Friday, June 18, 2010

Gooey Baby Ruthy Brownies

Gooey Baby Ruthy Brownies - made June 15, 2010 from Brownie Mix Bliss by Camilla V. Saulsbury (or as I call them: Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Snickers Brownies)

I'm diametrically opposed to brownie mixes. I used to bake with them when I was first learning how to bake and thought they were great. But once I started baking from scratch, I turned up my nose at mixes. When my friends tell me how much they're enjoying a Duncan Hines brownie, my baking soul shrivels up (yeah, Kendra and Rebecca, I'm referring to you two). So why, you ask, did I buy a book called Brownie Mix Bliss when all of its recipes use a brownie mix as a base? I don't know. Something about it being a baking book and I have a sad addiction to cookbooks.

In any case, I have tried a few recipes from this book and they've been okay. Nothing spectacular so far and they all have the same basic ingredients with the recipes varying by the add-ins. In this particular case, the add-ins were a cream cheese swirl and Baby Ruths or Snickers. I used Snickers. I also substituted buttermilk for the water and, since I was out of milk and wanted more of a peanut butter flavor to complement the Snickers, I added a few spoonfuls of smooth peanut butter to the cream cheese layer.

It all sounds like it should make a killer brownie, right? Unfortunately it didn't quite turn out the way I had hoped. The peanut butter add-in to the cream cheese layer wasn't enough so there wasn't that strong of a peanut butter taste after all. The Snickers chunks were a little too heavy with the texture of the brownie as the texture was soft and almost cakey as opposed to something more dense that would go well with Snickers. So for me, this was just okay. People at work seemed to like them but we know how picky I am. These were just average to me.

1 19.5 – 19.8-ounce package brownie mix
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup water
3 large eggs
3 2.1-ounce chocolate-covered peanut-caramel nougat candy bars (e.g. Baby Ruth or Snickers), coarsely chopped
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons milk

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F (325˚F for dark-coated metal pan). Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Spray the bottom only of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray (or foil-line pan).
2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the brownie mix, oil, water and 2 of the eggs with a wooden spoon until just blended and all dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in chopped candy bars. Reserve 1 cup of the batter. Spread remaining batter into the prepared pan.
3. In a medium mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and brown sugar with an electric mixer set on medium until blended and smooth. Beat in milk and remaining egg. Spoon and spread over brownie batter in pan (need not cover completely). Dollop reserved brownie batter over cream cheese layer. Use the tip of a knife to swirl the batters for a marbled effect.
4. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out clean or almost clean (do not overbake). Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Cut into squares. Store in refrigerator.

Makes 24 large or 36 small brownies

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