My roommate/bestie boo Rachel turned 21 yesterday.
21 years old… does that not blow your mind? Probably not.
Blows mine though. enfxvilkdnmclkamafcksdo;lscbnz cxjkmsa cx old.
Obviously, I made her a big ol’ birthday cake. Obviously, said cake needed to be ridiculous, super sweet and over the toppish… like she is.
And it needed bacon, cause that’s what she wanted and she’s the birfday girl, and she get’s what she wants. Obviously.
With it being Rach’s B-day and all, I wasn’t about to hold the lady from her cake any longer than necessary= messy, demolished cake pictures. It’s fine.
In recognition of her 21 years of slamming this world with rambunctious energy, I present you with 21 reasons I adore this girl. Oh, it is love…
1.) She makes me laugh. Like constantly. Then, laughs at me for laughing when I’m alone… making me laugh harder. Point is, there’s a lot of laughter.
2.) She’s a ging. I would give anything to have her luscious flaming hair.
3.) She helps me with my math and science homework. Thanks, Mom.
4.) She belly dances. Forreal. And when she shakes it, those hips don’t lie. Ow owww.
5.) Sometimes she wears this moo-moo… You have to be pretty dagum cool to rock a moo-moo.
6.) She shares my devout appreciation for bacon and not wearing pants.
7.) She always tells me that whatever I’m cooking smells delicious. Like even if I just open a can… apparently, it smells delicious.
8.) She ‘s never without extra rolls of toilet paper. I like that in a woman.
9.) She is incredibly blunt. Get used to it.
10.) She’s probably ranked within Georgia’s Top 10 people to jam in the car with. No big deal.
11.) She has an inherent gift for finding the absolute best items listed on Craigslist.
12.) She’s always a good sport about tasting whatever I pop out the oven.
13.) She helps to expand my horizons through activities such as strip aerobics.
14.) She’s generally up for adventure. As in let’s take a spontaneous 8-hour road-trip today type of adventure. Too fun.
15.) She’s an all-around ballin roommate. Never have to go hunting the girl down for her cable/internet moneys.
16.) She doesn’t complain when I take up 70% of our fridge space with cake and stuff.
17.) She puts her own hand down the garbage disposal whenever I drop junk in it. That’s a true friend. Heaven knows, I’m deathly afraid of the garbage disposal.
18.) She has a certain aptitude for making magic with a blender.
19.) She spits out awesome catchphrases on the reg.
20.) It’s a serious challenge to make her feel uncomfortable and/or awkward.
21.) Uh… Rachel is just a rather amazing person. Smart, fun, gorgeous, ridiculous… yeah, she’s a keeper in the BFF arsenal. For sure.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RACHEL!!!!!! OMG YOU’RE OLD.
For the peanut butter cake layers
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups sifted cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans and line each with a disc of waxed paper .
Cream peanut butter and butter; gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake on the middle shelf for 30-35 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge of each cake and remove from pans; let cool completely on a wire rack.
For the white chocolate cake layers
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 8 ounces white chocolate, melted
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter at low speed until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla. At low speed, alternately beat in the dry ingredients and the milk in 2 additions. Add the melted white chocolate and beat just until incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pans and smooth the surfaces.
Bake the cakes in the center of the oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
For the bacon caramel frosting
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more as necessary
- 1/2tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 1 (16-ounce) box confectioners’ sugar
- 8 slices bacon– fried crisp, drained, and crumbled
Melt butter in small saucepan. Add brown sugar and 1/3 cup cream. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and bourbon. Transfer to a large bowl.
Using a handheld electric mixer, beat in confectioners’ sugar a little at a time until smooth. If frosting is too thick, add 1 tablespoon cream at a time until consistency is right.
For the ultimate chocolate frosting
- 16 ounces milk chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 cup powdered sugar
Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium high until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy. Allow to cool (place in fridge to speed chilling). Beat in the cream cheese, cocoa powder and powdered sugar.
For the garnish
Peanut Butter Crunch Buckeyes
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup finely crushed Cap’n Crunch’s Peanut Butter Crunch Cereal (food processor is handy here)
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 9 ounces semi sweet chocolate
- 2 tbsp vegetable shortening
Place the peanut butter, unsalted butter, and salt in a microwaveable bowl, and heat in the microwave for about one minute or until just soft (check and stir the ingredients every 20 seconds). Blend in the vanilla extract, crushed cereal and confectioners sugar Mix until it has the consistency of a dough (add more sugar if necessary).
Roll the dough into 1 inch round balls. Stick a toothpick into the center of each and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for about one hour, or until firm.
Melt the chocolate and shortening in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Dip the balls, one at a time, in the melted chocolate, making sure the entire ball is coated with chocolate except a small circle around the toothpick. Remove the peanut butter ball from the melted chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Place the chocolate covered balls back on the baking sheet. When all the balls have been dipped in the chocolate, place in the refrigerator until the chocolate has set, remove toothpicks.
- 1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
In a medium-sized, heavy saucepan combine the brown sugar, water, butter, and corn syrup. Have the baking soda and vanilla extract ready. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil and then cover the pan with a lid for about one minute to allow the sides of the pan to wash themselves down and dissolve any sugar crystals. Remove lid after one minute. Then clamp a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan, and cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 285 degrees F (140 degrees C) (soft-crack stage) on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat as the temperature will continue to rise to 290 degrees F ). Add the baking soda and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
Immediately pour this mixture evenly on a greased baking sheet.
Cool completely and then cut into desired shapes using a sharp knife.
Chocolate & Peanut Butter Bark
- 12 ounces dark or milk chocolate
- 1 tbsp butter or shortening
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Line a cookie sheet with tin foil, spray with non stick spray and set aside.
Melt the shortening and butter in a heavy bottom saucepan, stirring frequently. Pour the melted chocolate onto the cookie sheet and swirl in the peanut butter with a fork.
Place in freezer until hard. Then, break into pieces.
Chocolate Covered Bacon
- 6 slices bacon, fried crisp and drained
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1 ounce white chocolate
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper, set aside.
Melt the semisweet chocolate over low heat. Dip each strip bacon into the chocolate to coat and allow excess to drip off.
Place the bacon onto the cookie sheet and allow chocolate to harden. Melt the white chocolate and drizzle over the bacon strips in a zig-zag pattern. Place in freezer to harden completely.
Place the first peanut butter cake layer on a serving plate. Spread a thin layer of the ultra chocolate frosting to the edges. Evenly spread 1/3 of the bacon caramel frosting to the edges. Carefully place a layer of white chocolate cake on top. Repeat frosting pattern, then top with the remaining peanut butter cake. Repeat, using the last of the bacon caramel frosting and place the final layer of white chocolate cake on top.
Frost the entire cake in the remaining ultra chocolate frosting. Garnish sides and top with broken pieces of toffee, chocolate & peanut butter bark and chocolate covered bacon as desired. Form a ring around the base of the cake with the peanut butter crunch buckeyes.