Little miracles

It shouldn’t have worked.

Even I– a reckless, impatient, and often clueless wannabe baker– know that sponge cakes can be tempermental. And angel food cake– especially angel food cake made from a boxed mix–probably shouldn’t be altered, toyed with, or baked in an 8×8 pan (and, some might argue, should not be made at all).

But today, I wanted to bake. And Dmitri wanted something “lighter” to “snack on.” So I proposed a compromise: I’d make him a dozen plain angel food cupcakes so that he could top them with berries — which, obviously, sounded pretty good (albeit a litte boring)–and I could do whatever I wished with the other half of the mix.

I could add half of a cup (or more!) of chopped dark chocolate, for instance.

Or two tablespoons of powdered peanut butter. Yep, trust me– PB2 is where it’s at.

And I could frost my much better treats with chocolate peanut butter whipped cream frosting.

If, you know, I wanted to.

And did I ever want to. Here’s why:

1) I think Lily’s finally teething. Guess how much sleep I got last night?

2) We ate all of the ice cream yesterday– just to get it out of the house. Again.

But it really, really shouldn’t have worked.

I knew it, I felt it, and I accepted it as I was sprinkling dehydrated peanut butter (really, it’s my new favorite thing!) and chopped bittersweet chocolate (because I’m pretty sure regular chips would have been too heavy)  into the frothy cake batter. And when I poured the whole mess into my trusty brownie pan, I said a little prayer.

So you can imagine my surprise when, twenty five long minutes later, I pulled a beautiful chocolate peanut butter angel food cake out of the oven. And I’m positive that you understand the total delight I experienced when, one additional long minute later, I tore into a giant hunk of cake (which I’d  sloppily “frosted” with a mixture of  cooled, melted dark chocolate, Cool Whip, and– yep– more peanut butter powder).

Nothing fancy here. This probably isn’t a dessert you’d bake for guests. In fact, I’m a little embarassed that my recipe isn’t really a recipe; I just blended Betty Crocker cake mix and one and a quarter cups water and threw in a few extras without precisely measuring anything. The end result has been torn apart by a tired, hungry beast doesn’t even warrant a picture, which is why I’ve included a lovely stock photo of PB2 (which isn’t, in fact, exactly like regular peanut butter, but I am totally obsessed with it, regardless).

Still, I had to share it. Because it worked. And because– if you’re someone who needs an excuse to eat chocolate and peanut butter– it’s an excellent cure for both sleeplesness induced by a (possibly) teething baby and that certain sadness specific to ice cream-less houses.

But who really needs an excuse, anyway?

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