Cooking with Crash

Life with a house full of teenagers is never dull – especially when it comes to food.

Now I figure that it’s my job as a mom to teach my kids the life skills needed to make it on their own in this big world.

And since everyone needs to eat to survive – it stands to reason that cooking needs to be taught – even to my sons.

That’s when things start to get interesting.

Pedro (aka: Crash – so nicknamed because of his infamous tractor in the ditch incident) had some real doozies lately.

The kids are responsible to make their own breakfasts on school mornings. They actually enjoy the freedom to make what they want.

Panckae
Crash was really hungry one morning and decided to make a really large pancake. He used 3 cups of pancake mix -  enough to make 21 pancakes!

That was one BIG pancake! He did eat it all ( with the help of his siblings). But boy did that thing soak up the syrup!

Then there’s the barbecue.

I have 5 kids – so each one gets a night to make supper. They get to help plan the menu for the evening, do the cooking, and then are excused from dishes.

Crash cooks on Friday night. He wanted to make grilled hamburgers.

SupperHe got distracted.

We ate it anyway – but his siblings gave him a bit of grief.

Dagmar -” Love the char you got on these burgers Crash!”

Crash- “Thank you – I worked all day on it!”

Dagmar- ” More like about 5 minutes too long!”

Like I said before – life is never dull with teenagers in the house!

Peanut Butter Devil’s Food Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Cupcakes I love church potlucks!

I love the massive variety of food from some wonderful cooks, the sweet time to fellowship with good friends, and – of course -  the chance to try out new recipes on unsuspecting eaters! :)

At our last church potluck, Dagmar decided to try out a recipe from her new Taste of Home Cookbook.

Her friend Grace was here the afternoon she baked – and between the giggles and picture taking  – I’m amazed they accomplished anything! :)

The highlight of making these tasty little treats was piping the peanut butter filling into the cupcakes. Since they had extra filling – they used it to pipe designs on the top instead of using the crushed peanuts the recipe called for.

When they still had filling to use – they piped it on their hands in different designs and licked it off! :)

The cupcakes were delicious, my kitchen evidently got clean, the girls weren’t a bit hungry for supper – but fun was had by all!

Peanut Butter Devil’s Food Cake
(From the Taste of Home Cookbook)

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 -1/2 cup  sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/4 cake flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee

Filling

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/4 cup powdered sugar

Ganache

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and coffee, just until combined.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups half full. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes in muffin tins, then remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

For filling, in a small bowl, beat peanut butter and butter until fluffy. gradually add powdered sugar, beat until smooth. Cut a small hole in a pastry bag or ziplock bag and insert a small tip. Add filling. Push the tip through the bottom of paper liner to fill each cupcake.

For the ganache, in a heavy sauce pan, melt the chocolate with the cream over low heat; stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Place a heaping tablespoon of ganache on the top of each cupcake and spread to the edges. Sprinkle with peanuts (or decorate with left-over filling!)

Chill for 20 minutes or until set. Refrigerate left-overs.

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up with Tuesday’s at the Table at All the Small Stuff, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace, and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Cookies

chocolate mint cookiesIt’s time to start thinking about 4 H projects.

I know, I know – we should be working on them all year – but that just doesn’t happen.  Our best time for projects is that magic time in mid-May as school is winding down and before summer winds up.

This year Buddy joins the fun for the first time – which means that I get to teach the basics again.

I started where I did with all the other children – with Baking 101 – Cookies.

He choose these yummy chocolate mint brownie cookies to try first.  He learned how to cream, how to mix the dry ingredients, how to scoop the cookies so they are the same size and how to tell when they are done.

His hardest lesson was to figure out how to keep his sisters and his mama away from the cookie dough because it is just as good as the finished cookies!

Chocolate Mint Brownie Cookies

2/3 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups mint chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the water and vanilla, mixing well.

Beat in the 2 eggs.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda.  Gradually add to the creamed mixture until just blended.

Stir in the mint chocolate chips and nuts (if desired).

Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Do not over bake! Cool 2 minutes before removing from the cookie sheets. Cool on wire racks – if you can wait that long! :)

These are also wonderful with semi-sweet chocolate chips, or even dark chocolate. I haven’t tried them yet with the chocolate raspberry chips – but I’m sure they would be heavenly!

Enjoy!

I’ve linked this post up with Tasty Tuesday and Tempt my Tummy Tuesday.