I would say that the classic flavors of peanut butter and chocolate have been buddies for a long time. These little cakes bring those flavors together to form a cake version of the Reese cup. Measuring only 1 1/2 inches in diameter, they have 2 layers of vanilla cake and a peanut filling. Then they are dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with coarse salt.
The unusual ingredient in the cakes is bread crumbs. If you did not know it was bread crumbs, you would say there was ground peanuts in cake layers. The bread crumbs in the cake, when layered with a peanut filling actually mimics a nutty texture and taste.
This recipe on makes 1 dozen. After I tasted them, however, I regretted that there was so few! Now on to the recipe:
Little Buddy Cakes
1/4 cup vanilla pudding mix
1/4 plus 2 tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp butter
8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tbs plus 2 tsp shortening
coarse salt for sprinkling
To make cake, grease an 8X8 inch pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Cream together the butter and sugar in a small bowl. Add the vanilla pudding mix and beat until evenly distributed. Then beat in the eggs and the vanilla extract. Lastly, fold in the bread crumbs until no dry streaks remain.
Spread batter into pan and smooth out evenly with damp hands or a knife. Bake for 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.
While cake is cooling, the filling can be made. Put the peanut butter and butter in a microwave bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir in the confectioners sugar. If it seems too thin, add more tablespoons of sugar until preferred consistency is met. Set aside.
Invert cake onto smooth surface rack and remove the parchment paper. Using a 1 1/2 inch cutter, cut out 24 circles, or cut into 24 even squares. Smooth the peanut filling on 12 of the cut outs and then stack each of the cut outs on top, like a sandwich cookie. Taking a knife, smooth the sides of the filled cake. The filling should be flush with the cake.
For the chocolate coating, set up a double boiler and let water come to a simmer. Then fill the top section with the chocolate and shortening. Lay a sheet of wax paper over a baking sheet and place it close by the boiler on a flat surface. Once the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, it is time to dip your cakes. Using a spoon, dip each cake into the chocolate. Roll around to make sure all sides are coated and no cake shows through. Spoon it out of the chocolate and let the excess drip off. Then place each cake right side up onto wax paper.
Let all cakes rest on pan at room temperature for 15 minutes. Then sprinkle the tops with coarse salt and place baking sheet in the refrigerator until the chocolate has set. After that, they are ready to serve!
**LAST YEAR: Tahiti Blondies**