It’s January 1st, the new year. We are being inundated with “new year, new you” messages, planning our new year’s diets, figuring out our resolutions. Here at BE. magazine, we’re taking a healthier approach to resolutions. And I don’t mean homemade granola and kale smoothies.
Instead, we believe that a healthy mindset is the number-one key to getting you where you want to go—weight-wise, career-wise, relationship-wise. Check out our piece on small resolutions for some simple building blocks, or our contributed article, “New Year’s Life Resolution,” about making lifestyle changes that stick. Both will lead you to the same conclusions: small steps work, you must forgive yourself, and you need to find a balance that works for you.
Here at BE. we’re all about balance. Women cannot survive on pita bread alone. Everyone deserves to “treat yo-self” every once in a while and as long as you have a healthy relationship with food, a little dessert can go a long way to keeping up your morale.
Below is the recipe for my number one, crowd-pleasing, ingeniously easy chocolate peanut butter cake. The best part is, I give you permission to use boxed cake mix! Feel free to make it from scratch if you want to (scratch baking has a time and place) but don’t make the mistake of thinking boxed mixes are cheating—despite what Pinterest might imply, no one judges you for getting help from Betty and Duncan.
Chocolate Reese’s Cake
One boxed chocolate cake mix, and the ingredients to make it OR the recipe for your favorite homemade chocolate cake
4 two-cup sleeves of Reese’s peanut butter cups
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 can of chocolate frosting OR the recipe for your favorite homemade chocolate frosting (mine is below)
1. Mix the cake mix and bake the cake according to instructions. A two-layer cake is ideal for this recipe, for the ideal cake-to-frosting ratio.
2. While the cake is baking, unwrap the Reese’s cups and chop them roughly into eighths (or whatever size you prefer). Chopping the cups is easier if they are frozen or chilled.
3. Let the cake cool completely on a baking rack. Once cooled, frost the top of the first layer. Carefully stack the second layer on top, trying to get the sides as even as possible. Finish frosting the entire cake.
4. In the microwave (or stovetop if you prefer) melt the peanut butter. If using the microwave, stir at 20 second increments to keep the peanut butter smooth and make sure it doesn’t separate. The peanut butter is melted enough when it drips off the spoon.
5. Using a spoon or spatula, drizzle the melted peanut butter over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the chopped Reese’s cup pieces on the top of the cake and finish with a little extra drizzle of peanut butter.
6. Serve immediately, or store in an air-tight cake dome. Eat the cake, savor it, enjoy, and move on!
Homemade Chocolate Frosting (adapted from Wilton)
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3-4 tablespoons milk
1. In a mixing bowl, beat softened butter and vegetable shortening until creamy.
2. Add vanilla extract and cocoa powder. Beat on medium speed until incorporated.
3. Add confectioner’s sugar slowly, approximately one cup at a time, and mixing in between. You may not need the entire 4 cups—stop adding sugar when the mixture is stiff and looks dry.
4. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of milk and mix until light and fluffy. Add the rest of the milk if necessary.
5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a maximum of two weeks.