Sunday, February 24, 2013

Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies

Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies - made February 18, 2013, recipes adapted from Katherine Hepburn's Brownies from and Crack Brownies from McConkie Menu

I've already made essentially this same brownie as Peanut Butter Cup & Snickers Brownies but by the time I realized it, I had already started making these.  So then I felt free to experiment and modify the recipes.  I think these came out better than the other recipe, partly because I didn't make them as thick as the last one so they were easier to eat.  I was still looking for ways to use the dark chocolate peanut butter I got from amazon so I incorporated it in the topping in addition to the peanut butter.  And I like a lot of crunch in the topping so I was generous with the rice krispies.  

I spent the past week at our company headquarters in Florida so I made these brownies the night before I left to bring to my Florida coworkers. I wrapped up two pieces in an individual "package", boxed them up in a cardboard box to keep them from being crushed in my luggage and got on the plane with what felt like 10 lbs of brownies in my carry-on.  But it was worth the effort as I was able to hand them out to almost everyone I met with on the first day and they were pretty well received.  You always know something's a success when you get thank you emails with subject lines like "OMG", someone who claimed to be in a bad mood that day perked right up when he ate one, and when one coworker liked his so much he offered to buy them off the coworker who got the last pieces.  Score.
Brownie base
16 tablespoons (8 ounces) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 heaping cup chopped-up Snickers and peanut butter cups (mix 'em up and be generous)

1 cup salted peanuts, optional (I left them out)
1 1/2 cups milk or semisweet chocolate chips (I used semisweet)
3/4 cup dark chocolate peanut butter (can substitute creamy peanut butter)
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups rice krispies cereal (you can add more if you want more crunch)
  1. Heat oven to 325°. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Melt the butter and the chocolate together in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sugar.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir to make a smooth batter. Add the flour, and salt; stir until incorporated.
  4. Pour the batter into the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40–45 minutes. 5 minutes before the brownies are done, remove and top with peanuts (if using), Snickers and peanut butter cups.  Finish baking (do not overbake.)
  5. Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter.  Stir in cereal.  Remove brownies from oven and pour chocolate mixture evenly over top.  Let cool to room temperature before cutting and serving.

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