Friday, June 18, 2010


I noticed my readership escalates when I make desserts. To be perfectly honest, the holiday season of '09 wiped me out, baking-wise. Anyhow, I decided it was a great time to put my mixer back to work. These brownies can be a bit of work since they are layered, but I assure you, they are well worth the effort. My son, who is four, told me, "Mommy, I like you ALOT," when I let him sample a brownie. I brought them to the salon while I got my hair highlighted and the owner told me (jokingly), "I HATE YOU!" because I was breaking her diet. If you want to save sometime, the brownie bottom can be made the night before and the frosting and toppping can be added the following morning. It does take at least an hour for the frosting and topping to set, so bare that in mind. Enjoy!
Ingredients for the Brownies
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips( I used to packages of Ghiardelli's semi-sweet baking squares)
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp instant espresso coffee powder
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used Ghiardelli's powder)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Peanut Butter Frosting
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 cup of smooth peanut butter
3 TBSP of whole milk
Peanut Butter Cup Topping
25-30 minature Peanut Butter Cups, sliced into 4 pieces each
1/4 cup of chocolate and peanut butter chips, melted
Directions for Brownies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of an 8 x 8 square baking pan (or line with parchment paper).In a medium bowl combine flour, espresso powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Put the chocolate chips and butter in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat but keep the bowl over the water and whisk in sugars and vanilla until completely combined. Remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature. Add in the eggs one, one at a time, whisking lightly after each addition. Using a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just combined. Do not over beat! Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 - 35 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack.
Directions for Frosting
Add peanut butter and softened butter to mixing bowl. Beat until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar and continue to mix. Add milk, 1 TBSP at a time, and continue to mix until frosting is the desired consistency. Spread on cooled brownies.
Directions for Topping
Slice 25-30 minature cups into 4 slices. As you slice, add the cups on top of the frosting. The candy can overlap slightly, just be sure to cover the entire surface of the frosting. In a microwave safe bowl, add 1/4 cup of peanut butter and chocolate chips. Microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds, then stir. Repeat this step for another 30-45 seconds, until completely melted and creamy. Let it cool, then add mixture to a Ziploc bag. Snip one corner of the bag with a scissor and decoratively drizzle the mixture in any uncovered spots of frosting. Let the brownies set for at least ONE HOUR in the refrigerator before serving.