Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Peanut Butter! Pretzel! Chocolate! Cookie Cake & December Birthdays

Peanut Butter! Pretzel! Cookie Cake
Optional: Chocolate! Peanut Butter! Pretzel! Cookie Cake

1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
¾ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 stick (half cup) softened unsalted butter
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
½ tsp arak (or vanilla, or additional almond)
1 cup crushed pretzels
Optional half bag of chocolate chips

Cream sugars and butter.  Add in egg and extracts. Blend in peanut butter.
Now mix in dry ingredients.
Lastly add pretzels and the optional chocolate chips. (Honestly, the pretzels could be optional if you just wanted the chocolate and peanut butter, it’s your preference. I personally like both!)
Spread on a greased baking sheet — use a rolling pin to make sure there is an even thickness throughout. I also used greased parchment paper to make transferring the cake as easy as possible, but this is optional.
Bake at 350 for 14 minutes, edge should be golden brown and it can pass the toothpick test (ie nothing sticks to a toothpick that pricks the center).
Trim with Peanut-Butter-Cream Icing (recipe below) and enjoy! And maybe some glitter sprinkles ;) 

Peanut-Butter-Cream Icing
Peanut Butter + Buttercream FTW

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened  
1 ½  cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt 
½ tbs almond
½ tbs arak
2 T peanut butter
1 T brown sugar

Combine the above ingredients. This will make enough icing for tradition cookie cake trimming. If you use the recipe for cupcakes or to cover a layer cake, I would recommend doubling it.

How is this recipe different from the cookie version?
I usually only use brown sugar for the cookies. Brown sugar will add moisture when baking, so I decided to get that cookie cake texture to change the recipe to ¾ cup light brown sugar and ¼ cup sugar. I also added a little more flavoring — cakes tend to have more.  
And, of course, icing.

Some love to December Birthdays ... 
A short apology. 

With Julie a couple of weeks ago. 

I made the birthday cake above for my wonderful sister Julie.  She doesn't love chocolate, so I always set aside some cookies minus the suggested chocolate chip cookies for her.  Of these cookies, my chocolate, peanut butter, pretzel cookies, sans chocolate, are her favorite — she requested this as a cookie cake for her December birthday back in August. And, I was more than happy to oblige. But on the topic of December birthdays, I have a few thoughts.  

Dear December Birthdays,

I am sorry you tend to get the short end of the stick. December is a time of transition, finals, unpredictable weather and holiday preparedness. Which tends to means you guys get to take finals, spend money on other people and get combo birthday/Christmas gifts, or Christmas gifts for your birthday, and people are too busy.  We appreciate you December birthdays. You make us feel special twice a year, at least, when you often get passed over or that combo gift of lotion (maybe even a Christmas scented candle) once a year. I for one am going to make a promise to you December birthdays.  Those who would like to join me, please hold up you're right hand and repeat after me: 

I [state your name] promise to buy you, the December Birthday haver, two gifts — even if your birthday is December 25.  Your gift will be in your favorite colors and scents — green and red or fir and peppermint are only acceptable if those are said favorites. Lastly, you deserve a birthday cake, not fruit cake or gingerbread men. 


Happy birthday to the best person I know :) 

Hope you had a good one Julie :) 


  1. This cake looks & sounds amazing! And thank you for your pledge. You are right on with the finals, spending bday gift cards on other people's Christmas gifts and everyone being too busy. I am not only a December birthday haver but also have a sister with a birthday 6 days before mine!! So I always make sure to treat December birthday havers extra special this time of year.

    1. Thank you!! And, Happy Birthday Month to you and your sister! I hope you get some good, none holiday shaped/scented gifts :)


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