Has this ever happened to you? You’re invited to an event – maybe a swanky affair, maybe a family dinner – and you want to bring a special dessert. Your heart is saying, “I can’t go wrong with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups -everybody loves that chocolaty/peanut buttery goodness!” But your head is saying “The hostess may not be too impressed that I picked up a bag of candy at the Stop ‘N Go on the way over here.”
What to do?
People will think you slaved for hours (because that’s how long it takes) when you make a…
Peanut Tree Cake
-2 boxes yellow cake mix & stuff required for making them
-4 bags Reese’s miniature peanut butter cups* (No cheating here by buying the cheap, waxy knock-offs from the Dollar Store!)
-Green food coloring
-Peanut butter frosting (you can substitute vanilla if you like)
1) Prepare the cake mixes, using 1 box to make 2, 9″ round cakes and the other box to make an 8-1/2 x 11″ cake. Take them out of the pans to cool. The directions are on the box – I’m not reinventing the wheel, here.
2) Open the cans of frosting (you could also make the frosting from scratch as I did because, frankly, that canned stuff is not good.)
3) Put enough green food coloring in the peanut butter frosting to turn it, well, green.
4) Cut 2 long, somewhat flared pieces from the 8-1/2 x 11 cake, so it looks kind of like a tree trunk. The rest of this cake can be wrapped up tightly and stored in the freezer for up to 8 months. Then you can dig it out, stale and frostbitten, and toss it.
5) Put peanut butter frosting between the 2, trunk layers.
6) Round off the square edges of the trunk. You can use a chain saw like one of those guys crafting a totem pole of bear cubs at the state fair. Or you can go with a hedge trimmer. Or if you’re the boring type, a bread knife would work as well. IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: If using a chain saw or hedge trimmer, first be sure they are free of yard debris. Safety goggles and leather chaps are recommended.
7) Put chocolate frosting between the 2, round layers.
8) Cover a piece of cardboard with aluminum foil, or have a cake stand specially crafted by a carpenter like on Cupcake Wars. (I love that show! Except the smirking host is annoying. You can tell he doesn’t know a darn thing about baking. Also that foreign judge; I cannot understand a word he’s saying.)
9) Assemble the tree on the board; trunk on the bottom, round part on top.
10) Frost the trunk with chocolate frosting and the top with the green, peanut butter frosting (I also dusted on green sugar for an extra punch.)
11) Unwrap about a thousand of the miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.* You’ll just need to eyeball this.
12) Embed the Reese’s “peanuts ” in the green “leaves” on the tree in an artful pattern that mimics the natural beauty of peanut trees in the wild. Note how one “peanut” has fallen and is resting against the tree trunk. Realistic, hmm?
13) Stand back and bask in the compliments!
*You may not need the entire 4 bags to “peanut” your tree; in fact 10 pieces ought to do it. But it’s best to have extras for “inventory shrinkage”. (In retail this means employees stealing. In our case, it just means the pastry chef may take a little nibble or two. Baking is hungry work.)
I brought this special cake to our Easter dinner, and you should have seen the looks of delight on the faces of the children.
“What is it?” one of my little nephews said.
“It’s a peanut tree” I replied with a big smile. “See the peanuts growing on it?”
“Peanuts don’t grow on trees” another nephew chimed in, rather snidely. “They’re legumes. And they grow on plants that are only about a foot tall. Besides, those don’t look anything like peanuts.”
So that’s what they’re teaching kids in our schools nowadays – botany? How about some manners? When did they stop teaching those?
“Oh yeah, well I bet the Easter Bunny put coal in your stocking!” I replied, cleverly.
On this historic day (otherwise known as Wednesday), 19 of your favorite humor bloggers are staging a WordPress coup. We have banded together to address the important topic, Better Living Through Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Yes, you read that right. Your eyes are fine. Well, they may not be fine – I really don’t know. But it does say “19 of your favorite humor bloggers” (or who SHOULD be your favorite bloggers). We are all presenting the same topic, each from his or her particularly unique perspective.
Why this topic? Why now?
Click on the links below to gobble up the entire, yummy bag of 19 Reese’s Pieces.