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Valentine’s Day is on Monday and if you haven’t decided on a treat to make for your sweetheart, kids or friends, this fudge recipe uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Any food allergies or wanting to try something new? Wacky Cake may be my “go-to” chocolate cake for the next year while I am nursing so I can still get my chocolate cake fix!
I am a chocolate addict (although I love desserts in any shape or form) so I definitely have cookbooks filled with different recipe ideas and am trying to get new ideas while watching Food Network during naptime; but my newborn has some food intolerances we are trying to narrow down, so I was in a pinch as to what I am going to make. It could be milk, eggs, wheat, soy, nuts or a combination, and although I’m experimenting and only cutting milk for the time being, I was on a mission to find recipes that don’t contain too much of other possible allergens so I don’t make my baby miserable.
I have decided that the best route for me this Valentine’s Day will be to make a couple of different desserts or confections. First, a super simple, you-can-toss-together-while-juggling-a-newborn-and-toddler Peanut Butter Fudge for my sweetheart who loves peanut butter treats, and an old chocolate cake recipe I dug up from my childhood called Wacky Cake, which is dairy free! We made the fudge last night and will be packing half of them up in little favor bags to give to friends and the rest will go in a nice heart tin for Daddy.
Any cook with any level of skill or schedule can tackle these even while the kids are awake, so you can take nap time to catch your breath or take a nap yourself! And heck, if your kids are old enough get them involved in the fun. My daughter was my helper for our fudge and her jobs were to fill the muffin pan with the muffin cups and to top them with chocolate chips once the fudge was ready to set. If you have older children you can get them involved in the cooking and mixing, but at two-and-a-half it was still a burn hazard for my little munchkin so I tried to make her jobs seem very important, and have her the spoons to lick in between steps to keep her occupied
Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Fudge
1 Cup Peanut Butter
3/4 Cup Butter
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
Spatula or Wisk
Cake or Brownie Pan
First, melt the butter on the stove or in the microwave then stir in the peanut butter until melted (if you are using the microwave, you will need to zap it again). Take the butter and peanut butter mixture off the heat and stir in the powdered sugar. Spread it in a parchment-lined pan (so it’s easier to get out) and let it cool in the fridge to set.
Have a little extra time on your hands or have some additional kitchen skills you’d like to show off? Try making the fudge in a mini muffin pan lined with mini muffin cups to make portioned, bite-sized fudge bites. I use a small tablespoon cookie dough scoop to portion mine, but you could use regular spoons as well. Jazz them up with chocolate chips, a drizzle of chocolate on top, marshmallows or sprinkles and they will be perfect to gift (if you have any left).
Now for the Wacky Cake, which brought back a flood of memories of my childhood. I found this recipe in my recipe binder printed on a magazine cut-out my mom had found years ago and passed on to me along with a stack of other recipes when I left home. My sister had some potential allergies growing up, so I think this is why my mom had originally found and used this recipe, but it’s also easy to make and perfect when you’re out of butter or other ingredients. Looking back I think this was the recipe my mom used most of the time when we had chocolate cake and she is a no-fuss kind of lady, so if you see how easy the recipe is (and how few dirty dishes it makes!) you may be converted as well. It has a moist, light texture which is perfect for cupcakes too.
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Sugar
3 Tbsp. Cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 tsp. Vinegar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 Cup Warm Water
First, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt into an 8 inch square cake pan. Make 2 holes in the dry ingredients and add the oil, vinegar, vanilla and water. Stir until mixed. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Top with frosting of your choice or with a dusting of powdered sugar and some fresh fruit.
Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America Episode Description:
Premiering Sunday, February 13th at 9pm ET/PT
The final four compete in a “Culinary Decathlon” Skill Drill to test their knowledge thus far. Then, the chefs teach their recruits a complicated dessert technique featuring a flambé presentation. For the Main Dish Challenge, some special guests arrive for the recruits as their loved ones reveal a favorite dish for them to prepare. The recruits must then make that dish using a recipe written by their chefand serve the flambé dessert tableside. After the tasting, each chef decides who will advance to the final challenge.
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