TGIFN (thank goodness it's Friday night)... whew! My apologies for not posting earlier in the day like usual. This week has seemed like an eternity! Maybe it's because we've seen practically three seasons in the last seven days. Maybe it's because work has been super busy, and working on one project nonstop makes me lose track of time completely. Or maybe it's because I've had to resist the most mouth-watering bunch of ingredients in my pantry for much too long.
I've always been a love of both peanut butter and chocolate. On their own, they are two of the most popular flavors in the world of food. But when the two are put together, magical things happen. There's something so complementary about the pairing: sticky and salty with smooth and sweet. Even with a smaller staff at work, all but 3 of these were devoured today. Take that as a clue as to how good they are. I love the fact that the brownies are chilled, giving them a uniquely different texture compared to traditional brownies. The top layer of chocolate, peanut butter and Rice Krispies gives the brownie such punch and crunch! And, just so we're clear, they are RICH! But would you want it any other way? (This is where you shake your head in disagreement.) I didn't think so :)
I could ramble on and on about how a brownie this decadent takes hours to prepare and was worth all of the elbow grease. But, I won't. Instead I'm going to tell you how utterly simple this is to throw together. I could tell you that I made those oh-so-chewy-from-scratch "box brownies" as the base, but that'd be a lie. I cheated... and it was so worth it. From the time I preheated the oven to when I was putting the finished brownies in the refrigerator to chill, only 45 minutes had passed. That's it. In other words, you have no excuse for not indulging yourself. And you especially have no excuse for not sharing them... I'm convinced these could be the solution to achieve world peace. Don't take my word for it, look how easy it is:
Step 1. Prepare brownies per directions on box.
Step 2. While brownies are baking, prep other ingredients. Sampling is suggested... you know, to test for traces of poison or something. At least that's the excuse my dad gave to my sister and I when we were young.
Step 3. Remove brownies from oven, sprinkle with peanuts and chopped candy. Return to oven briefly.
Step 4. Melt chocolate, peanut butter, and butter and stir in Rice Krispies. Spread over finished brownies. Immediately chill for at least two hours.
Step 5. Cut (be prepared to use some muscle) and serve. Enjoy that faint melody you hear in the background -- it's angels singing!
What's your favorite two flavor combination? Peanut butter and chocolate? Or something else? Give me some ideas to use in the future, please! I hope you pick up the ingredients and throw together a batch for a ceremonial viewing of the Academy Awards on Sunday. We've been busy brainstorming themed foods for the party, so look for those next week. Have a fantastic weekend! (Go King's Speech!)
Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownies
(adapted from BrownEyedBaker)
A few notes: A helpful hint for cutting the peanut butter cups. Chill them for 5 to 10 minutes, unwrapped, in the freezer. Chopping will be much easier when the knife actually cuts rather than squashes the cups.
1 batch of your favorite brownies for a 9x13-inch pan
1/2 cup salted peanuts
8 Reese's cups, chilled in freezer for a few minutes and chopped
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1/2 Tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Prepare the brownies according to the directions and bake for about 5 minutes less than the recipe states. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with the peanuts and chopped peanut butter cups. Return to the oven and bake for 5 additional minutes.
While they are finishing baking, melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the cereal to evenly coat. Remove the brownies from the oven and evenly pour the chocolate and peanut butter mixture over top. Spread to cover evenly. Tap pan once or twice on counter to release air bubbles Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting and serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.