Bourbon Pecan Peanut Butter Chocolate Coffee Cake

In April we moved two hours south of where we had been living.  I was still expecting to have some sort of winter but here we are, the fifteenth of January, and so far it is much more like the end of winter than the beginning.  Today has been cold and dreary.  The sort of day that calls for a warm dessert coming out of the oven as the kids get off the bus.  The sort of day for coffee cake.  What I like about this cake is that it is not too sweet but it is full of flavor.  In the summer we had some friends visiting from Virginia.  They brought us a fabulous gift basket filled with all sorts of Virginia food finds.  One of the treasures was this little jar of Reginald’s Homemade Lite Crunch All Natural Bourbon Pecan Peanut Butter. After that long title I can tell you…it is really good peanut butter.  We hadn’t used it yet and today seemed like the perfect day.

This recipe is really easy to make and produces a great cake.  Start by turning your oven to 350 f. Butter and flour a baking dish.  The original recipe calls for an 8-inch square pan but I had a rectangular pan nearby and it worked just as well.

In a small saucepan melt 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate and 1/4 cup of peanut butter.  Stir this until it is smooth.  Remove from the heat and let sit while you make the cake.

In a mixing bowl  combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup light brown sugar, 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1 stick of unsalted butter.  Mix this together until a crumb like texture begins to form.  At that point take 3/4 cups of the mixture and set it aside.  Keep the rest in the mixing bowl and add 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.  Mix on medium speed for about two minutes until smooth.

Spread half of this mixture in your baking dish.  Then drizzle in half of the chocolate mixture.  Using a knife swirl this around.  Add the remaining batter to the top and top with the remaining chocolate.  This time keep the chocolate smooth and in one layer.  Take your crumb mixture and press it into the top of the cake.  Cook for 50-70 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

To make it super yummy I added a dollop of gooseberry jam to the top of each piece.  I think you’ll find that gooseberry jam is not very sweet, so it goes nicely with the cake as it is also not overly sweet.  A glass of milk is a must! If you love PB&J this is the perfect way to have it in dessert form.  Since it is coffee cake, does that mean we can eat it for breakfast tomorrow too?!

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