Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Brownies

pb cup oreo browniesMy sister-in-law Kristin and I share a sincere appreciation for baked goods, particularly those involving chocolate and peanut butter. Recently, we both heard of a limited-time-only Oreo cookie on the market: the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo. At first, they were only available at Wal-Mart, and my mom tracked some down for us. Fortunately they’re now available at our local grocery store, and I snapped up a few packages the other day.

Kristin suggested that I bake something with these Oreos, so here you have it: peanut butter cup Oreo brownies. I will admit that, not knowing how well they’d turn out, I used a boxed brownie mix for this recipe, but next time I’ll definitely work from scratch. I might also chop up more Oreos and put them in the center of the batter, rather than leaving the cookies whole, like I did for this trial run. While you definitely get the Oreo flavor, they do dissolve somewhat when baking.

Ingredients

  • 1 box dark chocolate brownie mix
  • 9 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo cookies

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray the bottom of an 8 x 8 glass baking dish with baking spray and sprinkle with sugar, just to coat; this gives the bottom of the brownies a nice crunch.

Prepare the brownie mix according to the package directions and spread about half of the batter in the bottom of the pan.

Place Oreo cookies, spacing evenly, over the bottom layer of batter, then pour the remaining batter over the top. The Oreos will float up a bit; just make sure you’ve covered them completely with batter. I had to use a small offset spatula to get the best coverage.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting.

Peanut Butter Eggs

peanut butter egg 2The Reese’s Peanut Butter egg is my favorite Easter treat, edging out the Cadbury Egg by the slightest of margins. My sister-in-law Kristin and I agree that the best Reese’s holiday offerings are the peanut butter egg at Easter and the peanut butter pumpkin at Halloween because they each yield a maximum amount of peanut butter; the peanut butter tree at Christmas, for example, isn’t really enough.

Many blogs feature homemade peanut butter egg recipes and they’re all relatively the same, involving melted peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, salt, and a yummy chocolate coating made of either semisweet or milk chocolate chips melted with shortening. I’ve used semisweet below, but you could easily use milk chocolate if you prefer. Though I haven’t tried one yet, I suspect they’ll taste like a cross between a buckeye and a peanut butter egg. Time will tell; fortunately, Easter is tomorrow!

The chocolate coating makes way more than enough for all of your eggs; my peanut butter filling yielded 11 eggs but you could easily make them slightly smaller to yield a dozen or more. You’ll definitely have coating left over, which would be great for drizzling on biscotti, butter cookies, or over cupcakes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 16 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening

Preparation

In a medium saucepan, combine peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, and salt. Cook on medium heat until entirely melted and slightly bubbly, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat and add powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition to fully incorporate the powdered sugar into the peanut butter mixture. Your end result will be very thick, and this is what you want.

Set filling aside to cool at room temperature until easy to handle; I set mine aside for about an hour.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, scoop balls of filling and shape into eggs. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour to allow filling to harden.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and shortening; microwave in 30-second intervals until completely melted, stirring after each interval; this takes about 2 minutes or so.

Dip eggs into the chocolate coating and cover completely; I use two forks to pass them back and forth, then shake off the excess. Return to the parchment-covered sheet and place back in the refrigerator to harden. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars

pb cup cookie barsAs far as peanut butter goes, I’m a Jif loyalist. My mom was one of the choosy moms who chose Jif in my childhood, and as such I find pretty much every other brand inferior.

Jif introduced its creamy peanut butter in 1958 and the extra crunchy variety in 1974. Why there isn’t just “crunchy” peanut butter, I’m not sure, but you can use either smooth or crunchy for this recipe. I had a jar of extra crunchy on hand, so I decided to use that, along with chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins. You could certainly use regular chopped peanut butter cups or milk chocolate chips if you prefer; just adjust the quantity to 1 3/4 cups.

A note of caution for your oven: this recipe bakes in a 10 x 15 x 1 pan, and mine puffed up and spilled over the sides, dripping quick-to-burn cookie bits on my oven floor. Next time, I’ll place a cookie sheet lined with parchment beneath the pan to catch the drips. This recipe can also be baked as individual cookies; just scoop them out, flatten them with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar, and bake for about 8 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup extra crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 7 Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins, chopped

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and place a 10 x 15 x 1 jelly roll pan on the parchment. You do not need to grease the pan.

In a small bowl, combine flour and baking soda; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, butter, peanut butter, and vanilla and beat until very well combined.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, beating until combined.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and gradually add the flour mixture.

Stir in chopped peanut butter pumpkins.

Spread dough in the ungreased pan and smooth the top with a small offset spatula.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown but still puffy in the middle.

Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

Using a small offse

 

Fab Four Bars

fab 4 barsChocolate chip cookies,  Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Double Stuf Oreos, and dark chocolate brownies are among my favorites. But all four, in the same treat? Now that is fabulous.

One of the gals in my office made these recently and proclaimed them to be amazing, so I thought I’d give them a try. You could certainly make the cookie dough and brownie batter from scratch, but for convenience’s sake I chose to experiment with the store-bought versions.

A few suggestions: you certainly need your cookie dough to be pliable, so let it sit out on the counter top for about 10 minutes, then dust your hands with flour before you press it into the pan. While I baked my Fab Fours for about 40 minutes and the brownies were done on the pan’s edges, about one inch in from the edges they were gooey as could be. If you like gooey brownies, that’s probably fine, but you need to be careful about proper cooking times since brownie batter contains raw egg and raw egg can be dangerous. I might let mine bake another 5 minutes or so next time.

Trust me: you want to cut these into small squares, not huge slabs. They’re incredibly rich so you really only need a small piece to get the full effect. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Two 16-ounce tubes refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 16 regular-sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • 16 Double Stuf Oreos, chopped into large chunks
  • 1 box dark chocolate brownie mix

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with parchment paper, allowing the paper to extend over on all four sides.

Allow cookie dough to stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then press it into the bottom of the parchment-lined pan.

Place peanut butter cups top-side down on the cookie dough, spacing evenly.

Sprinkle Oreo chunks over/around the peanut butter cups.

Pour brownie batter over the top and smooth with a spatula as much as possible.

Bake for at least 40 minutes; cool in pan on a wire rack.

Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend I was online searching for recipes that call for 10×15 baking pans, as my dear friend Carrie gave me one for my birthday this summer and I’ve yet to use it. And while I found several promising ideas for 10 x 15 baking (stay tuned for pumpkin roll, which will be coming soon), I also discovered this blondie recipe, baked in an 8 x 8.

This recipe yields a dense, chewy, peanut butter cookie-like blondie with ample candy pieces, so I recommend cutting them into small squares. You could add even more peanut butter cups or chocolate chips if you wish; next time, I think I’ll add toffee bits or salted peanuts for extra crunch.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 16 miniature peanut butter cups, cut into fourths
  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with foil and coat the foil with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, peanut butter, egg, and vanilla and mix well.

Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Add peanut butter cups and chocolate chips and mix well; you may need to use your hands to get everything fully incorporated.

Press dough into baking dish.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until top is fully set, edges are brown, and a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool in pan for about 30 minutes, then lift out and place on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting.

 

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania boasts a proud history.  America’s Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence here.  President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address here.  Steelworkers forged the materials that built much of America here.  And in 1923, H.B. Reese invented a most outstanding confection, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, right here in Hershey, PA.

Similar to the peanut butter blossom, that Christmastime favorite peanut butter cookie topped with a Hershey’s Kiss, the peanut butter cup cookie is a peanut butter dough baked in a mini muffin tin, then pressed with a miniature peanut butter cup.  I first heard of this cookie a while back, but only started baking them in the past few years.  They are highly popular – a favorite among family and friends – so make sure you save a few for yourself.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large bag Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line two 24- cup mini muffin tins with paper liners.

Unwrap 48 peanut butter cups and place in a bowl in the refrigerator, to keep cool while dough is baking.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In another small bowl, combine sugars; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and peanut butter together until combined.

Add sugars and cream until combined.

Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

Add flour mixture and beat until combined; your dough should be soft, but easy to roll into balls.

Roll dough into small balls, less than one inch in size, and place in lined muffin tins.

Bake 10-12 minutes, until puffy and light golden brown.

Remove from oven and immediately press one peanut butter cup in the center of each cookie.

Cool completely in tins, away from the oven so the chocolate can set.