Best Chocolate Sheet Cake

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0UNWq1L_-E4/UFqF9Xk7iaI/AAAAAAAAGPE/Ul0k3yt_29Y/s1600/IMG_7876.JPGIt’s Judy’s Surprise Birthday and I have been wanting to make this incredible cake ever since I saw it on The Pioneer Woman Cook’s Blog. She says it’s The Best Sheet Cake Ever, and I trust her. Everything that I have made from her blog has been delicious and my kids have asked me to make it all the time! Well she was right! Friends were going back for second and third pieces! I wanted to make a delicious cake for Judy and her friends, since I didn’t know how many people were going to be there to surprise the HECK out of her, I thought that a sheet cake would be perfect! I read every single one of the comments on TPWC Blog, which is saying a lot ( she usually gets around 800 comments or MORE per post) and so many people commented that this cake was really difficult to mess up. I thought of this the whole time that I was talking to my best friend while trying to make the cake and frosting. Do you ever do that? Leave out an ingredient while you are having a serious conversation on the phone? I have, sugar , while making pies, not good at all!I didn’t leave out any ingredients for this cake, but my mind was really concentrating on two things at one time. I recommend this if you are feeling lazy and need to be challenged! Talking and Baking!
This sheet cake is wonderful warm after just being freshly frosted or perfect the day after for breakfast, or as a late snack, or before lunch, or after a hike! My kids are asking me to make another sheet cake since this one was whisked away for the party, okay kids, for your birthday! Make sure to decorate the cake if you like, I am in no way a skilled baker-ess, I drew out JUDY and a Heart, but it was still hard to tell what that exactly was…
As we were all hiding waiting for Judy and Tom to come back from their date night, Judy’s Mother called Judy from the back room asking her if she could show her something on the computer, the lights were off, we were quiet as mice, we all jumped out and yelled SURPRISE!! Thank goodness, Judy is young and has a very strong heart, I would have collapsed, don’t yell at me and come jumping out at me from a dark room, years will come off my life! You are an amazing sport Young Judy!!
Judy still trying to recover, you did a great job Tom keeping it a secret!

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE:
2 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa Powder2 sticks Butter
1 cup Boiling Water
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 whole Beaten Eggs
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla

FOR FROSTING:
1/2 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
1-3/4 stick Butter
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
6 Tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar

Preparation Instructions

Note: I use an 18×13 sheet cake pan.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.
In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.
While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake. Enjoy! Take this sheet cake to your next party, you will make lots of friends! Nettie This post has been linked up to these fabulous blogs!

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Peanut Butter Cookies

Somehow I imagined that my daughter and I would be baking peanut butter cookies for her Girl Scout Troop Meeting, but the days get away from us and I ended up baking them, which really is such a therapy for me. I really love to bake, I feel like all is well with my world. Plus, I know that when we are having snow blizzards in a couple months, we will be having lots of mother/daughter bake -a – thon’s going on!

Peanut Butter cookies are one of my favorite cookies. One reason is that they are very easy to make, the other reason is that I always have all of the ingredients on hand. My family loves PB & J  and PB & Fluff sandwiches. Have you ever seen an exploded PB & Fluff sandwich? Don’t leave it in your locker all day! I have used Natural peanut butter to make these wonderful cookies. Peanut butter cookies are instantly recognized for their crisscross pattern . I used crunchy peanut butter for these cookies, but you can use smooth peanut butter if that is what you prefer. P.S. In case you were wondering, the Girl Scouts loved them! 
Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour

Directions:

1.Mix butter and sugars together using a hand mixer or Kitchen Aid. Add in all remaining ingredients and mix until combined.
2.Roll the dough into small 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet. Squish to about 1/4 inch thick using a fork, making a crisscross pattern.
3.Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Inspired from The Joy Of Cooking Cookbook. This post has been linked up to these fabulous blogs:

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Groovy Caramel Bars

It’s Anna’s baby shower and these are her sister’s favorite bars. The gold medal goes to these Groovy Caramel Squares. Since Anna is a Gold Medalist these are perfect for her baby shower! This recipe comes from Jemma’s recipe box, it’s an Irish favorite. I think it will be yours as well. 3 steps for a flaky shortbread crust, a gooey caramel filling and a perfect chocolate glaze.
Combine flour and sugar in a bowl.
Cut in butter until crumbly.

 
Grease baking dish.

Press mixture into bottom of pan and bake.
Melt butter in a saucepan.
Add sweetened condensed milk .
Add packed light brown sugar.
Crust is golden brown.
Add honey to filling mixture.
Boil and stir for 5 minutes.
Pour caramel filling over warm crust.
 
Melt chocolate chips in microwave.
Groovy Caramel Bars
 

 Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

1 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup sugar
10 tablespoons cold butter

Filling

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons honey

Glaze

2 cups bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon shortening


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Shortbread Crust

In a bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press into a 9″ square baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Caramel Filling

Combine the filling ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil and stir for 5 minutes. Pour over warm crust.

Glaze

In the microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening for 1-1 1/2 minutes, or until melted, stir after 30 seconds. Spread over filling. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares. This recipe is adapted from Jemma’s recipe book. This post has been linked up to these fabulous blogs! Nettie

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