Monday, December 13, 2010

Candy Cane Chocolate Sheetcake

I know, I know. I was planning on making bark, and lots of it, sistuh. I'm armed with multiple bags of chips-white, mint, milk chocolate, semi-sweet, peanut butter, and butterscotch. Oh, I've got the nuts, too. (Don't even go there.) I'm talking about peanuts, almonds, cashews, pecans. I just don't happen to have any bark to show for all my bite. But I do have peppermint sheetcake. I called my niece to wish her a Happy 10th Birthday on Saturday. She's my little namesake, Prudy-leigh Jr. My sister had just put a Texas sheet-birthday cake in the oven. I can't hear the word Texas sheetcake without going into cold sweats and deep longing. I ditched the bark and started baking. Don't judge me too harshly; I actually needed a dessert to take to a church party that night. I made the Texas sheetcake and then I covered it with a CHOCOLATE frosting and crushed peppermints. It looked scrumptious. I sliced up about half of the cake and toted it off magnamimously to share with other church goin' folk. I planned to photograph the rest in the morning so I could share it with all of you, who are home in your pajamas presumably. I have this little trick with myself where I hide especially tempting food in the oven. It is such a clever, sly little trick. I forget that the sugar-devil is in there and I can stop munching. It works, it really does! I don't see it, so I go about my business, hmm, hmm, hmm, grading papers, hmm, hmm, hmm, folding laundry, hmm, hmm, hmmm, preheating the oven for dinner, hmm, hmm, HMMMM????? Sniff, sniff. Yep, I burnt my precious sheetcake. Out of sight, out of mind. I sent my sugar-devil straight to Hades, covered in warped Saran wrap. But don't worry. I'm making more tonight. I've got another party; who doesn't this time of year? I'm putting the cake in a baby front carrier and toting it around the kitchen this time. There's no way I'm going to let it out of my sight, even for a second. Of course it might be all gone by the time the party starts, but at least I know that someone will have enjoyed it. Namely me. Here comes the recipe. Turns out I had pictures of my last peppermint sheetcake with vanilla frosting. I'm not sure which one is better. I'll let you decide.
Candy Cane Chocolate Sheetcake
Estimated Cost: $5.00 for at least 16 servings
Money Saving Tips: Use already-broken candy canes or peppermints. By using some vegetable oil, the cake will stay moist the next day and cut the cost of using all butter. Make your own buttermilk substitute, by combining 1 teaspoon vinegar with 1/2 cup milk. Let stand for five minutes.
1/2 cup cocoa powder, such as Hershey's
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
For Vanilla Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
6 tablespoons cream or milk
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
about 3/4 cup smashed candy cane bits
Notes: For chocolate frosting, simply add 6 tablespoons cocoa powder and an extra tablespoon of cream when you melt the butter.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour large cookie sheet. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring cocoa powder, water, butter and oil to a boil, stirring just until well combined. Meanwhile, combine flour, sugar, soda and salt in large bowl. Pour boiling chocolate mixture over dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate small bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 18-20 minutes, or until center springs back at touch. While cake is baking, melt butter in medium saucepan. Add cream and mix until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for five minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar, adding more cream if needed to make a thick glaze. Pour over warm cake and smooth out with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with candy cane bits.
Up Next: Bark in a splendid variety


Mary Ann said...

Oh goodness gracious! Is there anything more delicious than the combination of chocolate and peppermint? I love it! It looks sooo good.

The Japanese Redneck said...

That's the fun part about cooking - you can make what you want to!

Looks very good.

gigi said...

Well, you just made my day!! It's fun to read that someone else has stashed somthing in the oven and forgotten and burned it! Hehe.

I made a White Texas sheet cake last night for a family party and it was good. It was the first time I had made it. Chocolate will still be my favorite though. I think I'll try this one for this coming weekend, I love peppermint.

Adrienne said...

Tee front carrier! Texas Sheet cake is the greatest. I remember one time in college our ward had a dessert social so I made what I thought was my grandma's special buttercream chocolate cake. I got there and holy smokes there were three other copy-cat cakes! That's when I found out I had been making texas sheet cake for years, and I wasn't as special as I thought. It was all downhill from there, baby.

Leslie said...

Prudy Leigh Junior loved the sheet cake for her birthday and I'm making another one for her big slumber party on Friday night.
I loved all the hmmm, hmmm, hmmm's in this post as you went about your chores. I've never stored anything in the oven because I KNOW I would forget all about it and smell it burning in the house.
Karen Arnold used the microwave instead, but nothing ever lasted because someone was always using the microwave.
I loved that you were going to carry your new cake in a baby carrier and take such good care of it and never let it out of your sight.
Pretty funny Prudy. And I can hardly believe Prudy Leigh Junior is 10 years old. All I know is I named her exactly the right name.

Jon and Kim said...

You are hee-larious! I love reading your posts and how your personality just screams from each word! It is awesome! my mom made the mint chip bark and it was the rave of the office. The men she works for asked if she could make it for them every week! :D So thanks for sharing. Also...I can't find those stupid mint chips! My Target doesn't have them. I will have to stalk them down somehow! And in lovingness of Catherine, I got an epiphany! You need to make white chocolate bark with crumpled up oreos in it. Who wouldn't L.O.V.E. that?!!!

Emily said...

It looks sooo good! I love mint chocolate.

Seth and Julie said...

I am glad to see that I am not the only one who laughed out loud about the baby front carrier. I wish I'd written that. So clever and funny! As for the cake, well that's pretty clever, too. We have now turned the beloved sheetcake into a Christmas dessert? Brilliant! I have one little girl who loves sheetcake and might come completely out of her skin with excitement if I threw candy canes on top. Maybe I will try it, and she will forget all about the puppy she keeps asking for? Maybe?

Tightwad Mom said...

That's hilarious!!!! I have burned a few out of sight out of mind desserts myself!

Lorie said...

I think I might actually prefer the white frosting, although I could never turn my nose up at chocolate. Sheet cake is delish, but I bet especially so with peppermint. I'm making peppermint ice cream tonight for a future dessert and I will have to hide it outside in the deep freeze or else I will eat it until I'm sick. Sweets are my weakness. Unfortunately.

Michal said...

okay, i just got back from the store, which i did with three kids (completely against all my personal rules) because i couldn't let another day go by without your bark-- and now i want sheetcake!:) looks divine.

i picked up some cinnamon candy canes and am trying to figure out how to work them into some spicy bark. also envisioning a rocky road bark with milk and semi sweet chocolate, then mini marshmallows and toasted nuts. thanks for all your inspiration.

by the way, i always stash my sugary sweets in the microwave, but jared puts our leftover pizza in the oven and i never know until i smell smoking box.

Catherine said...

I can't wait to try the candy cane chocolate sheet cake. We're having a family Christmas party on Sunday and now I know what I'm taking for dessert.

PS I talked to Annaliesey and heard all about her and Sailor's good news. Congratulations! When I read your comment on Leslie's blog today, I just knew that both girls would get good news. I'm so happy for both of them!

Rachel (Trailblazing My Life) said...

I just made this cake and I can't wait to eat it tonight!

Rachel (Trailblazing My Life) said...

This cake was a huge hit! Thanks for the recipe.