By Annie Meenan
This year, SHIFT SF decided to break our Halloween tradition of carving pumpkins to celebrate with a good ol’ fashioned bake-off. Why? Well, because what better way to celebrate the holiday than with an overload of baked goods chased down with some spiked cider and pumpkin ale.
Our “Fall Festivus” kicked off right in time for happy hour and the troops eagerly marched into our transformed conference room to find a table filled with baked goods. From homemade pumpkin cookies and muffins to Kahlua-infused cupcakes, there was no shortage of sugary treats. Hungry SHIFTers piled up plates full of every sweet imaginable to ensure they got a taste of everything. Soon, it was time to cast our ballots for the best dessert.
It was a tough competition, but in the end there could only be one winner. The dancing skeleton trophy prize ultimately went to SHIFT newbie and all-star intern, Michelle “Mich” Wells. Her “Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Balls of Glory” won by a landslide. Lucky for you, Mich was willing to share her secret recipe, so you can try it for yourself! Check it out below.
- 1 package dark chocolate cake mix
- ¼ cup special dark powdered cocoa
- ~ 1 cup peanut butter (Peanut Butter & Co’s White Chocolate Wonderful – peanut butter mixed with sweet white chocolate – recommended)
- 1 1/3 cups of water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 3 ½ tablespoons of butter
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 – 1½ cups peanut butter chips
- 1 container (16 ounces) of chocolate frosting
- 1 package chocolate bark coating mix
- Sea salt
- 9” x 13” nonstick baking pan
- Cookie sheet
- Wax paper
How to Make the Magic Happen
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Coat the baking pan in canola oil spray just to ensure none of the cake was left behind.
Mix together the dry cake mix along with the cocoa powder. Then, stir in water, eggs, vegetable oil and butter. Spread that goodness in the baking pan, put it in the oven for 35 minutes and let cool to room temperature. (Tip: if you stick a toothpick in the middle of the cake, and no residue is on it when you pull it out, it is ready!)
Once it’s cool, crumble the cake into large mixing bowl. Stir in your frosting, peanut butter and peanut butter chips by hand. Put some sea salt in at this stage to taste – keep in mind you will be sprinkling more on top at the end of the process. Then, shape the batter into one inch balls. Place each ball on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate overnight or freeze them until firm.
Next, melt the chocolate bark coating pieces according to package instructions. Dip the cake balls into the melted chocolate and let them set on the cookie sheet (make sure your cake balls are firm – if they aren’t, they are going to fall apart in the melted chocolate resulting in less cake, which would be a major travesty). While the chocolate coating is drying, sprinkle sea salt on top of the cake balls so it dries into the coating. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!
Remember, you can make this treat with any cake recipe, and change it up with white or dark chocolate coating, sprinkles, drizzled chocolate on top, etc.