Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

This week has gone by so ridiculously fast! It’s been a good week – a celebration week:

– my cookbook announcement (thanks everyone (again!) for all the super nice comments and tweets. You’ve made my face hurt from smiling all week). Oh and a sneaky a little bit of info: it’s 75 recipes – sweet and savoury (all the courses, you know it!!). Of course there are some vegan and some gluten free recipes in there too.

– it’s the end of this half term! hoollliiddaaayyy! It’s only a week off but at least I get to sleep in for like 5 of those days.

– I kind of, sort of turned 18-years-old. Heeeyy provisional licence! (but also heyyy I’m legally an adult now. This is awkward seeming as I’m wearing slipper socks, drinking hot chocolate and singing Sound Of Music songs).

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

So because of all the things that have been going on, I thought we needed a cake.

A big, chocolate cake. Super indulgent with extra EVERYTHING.

It’s rare for me to make massive layer cakes because my cake layers always turn out domed so I have to level them and lose about 1/3 of the cake :( Losing that much cake makes me sad (although Cynthia pointed out that those cake tops are basically made for ‘cake frosting tacos’ which is a very good point)

But this 8-layer, two tiered monster was appropriate. Cake scraps and all.

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

It took me a while to come up with the whole concept of the cake because there are so many variants in the land of layer cakes: flavour of the cake, flavour of the filling ,flavour of the frosting,

how many layers? tiers?

frosted sides? ‘naked cake’ style? drippy frosting style?

other décor???

So I stood in the kitchen on Friday for about an hour freaking out and living an ALL CAPS life until I’d figured out everything. I was going to do chocolate, peanut butter + pretzel. Then my mum chimed in and was like ‘Noooo you need to do POPCORN.’

I was game. I’d made caramel corn before so knew I could do it pretty easily.

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

That is, until I burnt 2 batches of the stuff  (a.k.a Izy stop trying to use brown sugar when the recipe says white sugar. Brown sugar doesn’t work. No. Stop trying the brown sugar again, it didn’t work the first time so it’s not going to work now. Also no you don’t need to brown the butter. Stop browning the butter. Stop it. Browned butter caramel doesn’t work.)

Finally after I actually followed the instructions (insert guilty slanty-face emoji HERE) it then worked.

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

I took the photos of the cake but then de-stacked it so I could transport it (on the TUBE) to my friends house for dinner. In doing this I accidentally made the discovery that caramel popcorn is like edible packing peanuts for cake! So cool.

The WHOLE cake managed to survive a 40 minute journey, being carried sideways in a tin – even when I got crushed against the glass panel in the tube carriage by the 5pm hoards of football fans.

P.s I totally yelled at the guy who was crushing me. YEAH. Empowerment rush, boom. Utter Beyoncé moment.

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

It’s a superstar cake. Especially because if you utterly mess up the glaze on top, you just get to cover it all up with popcorn and nobody eeeever knows….

Pro tip though, if you’re going to make it – decorate with the popcorn like an hour max. before serving because the moisture tends to make the popcorn go chewy after a while.

Double Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Caramel Popcorn

 

(Oh and side note:  My friends made a Llama cake with a cinnamon-stick cigar for me. It took 4 guys to make this masterpiece:

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Amazing)

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Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with Pomegranate Salt

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with Pomegranate Salt {GF}

I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had an awesome Thursday! I made rugelach (Alice Medrich’s dough) with loads of different fillings –

apricot jam, bittersweet chocolate, ground coffee

cashew butter, almond extract, raspberry jam

raspberry jam, desiccated coconut

apricot jam, caster sugar, ground cloves + cinnamon

…in case you were wondering. (I’m also making that note for myself because they were DELICIOUS filling combos. Pat on my own back. woohoo)

and of course MAPLE PECAN PIE. Favourite dessert. HeeelllLO.

Homemade Pomegranate Salt

My mum (who p.s. made all the pretty ceramics I used in this post) also made peanut butter cookies dipped in chocolate and crushed walnuts….which is where the partial inspiration for these cookies came from!

I had been cutting a pomegranate in half last week and of course all the pomegranate juice went everywhere – I’m pretty sure I had some on my face – and some splashed into the salt bowl. It stained the salt a super pretty pink colour. Needless to say, when I saw it I dumped a bunch more pomegranate juice in because THAT PINK SALT IS BEAUTEOUS. And then I had to wrack my brains to think of a cool way to convince everyone else to make the salt by sprinkling it on stuff.

The stuff ended up being Peanut Butter Cookies and Chocolate – duh.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with Pomegranate Salt {GF}

Also guys, it’s the FIRST OF DECEMBER tomorrow. And I think we all know what that means.

It will officially be  the holiday season!

Non-stop ultra-warm jumpers, watching Love Actually, drinking pepperminty hot chocolate, scarves (so many scarves) and Christmas music for cooking/dancing/cycling. YEAH.

But also erm, cookies, or as Carey has put it ‘full-on holiday treat mode’ – agreed.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with Pomegranate Salt {GF} Homemade Pomegranate Salt

Winter baking is the best, because standing in front of an oven is ah-mazing when you’re cold. It means I don’t leave the kitchen for that 10-minute-ish cookie baking period so I don’t burn things! (I have a tendency to sometimes abandon things in the oven and then become ‘timer-deaf’. It isn’t good)

3 reasons (salt sprinkling, holidays, oven-hand-warmer) to bake cookies now. Okay yep, I didn’t need any more convincing than that.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with Pomegranate Salt {GF}

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with Pomegranate Salt {GF}

The peanut butter cookies I made were slightly different to my mum’s – I halved the recipe, used butter instead of shortening and oat flour instead of all-purpose. I like how the oats gives them some nubbly texture and also a bigger protein/fiber boost. Mo’ health, mo’ cookies, you know it. Plus it also makes them conveniently wheat free so I can feed them to everyone I know, heh heh heeehhh.

Homemade Pomegranate Salt

But also I used baking powder instead of baking soda. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I hate using just baking soda in things like cookies. I can taste it so strongly, it grosses me out. I mean, there’s no acid for it to react with so you just end up with this yellow residue and weird flavour. Cookie let down, major town. The baking soda also normally makes things spread more, so because I used powder I got cute little plump cookies 😀

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with Pomegranate Salt {GF}

So seriously if the cookies haven’t convinced you to make the salt, it’s so gorgeous, you should just make it anyway. You can put it in a jar and gift it to people as is. It’s so SPARKLY and icy-looking. Ahhhh.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with Pomegranate Salt {GF}

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Peanut Butter & Pretzel Bars

Peanut Butter & Pretzel Bars

First of all, I just wanna say thanks for all your awesome comments on my last post, after my rant about writing and pinterest, hahaha! It’s so easy to let negative feedback cancel out all the happiness I get from all the lovely comments in like 0.001 seconds.

Anywho, today, I’ve got a post full to the BRIM with goodness.

PB & Ps from No Bake Makery, by Cristina Suarez Krumsick.

Guys, that’s peanut butter, pretzels and chocolate!? AND its no bake!? AND a giveaway!? whaaaaa??

AND LOOKIT the styled photos are back!

Peanut Butter & Pretzel Bars

(many, many photos..)

Peanut Butter & Pretzel Bars

I was kinda scared to get back into the whole styled set up, seeming as I’ve been used to photographing things this way pretty much once a week, for almost 2 years (“whattttt??” mate I know, it’s almost been two years now. Totally weird.), and then just having this month long break from it. But I think it was good for me to have a break; editing photos in lightroom was actually more enjoyable again, rather than being a mega task and a half.

I just got to chill, edit the photos and watch some Breaking Bad (which is SUCH a good show. WOAH.).

Peanut Butter & Pretzel Bars

What made everything even better was how stress free and ridoncs fast it was to make these. They’re basically like peanut butter cups, but WITH pretzels thrown in.

Peanut Butter & Pretzel Bars

They’re actually even easier to make than peanut butter cups because there’s none of that annoying chocolate coating of multiple paper liners going on; you just put it all into the pan and BAM! Crunchy, salty-sweet candy bars.

AND LOOK AT HOW FREAKIN ADORABLE THEY ARE

Peanut Butter & Pretzel Bars

Cos, seriously, when those hot days (which, sadly, have been pretty rare here recently..) arrive, and you’re all “no ovens. no. no ovens. please. don’t turn that oven on. No seriously. What are you doing, turn the oven off, TURN IT OFF!!” (I’m hoping you know what I mean here, haha), but you want sugar, and that jar of raisins is not the sugar fix you need, I have to say that no-bake desserts are simply going to happen.

Peanut Butter & Pretzel Bars

So when the lovely people over at Grand Central Publishing offered to send me a copy of No Bake Makery, and another copy for a giveaway, I was pretty physched.

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The 80 recipes (all of which have a photo, WOOH! I love it when there are photos for each recipe) are divided into categories of Truffles, Clusters & Bark, Fudge & Bars, Mini Pies & Cakes, Cold Cravings & Pudding, Candy & Cookies and Breakfast for Dessert.

Peanut Butter & Pretzel Bars

Some of the recipes which caught my eye are Cinnalmond Bites (there’s oreos and cinnamon cereal in them..come onnnn), maple pecan bites (If you know me well ,you know maple + pecan is my no.1 flavour combo that I will never get over), S’mores bark, Pecamel fudgy bars (pecan caramel and chocolate fudge. WOAH) and Cornflake fudge pie. There are SO many more buuut I’m not going to spoil it for you hahah 😉

You can get up to 5 entries in the giveaway for your own copy of No Bake Makery!

Just answer the question (seen in the Rafflecopter box below) for one entry. For the additional entries, just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter box below (which I think, if you’re viewing this via e-mail or RSS, you will have to click through to this site to see.)

The giveaway is now over! Thanks everyone that entered, I’ll be announcing and contacting the winner soon! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(The giveaway is open to US residents only)

The giveaway ends on the 6th of June at 12am (London time), when winner will be randomly selected, announced on here in the Rafflecopter box, and contacted via their provided e-mail address shortly afterwards.

http://nobakemakery.com
http://facebook.com/nobakemakery
http://twitter.com/nobakemakery

Peanut Butter & Pretzel Bars

Peanut Butter & Pretzel Bars

Peanut Butter & Pretzel Bars

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Single-Lady, Chocolate Chip Cookie (Vegan with GF + PB cookie variations)

Deep-Dish, Single-Lady, Salted Whole Wheat Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie (with gluten free and peanut butter cookie variations)

Direct link to vimeo: Deep-Dish, Single-Lady, Salted, Whole Wheat Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie from Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon

{or a direct link to Youtube here}

Ok

Damn, that’s a long title, but I think that the cookie deserves it to be honest:

You can make yourself a deep-dish, semi-healthy (I used coconut oil, whole wheat flour, bittersweet chocolate and maple syrup. No white sugar or butter!) cookie/blondie thing for only you (so you don’t end up eating a million cookies), it basically only takes 15 minutes and one dish (you mix it up in the dish it’s baked in).

Single Lady Cookie-3

So we’re doing this, yeah? You’re in. Good. Step by step I’ll take you through the ‘anatomy’, if you will, of this cookie:

Deep-dish: well, that’s what it is, it’s baked in a dish, that’s deep for a cookie! It’s more like eating a blondie to be honest, but that doesn’t sound as good..
Single-lady: it makes enough cookie for one single ladeh, i.e. single serving (if you baked it like a cookie, it’d probably be like 2 medium cookies..that’s one serving right!? right?)
Salted: salt in it, salt on it. Salt. As we all know, salty-sweet is delicious and has to come up at least twice a month.
Whole Wheat – I used whole wheat flour! Who would have even guessed? Just making it a little bit better for all of us 😉
Chocolate chip cookie – …I think you’ve got that
Vegan – not an egg in sight! I also used coconut oil to keep it vegan, but if you’re a butter gal (I totally normally am) go for it, I’ve tried it and it’s just as awesome.
Gluten free variation – right, so I tried the recipe out just straight up substituting ground almonds for flour. It didn’t work out. It was incredibly delicious but more like eating caramel rather than a cookie. So I made a few changes; reducing the sugar and using almond butter instead of coconut oil (less fat = less gooey, I figured), and oat flour (just ground up oats) and it worked!
Peanut Butter Cookie variation – following on from those gluten-free adaptations to the original recipe, I used peanut butter instead of almond butter, to make a peanut butter cookie! Wooh!
-The gluten free, nut butter variation can be made using whole wheat or a.p. flour too, it’s just not as gooey as the coconut oil version.

ingredients

I have been testing and eating these all week.

For you,

of course.

heh.

But that’s not all I’ve been doing!

chocolatechipgif1

 

It’s been a very busy half term,

I went to the Brits! I saw JT make a dramatic entrance with a chandelier-curtain-thing, I shuddered through One Direction’s song, Mumford and sons and Muse played kick ass songs and I noticed that undeniably sassy look on Taylor Swift’s face when she ended ‘I knew you were trouble’ (Harry Styles was the room…it was majorly awkward),

I went to the after party; I got free cotton candy (the guy who was making it had cotton candy ALL OVER HIS FOREARMS. It was hilarious.) and a white chocolate skull from some insane doctor actor. However the party full of mid-30-year-olds awkwardly dancing to remixes of the black-eyed peas, so we left after half an hour.

Single Lady Cookie-28

 

(side note: is it possible to be in love with a photo? WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN EVERY WEEK. At least now my friends know what my phone, computer and ipad background will be until next Sunday.)

I made another food video (the one at the top of the page!), finally!

and a song-c0ver video with these chicas,

I made 2-dozen cupcakes (you can see them in the background of the video at one point), and 2 sheet cakes for my brother to sell at his toastie stall at a festival launch party.

I got round to actually photographing these cookies (I think I’ve been taunting some people with them for about a week on instagram)

chocolate chip gif2

and now you can finally get the recipe,

Gahd Izy, why does it take you so long to do things?

I’m just a procrastinator and tension builder, what can I say…

Single Lady Cookie-105

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Peanut Butter Cup S’moreo Bars

Today, I’m mixing things up a little.

We’re going to start with a .gif,

FORK

If that isn’t enough to make you start weeping

Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars

..yeah.

I think when it’s exam time, my body goes into full on crazy-food drive. Last year it was the cinnamon roll pull-apart bread.

This year.

These.

Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars

A complete 180 from those classy, intricate croissants.

Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars

Peanut Butter Cup S’moreo Bars (I think that’s about 4 separate dessert entities combined)

Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars

What is a s’moreo? Well it’s just a s’more made with oreos instead of graham crackers.

But then I transformed into a cookie bar, and layered with peanut butter and chopped peanut butter cups too.

Yesssssssss.

When I made these, I think that I just needed some soul food – and I’m pretty sure that these bars are what it would look like if I had a soul,

I’m joking.

Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars

Obviously it would be cinnamon-sugar toast.

(p.s I’m kidding about the no-soul thing…)

Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars

My friend and I ended up spending a good amount of time talking in Napoleon Dynamite quotes this week, (and yes, yes we’re learning his dance) in case you were wondering about that youtube clip above……. (this video made me cry, several times; If you have no idea what I’m talking about because you haven’t seen Napoleon Dynamite yet, GO DO IT NOW – well, after you’ve made these bars actually)

Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars -ingredients

5 layers of pure enjoyment: crushed oreo base, peanut butter, milk chocolate, toasted marshmallows, chopped peanut butter cups. ( I totally tried writing the text on with chalk, and it TOTALLY failed.)

Minimal skill, time and ingredients required = maximal enjoyment.

Fair warning though – you might want to tell people that the bars contain oreos….that dark base can be extremely misleading (i.e. I think everyone thinks they’re majorly burnt when they see them)

TEAR

You can totally see my glasses in the corner of that .gif… (and my glittery nail varnish 😀 )

p.p.s I got the most views in a month I’ve ever had last month, thanks for spreading the croissant tutorial around, I LOVE YOU ALL.

Peanut Butter Cup S'moreo Bars

 

(I think that was the least cohesive piece of text I’ve ever written, my brains are scrambled from the bio, chem, maths and stats revish at the mo, I apologize)

 

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Healthy Caramel and Peanut Butter Cups

I have a bit of a problem.

I’ll call it the tea-snacking-cycle.

It happens to me ALL the time…and I really do mean that.

I get home from school – I’m tired (cycling 7 miles a day isn’t the most energising thing ever), I’m probably a bit annoyed at the pedestrians who think the road = sidewalk, and drivers who think cyclists don’t mind screeching to a halt so they can turn in front of you and save 5 seconds of their journey time.

Oh and I’m hungry.

I’ll make a snack or whatever, and boil the kettle to make some tea – the aim being to reach a point where I both have a cup of tea, and my food. Can you sense the problem?

Kettles take a while to boil…

I’ve normally at least half finished my food once the tea is made. That’s one problem.

Then comes the second, do I go get more food? Or do I wait until an actual meal time? Ugh.

Yeah, there seems to be an obvious solution to the problem – make the tea, then get the food, but I think my brain is working against me and just automatically makes me get the food first. Damn you brain.

One thing I’ve found though is that if I have these caramel peanut butter cups around, I can normally only manage to eat one; they’re so crazy rich and decadent, it’s pretty much solving my tea-snacking-cycle problem!

Make sure you have your sassy pants on when you’re ready to make these: They’re full of fibre, healthy fats, antioxidants, deliciousness and some protein too! They’re also vegan and thus, dairy-free!

POWER SNACK ACTIVATE!!!!!

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3 minute Marshmallow Cups

Say it’s actually freezing cold outside, and you want a warm snack. It needs to be quick and dessert like. You don’t own a microwave so all those 2 minute mug cake recipes are a no. What can you do?

Turn on your oven and get out that bag of marshmallows you never use, we’re not making plain old s’mores, we’re making marshmallow cups!

Yes, this is a picture of spoons, not cups, but the actual goodness you see on the spoon was made in a cup.

Okay not an actual cup, but mini muffin liners which look a bit like cups… Totally won you over then with my debating skills didn’t I?

If I didn’t consider these points:

They take 3 minutes to make, they’re sweet and gooey

and you can eat them with small spoons and feel like a giant. How awesome is that?

Super awesome if you ask me.

They’re perfect for parties: everyone makes their own flavour combos, put them all on a tray, broil them in the oven for a minute or two, and they’re done!

Sweet, marshmallowy success.


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Peanut Butter, Pretzel and Brownie Thumbprint Cookies

Okay, I’m sorry for doing this. For making a cookie with such a long name, for rolling cookie dough in pretzels, for putting brownie batter in a cookie. But these things had to happen in order to make the best thumbprint cookies on this planet.

Crunchy, salty, chocolaty, gooey, chewy. Incredible. I don’t know why people don’t put brownie batter in their cookies all the time, it should be a new rule. Two desserts in one bite = less time spent having to choose what to make + more time to go and paint your nails and make a cup of tea!

Yes, I did both these things, and no, I’m not going to say how many cookies I did eat. However, I will give you a tip: if you want to limit the amount of cookies you’ll be eating, having freshly painted nails and cookies in a narrow jar is the way to go…just sayin.

Also, whilst you’re reading this, I might as well tell you, the recipe might make a little more brownie batter than you’ll need, just enough for say 1 brownie…you know, just for you…and maybe you’ll want to sprinkle any left over crushed pretzels on top of the batter before baking it for say, 7-10 minutes in the already hot oven.

Yep, casual single serving pretzel brownie. Totally a coincidence…

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Double Chocolate and Peanut Butter Muffins (with DIY pb chips)

School has both upsides and down sides. You get a cold within the first week of going back, just in time for the weekend, ruining your plans. But that means, you now have time to make you some good old comfort food!

Comfort food has to be one of the best things ever when you’re ill.

For me, double chocolate muffins are it, you always know they’ll taste good no matter what and you can always seem to find somewhere that sells them. The trouble is though, those muffins they sell are huge. It’s not like I can’t finish that muffin, no way, I can and will eat that muffin in 5 minutes. But I don’t think that muffin is worth more than a meal’s GDA. So what else can I do but make the muffins myself?

175 calories each? you could eat more than 3 of these instead of one of those ones from Starbucks! You don’t even need an excuse, just make the muffins.

Mini Muffin :)

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