Apparently Vancouver has somehow sucked away all my baking enthusiasm! I think it's because I had to leave my beloved baking cupboard contents back in England (my sister was the grateful recipient of all of that!) and so I no longer have an awesome baking cupboard brimming with ingredients and that makes me sad. I'm also mourning the loss of my KitchenAid...again that was my sister's gain! and I'm mourning the fact that ingredients are SO expensive here!
Hopefully though things are about to change around here...because tomorrow we're taking our first trip across the border to that favourite place of mine, the good old United States of America! and I could not be more excited! Firstly, because Canada doesn't get any of the speciality candy/baking ingredients I was expecting them to have and Secondly because KitchenAid hand blenders are waaay cheaper in the States and so I'm hoping one of them will work its way into my possession! and hopefully a day spent in my favourite place stocking up on goodies will bring back my baking mojo!
So until then I was way too lazy and sad this month to make anything that required more than a bowl and a fridge, but I did manage to spice up regular Rocky Road with not one peanut butter ingredient but four different peanut butter ingredients! (because we all know I can't do anything by half!)
Introducing...Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Reese's Mini Sticks, Micro Mini Peanut Butter Cups and Reese's Peanut Butter Chips!
I was worried that it could just be a bit of a peanut butter overload! but as we all know North Americans love their peanut butter and I was actually making them for some firemen who we were going to visit with my local church group so I thought if anyone can handle a peanut butter overload it would be some big burly firefighters!
and actually we managed to sample a few at the end of the night and the marshmallows and rice krispies interacted with all that peanut butter-y goodness perfectly!
Reese's Peanut Butter Rocky Road:
Adapted from Cupcake Crazy Gem
450g milk chocolate for eating (so use your favourite brand)
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup rice krispies
150g chopped in half marshmallows
125g chopped up Reese's Mini Sticks
125g chopped up Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
40g micro mini Peanut Butter Cups
1/2 cup Reese's peanut butter chips
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof glass bowl, set above a pan of boiling water.
Stir in the vegetable oil.
Chop the marshmallows, Reese's mini sticks and Reese's peanut butter cups into bite size pieces.
Once the chocolate has cooled, add those into the bowl along with the rice krispies and micro mini Peanut Butter Cups. (I reserved back a handful of each ingredient to press into the surface of the Rocky Road to make it look pretty).
Pour the mixture into your prepared tin. If you want press extra ingredients into the surface of the chocolate.
Melt the Reese's peanut butter chips in the microwave, spoon them into a piping bag and drizzle diagonally both ways across the Rocky Road.
Put in the fridge for an hour until firm.
Eat and enjoy!
Now it's time for my favourite part, let's see what you have all been baking this month with American inspired ingredients!
Stuart from Cakey Boi kicked us off with this awesome Halloween Bark! Not only is bark super American but to his melted chocolate he added pretzels, Oreos and Candy Corn! I'm not sure it gets more Yanky than that! I would have loved to have tried some myself, and I was won over by the super cute packaging too which was inspired by another American great - Martha herself!
Next up was Ros from the More than Occasional Baker who continued down the Halloween path with these delicious sounding Pumpkin Choc Chip Bars. Not only did she use pumpkin puree, but her puree was actually brought over from the States in her suitcase from a previous trip there - dents and all, now that's dedication! She said that her kitchen smelt amazing whilst she baked it too, I'm not surprised - so if anyone wants a little more of that 'fall' feeling in their house maybe they should whip up a batch too!
Laura of How To Cook Good Food must have been picking up on those same pumpkin themed vibes as Ros and she baked up this Spiced Pumpkin, Rum & Choc Chip Loaf, due to a squash explosion at her allotment! now that sounds like the kind of explosion I'd like to be a part of!
Breaking away from the pumpkin theme, Kim of Cakes from Kim baked up these beasts using one of my all time favourite flavour combos - chocolate and mint! and not only that but she threw in some super special Mint M&M's (which I also happen to love) to create these Mint Chocolate Whoopie Pies. Speciality M&M's, Marshmallow Fluff, Whoopies - this bake couldn't be more American if it tried! Kim - you're lucky I'm no longer living in North Wales, I'm pretty sure I would have hunted down your house to try some of these!
Finally, Caroline from Caroline Makes baked up these Nanaimo Bars, which are very dear to my heart right now being a pretty famous Canadian bake! I have yet to try one here in the city because I'm saving myself for when I get to visit Vancouver Island to check out the town of Nanaimo itself and I plan to do the Nanaimo Bar trail! Until then I am left looking longingly at Caroline's delicious bars! and don't worry my geography skills haven't eluded me...although this is a Canadian treat Caroline made it using graham cracker crumbs which she bought at Wal Mart all the way over in Colorado! Man these jet setting Stateside blogging friends of mine are so lucky!
and not content with just whipping up one American bake, Caroline squeezed in this Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake too just before the deadline...and I decided why not allow multiple entries? As far as I'm concerned the more American inspired goodies the better! I love the swirly patterns and can just imagine how amazing it must have tasted! I have developed a huge love for all things pumpkin since crossing over the pond!
I cannot wait to see what everyone gets around to making next month! and am especially getting excited that we can now start counting down to festive fun and festive bakes!
Until next month, Happy Baking!