extravaganza Cake
The birthday boy’s favorite candy bar happens to be Butterfinger so while flipping through my cookbooks trying to decide what type of cake to make him, I came across “Peanut Butter Mousse with Milk Chocolate Chantilly, Peanut Brittle, and Chocolate Cake” in The Modern Cafe by Francisco J. Migoya and said aha! This is it!

I switched it up a little and kind of pieced together my own version of this amazing cake.

Peanut Butter Mousse
adapted from Stephanie’s Kitchen

3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cups creamy peanut butter
2 cups heavy cream(cold)
1 tablespoons vanilla extract

In a bowl combine the heavy cream and vanilla with a hand mixer whip until stiff peaks form. Place in the refrigerator while you move on to the next step to keep the whipped cream chilled.

In a bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar, milk and peanut butter. With a hand mixer beat until smooth and creamy.

Place a 9″ x 6″ round ring mold over a sheet pan lined with plastic wrap. Pipe the chilled mousse into the mold and smooth top with an off-set spatula and freeze.

Refrigerate until very cold.

Peanut Butter Mousse

Peanut Butter Mousse

Peanut Butter Mousse

Milk Chocolate Chantilly
adapted from The Modern cafe by Francisco J. Migoya

500 g heavy cream
160 g milk chocolate

Bring the heavy cream to a boil Pour over the chocolate blend until uniform then refrigerate. Once chocolate is cool enough beat until stiff peaks are formed. Pipe whipped cream into 9″ ring frame (I didn’t have a second ring frame so I used my 9″ tart pan which has a removable bottom), then top with chopped pieces of homemade butterfinger carefully pressing them down into the chantilly level off with an off-set spatula if necessary and freeze at least 4 hours or overnight.

Chocolate Chantilly

Here’s the recipe for the Homemade Butterfinger Candy

Homemade Butterfinger Candy

Chocolate Cupcakes Cake
adapted from A Year In Chocolate by Jacques Torres

3 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups boiling water
2 cups cake flour, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a bowl combine the chopped chocolate and the cocoa powder. Pour the boiling water and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool at room temperature.

Chocolate cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.

In a bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.

Add the brown sugar and continue to beat until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and continue to beat just until incorporated.

Reduce the speed to low and beat in the sour cream, and vanilla until blended.

Add the sifted flour and melted chocolate mixture in thirds alternating each one and beating only until combined.

Pour cake batter onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove pan from the oven and place over wire rack to cool. Cake can be frozen once cooled.

Chocolate cake

Cake Assembly
1/2 cup melted/tempered milk chocolate

When ready to assemble, remove the peanut butter mousse and the chocolate chantilly round from the freezer.

Place the frozen chocolate chantilly round on top of the peanut butter mousse with the candy pieces facing the mousse. (I made mine the other way around, but I think this would work even better)

Using the same size ring mold cut out a piece of the sheet cake and brush the top with tempered chocolate to create a thin layer. Then place the chocolate covered side of the cake facing the chantilly. This is will act as a bonding agent between the chantilly and the cake. Press the cake into the mold to avoid any air pockets and return to freezer.

When ready to serve allow cake to thaw out in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. Place your serving platter over the cake and flip, the ring should slide off easily.

Chocolate cake

Peanut Butter Extravaganza Cake


Final note, the birthday boy loved his cake! As did everyone else…


Sumac Macarons with Orange Buttercream

Well the day has finally arrived… Today I get to announce the lucky winner of my Ice Cream Maker Giveaway!

Good news for one lucky reader and for everyone else something yummy to look at and/or try out.

I know you weren’t expecting a Mac post to go along the Ice Cream Maker Winner announcement. But when you visit me, I want to you to expect the unexpected.

Sumac Macarons filled with Orange ButtercreamSumac Macarons filled with Orange Buttercream

Sumac Macarons with Orange Buttercream
  • 90 grams egg whites (roughly 3 egg whites)
  • 25 grams granulated sugar
  • 200 grams confectioners' sugar
  • 100 grams almonds (slivered, blanched, sliced, whatever you like)
  • 10 grams sumac
  1. Prep the eggs: 48 hrs in advance, separate the whites from the yolks and place the whites in a super clean bowl. Leave at room temp, uncovered or loosely covered with a towel at least 24 hrs. Refrigerate after that if desired. You can use eggs that have been “aging” for up to 5 days.
  2. Prepare the macarons:Place the powdered sugar, almonds, and sumac in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Sift a couple of time to remove bits and pieces. Regrind if necessary. You can also use a coffee grinder for the nuts.
  3. Once your nuts and powdered sugar are mixed together, rub them in between your fingertips to break the bigger pieces.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, (think bubble bath foam) gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue (think shaving cream). Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry.
  5. Add the ground almond mixture to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
  6. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit.
  7. If using convection: preheat the oven to 280F. If using regular electric or gas, preheat the oven to 300F.
  8. When ready, bake for 18 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool.


Sumac, Ground Almonds, & Confectioner's SugarSumac, Ground Almonds, & Confectioner's SugarSumac Macaron BatterPiped Sumac Macaron ShellsSumac Macaron Shells

Orange Buttercream
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ⅔ cup sifted confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1½ ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Beat all of the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer or with a hand beater for about 5 minutes at medium speed, until creamy and light. Chill until cold, but still spreadable, before using.

A little orange zestOrange Buttercream piped onto Sumac Macaron ShellsSumac Macarons filled with Orange ButtercreamSumac Macarons filled with Orange Buttercream

OK, OK, enough with the torture… let’s announce the winner of the Ice Cream Maker Giveaway shall we?

Our lucky winner is SGS from Correspondence Committee Congratulations!!

I also wanted to share the stats I collected. If you chose more than one flavor I selected the very first one you mentioned. :)

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor Stats

Thanks to everyone who participated!


Reese's Peanut Butter Biscotti

I only have 8 days before I fly out to New York… and, as promised here are a few more details of the event:

As I mentioned before I’m one of 15 bloggers who was invited to participate in a culinary fundraising event with Kelly Ripa on behalf of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund which is being organized by Foodbuzz and Electrolux.



Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Are you all fed up with cookie posts from me after an entire month of nothing but cookies?

I sure hope you aren’t, because before I give you a little cookie break, I have just one more I have to share with you.

You see tomorrow is my oldest’s 17th birthday, and to give you a little insight as to why I had no choice but to write one more cookie post, I will share with you a snippet off his “about me” page from the blog he started just this year.

“Things I like: musical theatre, singing, H&M, reading, chocolate chip cookies (which I could eat for an entire month straight), sour skittles, my diverse cast of friends.

Things I don’t like: tomatoes, my brother jumping out and scaring me (which he does frequently), screamo music, the color olive, Angelina Jolie, and people who walk super slow in front of me.”

Now, even though I could have very well attempted to create a super spectacular sour skittle dessert (try saying that five times fast…) I chose the most favored of the two.

I mean, not only does he LOVE chocolate chip cookies, he loves chocolate chip cookie dough period!

So, for starters I thought a little cookie dough truffle action would be quite suitable; some covered with dark chocolate and others with melted peanut butter chips.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter softened
1 box yellow cake mix
1/3 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
1/2 cup chopped chocolate chips
1 cup dark chocolate chips for dipping
1/2 cup peanut butter chips for dipping

Makes approx 90 1″ truffles

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Slowly add the cake mix, flour, salt, desiccated coconut, on medium speed until well combined. Finally add the chopped chocolate chops and mix for 15-20 seconds.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Form 1 inch balls and place on the sheet then transfer to the refrigerator to cool overnight.

Don’t forget to reserve a couple of cups of cookie dough balls if you plan on making cookie dough ice cream.

When ready to coat melt dark chocolate in the microwave, a proceed to dip cookie dough balls. Do the same with the peanut butter chips.

I’m such a slob…

Notes: My favorite of the two was definitely the peanut butter covered truffles. I started the dipping with the dark chocolate, when I had very little left I threw in the peanut butter chips in the same bowl and mixed it into the remaining dark chocolate.

Of course there is no way I would leave Cookie Dough Ice Cream out of the mix…

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop
by David Lebovitz

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
7 large egg yolks
3/4 cups granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups chopped cookie dough pieces (see recipe above)

Warm the 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, 1 cup of whipping cream, sugar, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, and salt in a medium sauce pan. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1 cup of whipping cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture throughly in the refrigerator. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

1 or 2 minutes before the mixture is almost done, add chocolate chip cookie dough pieces. Transfer ice cream from the ice cream maker to a container, seal and place in the freezer for an hour or two so that it hardens a bit more.

Freshly out of the ice cream maker…

Feel free to top with a few chopped cookie dough truffles.

And last but not least… le coup de maître (did I mention he’s in his 3rd year of French)!

His all time favorite “Biscuits aux pépites de chocolat”.

Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Baking Illustrated

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats (optional)

Adjust oven racks to the upper and lower middle positions, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.

In a bowl whisk, flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a stand mixer beat butter, sugars and honey until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and oats if desired. If you can wait, it’s best if you let the dough rest in the fridge for a day or two before baking.

Scoop out 1/4 cup of dough, roll into a ball, divide into two and rotate the halves with the jagged surfaces facing up and join the halves together at their base, place them on the prepared baking sheets spaced 2 1/2 inches apart.

Bake until the cookies are light golden brown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes.

Cool the cookies on the sheets, and remove with a spatula.

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Monochrome Rainbow Cookies

Well, here we are today is New year’s Eve… and have I got a doozy for you.

Hopefully I won’t upset any of my Italian friends for transforming a very classic Italian Christmas cookie the “Rainbow Cookie” which colors are supposed to represent the Italian flag.

Here is what the original Rainbow Cookie is supposed to look like.

This fine cookie among a few others was purchased at Tintoretto, a small Italian Bakery nestled within The Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian in Las Vegas, NV.

If you would like to try making the original version as well I found a great post on Smitten Kitchen.

Now back to the star of THIS show… The Monochrome Rainbow cookie a never seen before, Daydreamer Desserts original.

So lets back track a few days, before I enjoyed my very first traditional Rainbow cookie…

One of the reasons we were in Las Vegas this past weekend was to celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary. As a special treat to ourselves we enjoyed a marvelous dinner at SW Steakhouse, which is located within the Wynn.

And what is a marvelous dinner without dessert right? “Drum roll please….”

I give you three scoops of ice cream!

Of course, my favorite dessert. So simple, yet so delectable. I chose vanilla, chocolate, and peanut butter. My favorite of the three was definitely peanut butter, it was amazing.

Which brings me back to todays post, using the SW dessert as my inspiration for this new cookie and to end the year with a bang, or as they say in Spanish “Para cerrar con broche de oro”.

I leave you with… the Monochrome Rainbow Cookie, and wish you all a safe and very Happy New Year. See you back in 2010 for more dreamy desserts.

Monochrome Rainbow Cookies

3 oz almond paste, grated
3 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs separated
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate melted
2 oz peanut butter (chunky or creamy)

1/2 cup melted dark chocolate
1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
16 oz vanilla candy coating or white chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line three 13x9x2 pans with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated almond paste, 1/2 cup sugar, salt and butter. Beat until creamed and fluffy.

Stir in the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually stir in flour until well incorporated.

Divide dough into thirds and place into three separate bowls. Fold melted chocolate into one of the bowls and set aside, fold peanut butter into the second bowl, add remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla into the third bowl and gently stir to combine or wait until egg whites are added and fold to combine.

In a separate bowl beat egg whites until foamy, gradually pour in remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Divide egg whites equally into each of the three existing bowls and gently fold each one until combined.

Spread batter into prepared pans and smoothen out with a spatula.

Bake chocolate layer for 14 minutes, bake peanut butter layer for 12 minutes, and bake vanilla layer for 10 minutes.

Let each layer cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing. Remove from pan by carefully picking it up using the lips of the parchment paper and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.

Using the paper lift the chocolate layer and invert it over a baking sheet or tray leaving the paper side up. Carefully peal back the paper and spread the melted dark chocolate to form a thin layer.

Repeat the same process with the peanut butter layer this time spreading the peanut butter to form a thin layer.

Finally do the same with the vanilla layer. With a ruler and sharp knife trim the edges of the cookie.

Melt the white chocolate and spread over the cookie evenly with a spatula. Place tray in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate or vanilla candy shell to harden a bit before cutting. (Don’t leave it in the fridge too long before cutting or the shell will crack)

Remove from the refrigerator and with a ruler and sharp knife cut cookie lengthwise into 6 strips then cut each strip into crosswise into 5 strips.

Once the cookies have been cut you can place back in the refrigerator to allow the shell to finish cooling completely.

Serve or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

OOoooo look it’s the leaning tower of Monochrome Rainbow Cooies!!

Monochrome Rainbow Cookies, an oxymoron? I think NOT! :)

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