Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July holiday! We chose a picnic theme for our treats this month with a picnic basket, gingham prints, watermelons, and lightning bugs. Our line-up included:
• Mini Strawberry Breads
• Cream-Filled Coffee Cake
• All-Natural Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
Mini Strawberry Breads. These breads are our go-to summer treat – sweet, light, and brimming with fresh fruit. We packaged them in the picnic basket with gingham print papers and a watermelon garland that was decorative as well as useful, maintaining an upright angle.
Cream-Filled Coffee Cake. This was our first time making this recipe and we were pleasantly surprised. This cake is a bit unusual in that it is yeasted, resembling bread more than cake. And, the brown sugar crumbs blend right into the top. Served fresh, this coffee cake is one of the best I’ve had. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t keep, since it must be refrigerated (which dries yeasted treats) due to the decadent vanilla sugar cream stuffed in the middle. But, oh, that cream!
All-Natural Peanut Butter Cup Brownies. Have you ever made a peanut butter cup? Now we can finally say we have! When I started the order for this month, I was unable to find the all-natural Unreal brand peanut butter cups that I had previously depended upon. Honestly, I wasn’t looking for adventure this time, just the easy way out. But I’m thankful that I had to end up trying them. I think that it is because they are my absolute-favorite candy that I hesitated to walk down this road. This knowledge could be very dangerous 🙂
The results of my candy-making were both positive and negative. Positive in the sense that they are easy to make and delicious to eat. But, negative in the sense that only commercial ones baked properly for brownie recipe I was using. My first attempt at the brownies was on par with my baking experiments while first starting out – brave, however, unworkable and unattractive. A big part of my trouble was the ratio of chocolate to peanut butter; the dense chocolate didn’t behave well in the brownie batter. The reason I adore Reese’s cups is because the ratio is decidedly in favor of the peanut butter filling. The chocolate is a garnish, accenting the part that we’re really after 🙂 The moral of the story is that making them homemade is perfect if you’re serving them straight. Otherwise, use a plastic mold and paint on the chocolate layer for use in baked goods.
For those interested in the recipe, I used the one from The Comfort of Cooking website. Two notes: one, double the amount of powdered sugar in the peanut butter filling to provide more structure, and two, add 2 tablespoons butter to both semi-sweet chocolate mixtures so you can bite into the cups minimizing some of the fall-out. And, I happen to think milk chocolate would be better than semi-sweet, if only because Reese’s have accustomed us to it, and to use less of it, though for the pictures, it is quite becoming.
Finally, I found that Whole Foods Market features three all-natural peanut butter cups: Justin’s Organic Milk Chocolate, Nectar Nugget, and Newman’s Own. I randomly went with Justin’s and the brownies turned out great. Cut to reveal the candy cross-section and topped with a miniature dollop of peanut butter frosting and a lightning bug pick, they were ready to go.
corrie @ Peachie’s Treats