Winter just makes me wild. One minute I’m stepping on the scale, the next I’m setting the oven to 350 degrees and pulling out the baking arsenal. The 10 pounds I want to drop will never get lost that way. When it’s cold I want to bake. It heats the house, makes it smell so good and gives me a sense of accomplishment. (I guess if I really wanted a sense of accomplishment that didn’t have consequences, I could re-arrange my sock drawer.) But nonetheless, I live with a guy who enjoys sweets, so I can always use him for an excuse. Although the other morning I heard him exclaim, “Oh, no, the baking drawer’s open!”

Still, I can’t help myself, I look for any excuse to beat, whip, stir, fold and ... well, you get the picture. My latest baking excuse is to come up with a sweet snack for the Super Bowl. I’m already planning oven-baked ribs for halftime, but I just can’t stop there. I figure this peanut butter cake topped with a deep, dark chocolate ganache will be the perfect ending whether the game is satisfying or not. And even if you don’t care for football, a terrific tasting snack in the middle of the day may be just the thing to fight the winter blahs.

This is from my latest favorite blog, Everything about this recipe appeals to me. It’s as if a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup was a cake — only better — a dense peanut cake topped with a heavenly chocolate ganache. The problem is that it’s just so darn easy to make, and you don’t even need a mixer — just a bowl and a whisk. Plus, it makes the best afternoon snack or bedtime treat with a glass of milk and is even terrific for breakfast with coffee. I fear I’m never going to lose that 10 pounds.

Peanut Butter Snack Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Recipe from and Eat 2 Gather

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup boiling water

1 large egg

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-9 baking pan lightly with cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, blend the butter, peanut butter and boiling water until it is completely combined and smooth. (The butter will melt and the mixture will be thin.) Beat in the egg, sour cream and vanilla. Add the flour, sugar and baking soda and mix until well combined, do not over-mix.

Spread into the pan and bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before frosting with chocolate ganache.

Chocolate ganache frosting

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 heaping cup dark chocolate chips

Heat the cream in a saucepan just until it comes to a boil. Take the pan off the heat and add the chocolate. Let it sit for a few minutes, then gently stir until all the chocolate has melted and it is smooth and glossy.

Let the ganache cool a little so it thickens slightly, stir every few minutes until thickened, then pour over the cake. Refrigerate the cake until the ganache has set. Store cake in refrigerator. Serves 12.

Per serving: 358 calories; 23 g fat (12 g saturated fat; 58 percent calories from fat); 36 g carbohydrates; 26 g sugar; 55 mg cholesterol; 116 mg sodium; 5 g protein; 2 g fiber.

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