Virginia Sooter’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Frosting

September 23, 2008 | My Jottings

When I was little my mom made cakes. No bars, no tortes, no really fancy stuff.  Maybe she would make an occasional pie or some cookies, but cakes were her thing. I’m sure she must have made scratch cakes now and then, but mostly she swore by Duncan Hines cake mixes. No Pillsbury (too airy) or Betty Crocker (too spongy) for Mom. It was Duncan Hines or nothing. And since bigger was always better, Mom always made a double batch with two boxes of Duncan Hines, and used a giant, deep cake pan that could have doubled as a sled if Southern California had ever gotten any snow. I don’t ever remember her making a layer cake.

So while she always used cake mixes, Mom shunned any kind of ready-made frosting. She always whipped together her made-up version of Peanut Butter and Chocolate Frosting, and it went on yellow cake, spice cake, devil’s food cake, white cake and marble cake. She liked it because 1) it was extremely yummy, and 2) it didn’t require cooking in a saucepan like many frostings do. My brothers and I loved that Peanut Butter and Chocolate Frosting, and like any other kids, we wanted to lick the beaters and the bowl and the spoons after she had frosted the cake.

My mom died fifteen years ago, but I still make Virginia’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Frosting today. So do my grown daughters. I think it could be renamed Reese’s Frosting, but that would take away all the sentimentality, so when I share it with you here, I’ll keep calling it Virginia’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Frosting. If you make it and like it, feel free to pass on the recipe, but try your hardest to call it Virginia’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Frosting. Thank you. :)

1 stick soft butter
3/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy – whatever you like best)
1 teaspoon good vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
Milk

Cream the wet ingredients together well, then add the dry ingredients. Stir vigorously by hand with wooden spoon, or use hand mixer if you prefer.

Then slowly add milk, one tablespoon at a time, until the frosting is the consistency you want. These measurements can be approximate. Taste and savor and decide what you think it needs. If you want it more chocolatey, add a bit more cocoa powder. If you want more peanut butter, go ahead, try another dollop.  Sweeter? More sugar then.

The milk at the end, added a little at a time, can help control how smooth it is.  Sometimes I’ve added too much milk and it’s too thin. I just go back and add a bit more powdered sugar and/or cocoa until it’s just right.

This frosting doesn’t have the sheen that a cooked frosting does, but it’s quick and delicious and freezes beautifully in a lidded Tupperware container.

Sometimes I make a cake with a Bundt pan, and use Virginia’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Frosting for that, warmed slightly and then drizzled with a spoon decoratively over the cake.

I love and miss you Mom.

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