Review and Recipe: Heartstopper Vol. 1

“You can’t tell whether people are gay by what they look like. And gay or straight aren’t the only two options.” 

Heartstopper was absolutely a Bookstagram made me do it book. And while I don’t typically read books that are this hyped on social media, this one was worth all of the hype it has received.

Nick and Charlie are adorable together, and I love their friendship and the story of finding your identity. This is such a sweet, heartwarming, wholesome story – and clean! Yay for clean YA books! 

But that ending was heart breaking. So much so that I cannot wait to read the next book.

Like chocolate and peanut butter, Charlie and Nick are so sweet together. Below I’m sharing a chocolate peanut butter cupcake brownie recipe that is perfect to snack on while you read Heartstopper!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake Brownies

Ingredients

3/4 cup cocoa

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 10-oz bag of peanut butter chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Stir together cocoa and vegetable oil in large bowl until smooth

Stir in sugar

Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt

Once mixed, stir in 1 cup of the peanut butter chips (reserve the rest for the topping)

Spoon batter into lined cupcake tines, filling about 3/4 full

Bake 15 to 19 minutes (mine took about 19 minutes)

Remove from the oven and immediately place fingers full of the reserved peanut butter chips into the center of each brownie, using a knife to swirl.

Video Background Music by https://www.soundotcom.com

Recipe: Monster Cake (from Tweet Cute)

Ah…month 6 of quarantine. I’ve made banana bread. I’ve sewn face masks for me and my whole family, I’ve (considered) cleaning the house. I’ve even started to catch up with my NetGalley list. 🙀

But, at this point in the quarantine I’ve been living in varying stages of pajamas and sweatpants. My jeans haven’t seen the light of day since last winter. And, so, the decision to make Monster Cake from Tweet Cute was made.

If you haven’t read Tweet Cute from Emma Lord, stop and go do that, because it’s seriously the cutest YA rom com I’ve read in a VERY long time.

That said, I want to quote the origins of Monster Cake for you:

“…a combination of Funfetti cake mixed with brownie batter, cookie dough, Oreos, Reese’s Cups, and Rolos. The result was so simultaneously hideous and delicious that my mom fashioned google eyes on it our of frosting, and thus, Monster Cake was born.”

Thankfully Emma Lord posted a recipe for this on her website: https://www.emmalordwriting.com/recipes/monster-cake. I followed her recipe *almost* to a “T.”

I used more Oreos than the original recipe calls for – because I felt like it! – and didn’t dance to Taylor Swift while making this (but I did have to dance around a very curious kitty).

So, without further ado…

Whatcha going to need:

1 box Funfetti cake mix

1 box brownie mix

8 Reese’s Cups, quartered

15 Oreos (Emma calls for 1 dozen, but I miscounted, and 13 felt like too unlucky a number)

8 Reese’s Cups, quartered

15 Oreos (Emma calls for 1 dozen, but I miscounted, and 13 felt like too unlucky a number)

16 Rolos

Edible cookie dough

Tub of Vanilla frosting

Steps:

1-Preheat your oven to 350.

2-Prep the funfetti and brownie mixes per the package directions in separate bowls.

3-Mix up the candies and pour half into the funfetti batter and the other half into the brownie batter. Mix it on up.

4-Grease the heck out of two (yes, 2!) 13”x9” cake pans. 

5-Put globs of the batters in the pans – making a tasty patchwork out of the brownie and cake batters.

6-Using a fork, swirl the two together – you still want them separate enough that they bake individually.

7-Put in oven for 20 minutes. Gaze longingly while you munch on the rest of the Oreos.

8-After 20 minutes, remove from the oven, and top with balls of the edible cookie dough. Put back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

9-Let cool for about an hour before you break out the icing and indiscriminately drizzle frosting all over the top of your Monster Cake.

10-Eat!