Beating Deadlines with Peanut Butter and Chocolate

I just spent the past hour looking at an incredibly thorough 56-picture slideshow of Reese Witherspoon’s sartorial history.

Before that, I indulged myself by reading the New York Times Magazine and its riveting Ellen Barkin profile for a half hour, and before that I helped Garrett make a ridiculously creamy mac and cheese gratin. After leisurely clicking through the Reese Witherspoon slideshow, I researched potential citrus tree and blueberry bush candidates for the backyard.

molten chocolate peanut butter cake
At no point this afternoon did I ever consider sitting down to write this post on single-serving chocolate peanut butter cakes—a recipe I made more than a month ago in lieu of fixing a busted sink stopper, (finally) taking the heaviest winter coats and boots to the attic armoire for their seasonal nap, and putting a looming writing deadline to bed.

But chocolate and peanut butter are a more freakishly perfect match than Brad and Angelina, a more powerful combination than The Smith Family and a sweeter duo than Russell Brand and Katy Perry (what? I’m really rooting for those two crazy kids to make it work).

And so the procrastination cakes belatedly take center stage.

True to their name, you can get quite a lot of procrastination mileage out of these dense little cakes with gooey peanut butter centers. With the preparation requiring a few different bowls and batters, it’s easy to kill a half hour beating and baking the little devils, then another fifteen minutes cleaning up your mess—then another hour napping away the sugar coma induced by the intense treats.

Yet the recipe requires so few ingredients and comes together so easily, there’s really no excuse not to toss these off in an afternoon and still finish all your projects by deadline. And just one cake will totally make you more creative and mellow—or fend off the wooziness of pesky low blood sugar, at the very least.

Based on the molten chocolate cake brought richly to the public consciousness by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and updated with a tip by Food & Wine‘s Grace Parisi on sneaking that blob of peanut butter into the middle, the recipe’s frankly nothing less than an instant classic.

And it’s much less expensive and time-inducing than replicating Reese Witherspoon’s entire wardrobe for your own closet.

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  1. Gburg says

    While you are ptting away your heavy winter coats, I am trying to get rid of my heavy winter weight. No PB cakes for me. Although they look so damn good and I know I would eat about a dozen of them.

    • Casey BarberCasey Barber says

      Sarah, I made and photographed the cakes a month ago – no one got to sample them last night! (You gotta just hang out here forever, waiting for the random results of procrastination cooking.)

  2. says

    I read that Ellen Barkin profile. Loved the line about being great mates with her first ex — and keeping every piece of jewelry he ever gave her — unlike the second. Talk about having the last word.

  3. Melanie Haiken says

    My daughter is a Reese’s fanatic; I even got her Reese’s peanut butter eggs for Easter. She’ll love these!

  4. NoPotCoooking says

    These look really, really, really good. I am not the least bit interested Reese Witherspoon though so no distraction there.

  5. says

    This sounds amazing! I am going to put the ingredients on my grocery list. I’m allergic to peanuts so I’m thinking of putting a blog of raspberry jam or something in there instead…

  6. Merr says

    Before I even finished your story I had to bookmark the recipe. those cakes look amazing! I really enjoy your blog for the stories and the food!

  7. says

    Amazing looking! And they probably taste even better than they sounds. Can you come over and cook for me? Please?

  8. says

    These look delicious. I can almost smell them through the computer screen. There’s going to be some serious chocolate procrastination at my house today.

  9. Jane Boursaw says

    There’s a lot to be said for that unsung hero procrastination, especially when it involves something as heavenly as your chocolate morsels.

  10. Marcee says

    Wow …. easy-peasy recipe! The results are amazing + great quality lil cakes. Perfect for a kid party. I will double this up to make extra.

    Reese sure has changed. For the better no doubt. Older and wiser. Her kids are gorgeous …. !

    Seen all of her movies …. beginning when she was like 13-14 or maybe even younger. “Fear” is definitely scary. Not going to watch that again. Yeek. I cannot imagine that ever happening to/in my family. I wouldn’t permit it. Ha.

    Thanks for the yummi recipe!