One Smart Little Cookie is a collection of everything that brings inspiration, comfort and beauty into my life and home.
I love to create a beautiful home and enjoy it with my family.
It is sharing
what I love to do; baking and cooking in a healthier way without sacrificing flavor
, crafts,
party planning, activities, organization, and home decor.

Being a "Smart Little Cookie" is not about being perfect, it is about knowing how to enjoy life and family to it's fullest~to your fullest.
Due to my creative process, my home gets messy, my kids play in their jammies-all day sometimes (the terribly relaxed days tend to be my favorite),
and my hubby has become much more patient and supportive over the years with all of this.
In fact, he often has his own creative ideas and we both find ourselves anticipating our upcoming projects together~love him!
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a clean house, but I've rejected denial, and with a toddler who is a budding creative type herself,
I feel accomplished when the dishes are in the dishwasher before naptime (not mine, hers).
I've accepted the fact that "spotless" cannot mean what I have always
envisioned in my mind, at least not with kids,
and I would rather enjoy my kids and beautiful home, than a spotless, sterile home.
I have learned to take each day, one day at a time, and everyday should leave us feeling inspired and more contented.
The day should leave us, whispering in our ear, "the day has been as well as it could have been done, and it has been done well."

Go ahead and take a bite, indulge yourself and try my recipes and crafty creations in your own home.
I hope to inspire you to feel like the "Smart Little Cookie" you are!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

I'm back! I've been very busy unpacking and setting up our new beautiful home.  In the midst of it all, my darling daughter Cecelia had her 3rd birthday! So, of course, I loved the opportunity of taking a break to bake her a Chocolate Peanut Butter Birthday Cake for the Celebration!

My daughters LOVE chocolate peanut butter, in fact, I made this same cake for my oldest daughter Sophia, in January for her 6th birthday.  My youngest, Cecelia, has been talking about it ever since-for 6 months! Both of my daughter's helped me make the cake, which was a lot of fun! While our birthday girl was taking her nap, I decorated it.  
Needless to say, she was really excited to see our creation when she woke up!


The Recipe

2 round layers chocolate cake                                peanut butter
powdered sugar                                                    vanilla
cocoa                                                                   milk                   
butter                                                                  chocolate chips

I baked a homemade chocolate cake in two round layers, however, any cake will do for this super easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. Before baking the cakes, mix 1/2 cup peanut butter with 1/8 cup sugar and 1/2 t. vanilla.  With a small teaspoon, drop little spoonfuls around the cake batter before putting them in the oven to bake.  This will give the cake a fun peanut butter polka dot look when the cake is sliced.

When the cakes are cooled, wrap them individually in saran wrap and place in the freezer.  This will make it easier to frost without breaking the cake. 

To frost, I made a basic chocolate frosting and added peanut butter to the mix.  I don't follow a recipe when making a basic frosting.  I eye it until it is the right consistency and flavor-the best way to make basic frosting, in my opinion.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting:  

Mix together powdered sugar, butter, cocoa, peanut butter, vanilla and milk. 
Add less milk than usual to make the frosting a little thicker, this will be used as a Smart Little Cookie-Quick Crumb Coat.

Take the cake layers out of the freezer and place one layer on a cake stand or plate.  Frost the top of this layer with frosting.  Place the second cake on top and frost both top and sides of the entire cake with frosting, reserving about 1/3 of frosting for later.  When the entire cake is frosted, mix milk into the remaining 1/3 frosting until it is a medium consistency and spreadable.  Spread this on the top and sides of the cake making the cake look smooth and yummy.

In a small bowl, melt 1/2 cup peanut butter in the microwave until smooth and silky.  Using a fork, drizzle on top of cake.  Next, in a separate bowl, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips.  With a clean fork, drizzle over the peanut butter drizzles.  

Next, decorate however you'd like!

Smart Little Cookie Tip:
It's always fun to decorate a cake! On this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, you could sprinkle chopped peanuts, chocolate chips, malt balls (I used chocolate peanut butter malt balls on top), or caramel...mmm!

Oh! le chocolat!