Peanut Butter Chocolate Tart

Oooohhh man. I found a spot in my house with some good lighting. Also, I was awake when the sun was up. These gorgeous photos speak for themselves


Even though the crust was a little snaggle toothed, this tart tastes like a giant reeses cup.


Shortbread crust, topped with peanut butter cream cheese filling and a chocolate ganache. Just for good measure, some sea salt to balance out the whole deal.


Whats that? Closer you say?


Oh lighting, you did me good.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Tart

Recipe from SmittenKitchen

For the crust:
2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs, finely processed in food processor
3 tablespoons melted butter
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the peanut butter filling
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup plain cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoon room temperature butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Fleur de sel for sprinkling
Angled spatula for spreading

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine all of your crust ingredients until wet crumbs form and press into a 9 inch tart pan. Make sure you press it into the edges to get the nice rim. This part can be hard, but even if your crust crumbles, know that it will taste delicious. Bake on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out any imperfections fresh out of the oven. Let cool in the fridge while preparing the rest.

Whisk together your peanut butter, cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Spoon over your shortbread crust until you have an even layer of peanut butter filling. I found that an angled spatula is the perfect tool for this because the peanut butter tends to want to lift off the crust with every move. If you don’t own one, a spoon and some patience will do. Let cool again in the fridge while making the ganache.

Place your chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute at a time until the chips are completely melted. I like to use a whisk. I find that it breaks apart secret chocolate chips much faster than any other tool. Spread on top of your peanut butter mixture, again, using an angled spatula if possible.

Sprinkle with fleur de sel, or any other high moisture salt. Place in fridge until ganache hardens (approximately 1 hour) or overnight for optimal cutting experience.






Chocolate Tart with Sugared Cranberries

Back to back labor and delivery rotations mean the blog got placed on the back burner. Thus, my return to posting photos of delectable holiday treats had to be with a bang! Hence – the chocolate tart with sugared cranberries.

IMG_5719This baked good epitomizes the holidays! Sugared cranberries! I mean, come on. They look like they fell out of a Christmas tree. IMG_5737I went to Williams Sonoma recently and they had a bunch of things on sale so I came home with a cake stand (YES!) and a tart pan (double yes!). I was so excited to use both of this for this recipe and pictures.


This chocolate tart is perfectly lightly sweet and not at all overwhelming. Made with semi-sweet chocolate, it’s a perfect pairing with the slightly tart contrast of the sugared cranberries.

The sugared cranberries, by the way, are fresh cranberries coated in sugar. They turn fresh cranberries in a holiday treat that you can pop into your mouth. Not to mention, they make one heck of a garnish.

Chocolate Tart with Sugared Cranberries

Adapted from Tyler Florence

Tart Shell Pastry:
2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks
1 large egg, separated (save both parts)
2 tablespoons ice water

Combine your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt) in a bowl. Add the butter cubes and using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut into your dry ingredients until it looks like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the middle your pastry. Add in your egg yolk and ice water. Keep the egg white! Using your hands, work it into the dough and squeeze together until it comes together to form a disk. You will see still chunks of butter in the dough. Ask more ice water (1 tablespoon at a time) if you need to form the disk. Wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out your dough into approximately a 12 inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Place into a 9 inch tart pan. Press into the bottoms and sides making sure to get each nook and cranny to get a pretty edge when you take out the finished product. I also used this step to even out the dough a little bit. Take the extra dough off the edges by pressing against the sharp edge or your pan or with a knife. Cool in the fridge for 15 minutes and preheat your oven to 350.

Using pie weights or dried beans, bake for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and using your egg white, brush your tart pastry. Bake for another 8 minutes. The crust should not be golden brown, but still light in color. Let the pastry cool and reduce your oven temperature to 325.

For the chocolate filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
10 ounces semisweet chocolate (bar or chips)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten

Heat the heavy cream and milk in a pot over medium heat until it slightly bubbles at the edges. Remove from heat and add in your chocolate. Whisk until completely melted and silky smooth. Sprinkle in the salt. Very, very slowly add your eggs until completely blended. Be sure not to add it too quickly or they may scramble!

Pour into your prepared shell and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until surface is shiny. Cool while making your sugared cranberries.

Sugared Cranberries
1 package fresh cranberries, rinsed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
sugar for coating cranberries (approximately 2 cups)

Over medium heat in a medium pan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar completely dissolved to make a simple syrup. Remove from heat. Add your cranberries in until all of them are coated in the syrup. Using a slotted spoon and working in batches, toss them in sugar until completely coated. Let cool on a baking sheet for 1 hour until the sugar has hardened.

Sprinkle on top of the baked good of your choice.





Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

More cupcakes!! These were from a few weeks ago for an engagement celebration.


I adapted this recipe from a recipe for a whole cake. I have to say, this recipe made for some fluffy cupcakes. They were infused with a light peanut butter flavor and we ate a decent amount sans frosting. The cake melted in your mouth! The peanut butter frosting on top just added another flavor layer.


Then roll them in sprinkles and you have the most festive little cake. Along with a single tiny blue sprinkle in this photo. tee hee, so cute.


After this slew of cupcake posts, you know what time it is? fall baking time!! pumpkin everything time!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Adapted from Molly Yeh
Makes ~ 24 cupcakes

For the cakes

1 3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup boiling water (key to the fluff!)

Preheat oven to 350. Line two muffin tins with the festive liner of your choice. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients except for the boiling water. Mix the wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and then add in your boiling water. Fill your cupcake liners ~ 1/2 – 3/4 full. Tap onto your counter to make an even surface to frost. Bake for ~15 mins or until the tops spring back at you or a toothpick comes our clean. Let cool while you make the frosting. Eat a cupcake top…

For the frosting

1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cup powdered sugar
~ 8 oz sprinkles

Beat together the butter and peanut butter. Add in your vanilla and slowly incorporate the powdered sugar. Frost your now cooled cupcakes with a simple angled spatula or knife. The sprinkles will cover any imperfections.

Pour your sprinkles into a shallow bowl and one by one, turn your frosted cupcakes upside down into the sprinkles, gently pressure them onto the top and sides until it’s so festive you can’t even handle it!


Mocha cupcakes with coffee buttercream

Holy cupcakes!!! No words for this post – only photos. Let’s just say, coffee + chocolate + adorable straws.

IMG_5615 IMG_5613 IMG_5610 IMG_5599 IMG_5595

Mocha cupcakes with coffee buttercream

Adapted from browneyedbaker
Makes 12-16 cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:
1⅓ cups flour
⅓ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
½ cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons instant coffee (or espresso) powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg at room temperature

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, combine your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together your butter, sugars, and egg. In a measuring cup, combine your milk, coffee, instant powder, and extract. Alternating your liquids and your powders, combine into your creamed butter until well mixed.

Bake in lined cupcake tins for 17-20 minutes or until the top springs back at you. Let cool completely.

For the Coffee Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons instant coffee (or espresso)
Chocolate syrup (optional)

Let your instant coffee and vanilla dissolve in a small bowel. Cream your butter and powdered sugar together. Once light and fluffy, add in your dissolved coffee. Whip until well combined. Pipe onto your cooled cupcakes!! Drizzle on the chocolate syrup to your hearts desire.


Dipped shortbread bites

These cookies are so cute!! They’re too cute! I just finished one of our harder rotations and now am on a bake friendly rotation.


I had trouble keeping this post to a minimum of photos because these little pumpkins were so adorable. Bite sized and sprinkled with color!

IMG_5290_2 The cookies themselves are shortbread – buttery, sugary, and perfect for the chocolate they’re dipped into. IMG_5299_2

We threw this all into a cookie jar and have been munching on them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night…

Dipped shortbread bites

adapted from loveandoliveoil
yield 3 dozen cookies

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
sprinkles of your choosing

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cream together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Incorporate in your egg and vanilla. Combine your flour until well incorporated. Roll out your dough in batches to about 1/4 inch thick and cut out using approximately a 2 inch cookie cutter (OR use a shot glass flipped upside down which is what I did)

Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can line these guys up super close as they don’t spread. Bake for 10 minutes or until he edges juustttt ever so slightly start to brown. Under cooking these a little bit is the trick. Let cool completely

Fill a medium pot halfway with water and let boil with a heat proof bowl over top (home made double boiler)! Throw in your chocolate chips and stir gently until completely melted. Turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting to keep the chocolate melted.

Take your completely cooled cookie and “dip” the cookie half way into the chocolate. The most aesthetic way to do this is actually with a spatula. Using a spatula – paint half the cookie with chocolate including the sides. Then, dip this in sprinkles and let cool again until completely hardened. If you dip it in the chocolate – they have a tendency to get a little chunky with chocolate and less pretty. It might take a few tries to get the hang but once you do it’s worth it!