Recipe: Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies

The season of jellybeans and Cadbury creme eggs is here! And though I can get down with some Starburst jellybeans, I'm really here for the Reese's peanut butter eggs. I know Reese's makes pumpkins and Christmas trees these days, but the egg shape is definitely my favorite. Why? I have no idea. It's literally just an oval of peanut butter draped in chocolate, but they're hands down my favorite ones.

So in the spirit of Reese's peanut butter eggs and indulging in all the chocolate and candy that's hanging around this time of year, I'm bringing you Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies. We aren't messing around with the frosting either. I want my brownies to be piled high with frosting so these are quite a rich treat. You could easily cut these all in half and feed 18 people and everyone would definitely be a happy camper. Or eat the whole pan yourself. I won't blame you!

Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies

Yields 9 large brownies

For brownies:
1 stick butter
4 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For peanut butter frosting:
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
2 cup powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8x8 inch baking pan with butter and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. Grease the top of the parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa until combined.

In a small heatproof bowl, heat butter and chopped baking chocolate in the microwave until melted. Add into a large mixing bowl, whisking in sugar, then eggs one at a time. Once combined, switch to a rubber spatula and add in flour mixture until batter is comes together but be care not to over mix. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with only few crumbs. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, and then turn out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.

While brownies are cooling, mix butter and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until combined and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar. Add in vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons of milk. If frosting is still too thick, slowly add in an additional 1-2 tablespoons of milk. Frost cooled brownies and serve.

Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bark

Somethings are complicated. Relationships, taxes, trying to read my student loan statements, boys, European clothing sizes when you live in the U.S., hormones. The list is really endless. But then, Somethings are easy. Like the combination of chocolate, peanut butter, and pretzels. So let's focus on those things, throw them together, and make something simple.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bark

  • 2 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 handful broken up pretzel pieces
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a piece of parchment paper. Set aside.

In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil. Pour melted chocolate onto the center of the parchment-lined baking sheet and spread out slightly until chocolate is about a 1/4 inch thick.

In saucepan over medium heat, heat peanut butter until it warms and thins out. Stir continuously so it doesn't burn. Pour the warmed peanut butter into the center of the melted chocolate and swirl them together with a fork. Top the crushed pretzels over the top of the chocolate/peanut butter, and press down very slightly. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours and once set, break into pieces. 

That's really it. Somethings are just simple and great. So when things get crazy and complicated (which is secretly how I love my life to be) make something easy and enjoy a moment of simplicity. 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

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In celebration of Tim's birthday weekend last weekend, I made some Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcakes for a family birthday party. Chocolate and peanut butter are a classic combination and usually, quite a crowd pleaser. Making cupcakes from scratch is really just as simple as making them from a box, but they taste a thousand times better. And this peanut butter frosting is a killer.

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Chocolate Cupcakes

Yields 24 cupcakes

  • 1 1/2c granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2c flour
  • 3/4c cocoa powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/8tsp salt
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 1c buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 and place liners in a cupcake pan.

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, Combine. Add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add dry mixture to the butter mixture, alternating between dry and buttermilk. Only mix until combined so you don't overmix. Overmixing=dry cupcakes.

Fill each cupcake liner with until 3/4 full. Bake for 15-17 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

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Peanut Butter Buttercream

Yields enough for 24 cupcakes

  • 1 1/4c creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2c softened butter
  • 2c confectioners sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp milk, as needed 

Cream together peanut butter and butter until fluffy. Slowly add sugar and vanilla until combined and there are no more lumps. Add milk as needed to thin frosting until it's smooth enought to easily pipe through a piping bag. Be carefully not to thin too much.

You can either apply frosting with an offset spatula, or pipe onto cakes. I used a large star tip to pipe these.

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If you wanted to make these extra special, cut out the center of each cupcake and pipe the peanut butter buttercream into the center. Then, top with a chocolate buttercream! Easy peanut butter cup cupcakes!

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Happy celebrating!