Saturday, May 21, 2011

Decadent Peanut Butter~Brownie Bites

Growing up, my mother baked cookies for us as a homemade dessert in our lunches and as an after school snack.  Her repertoire consisted of--chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal/raisin, snickerdoodles and brownies.  I can make her recipes by heart, but through the years, "marching to a different drum," I've loved to come up with my own combinations, taking what I learned from her, but giving it an unexpected twist.

This morning, awakened at 4:00 a.m. by my very demanding cat, Bailey for his breakfast, I sat quietly on the sofa after he ate and the memory of my mother baking got my creative "juices" flowing.  I've done lots of recipes with chocolate and peanut butter, but the purchase of a new mini-muffin pan by Sur La Table, led me to think of another way to pair this made-for combination.  It's my take on a peanut butter cup in a cookie with the twist being that the chocolate is in the filling and the peanut butter makes up the base.

Reese's Peanut Butter cups, which were created in 1928, turned 83 years old this year.  The product has a wonderful web site to visit with all sorts of interesting facts and I'll share just a few.  Did you know??--Two of our Presidents have been peanut farmers: Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter;  May 18th is "I Love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Day";  In 1930, this treat cost 1-cent;  November is National Peanut Butter Month (no wonder I love this product LOL!); The furthermost distance a peanut has traveled is to the Moon; and Mr. Ed was given peanut butter to get his mouth to move like he was talking.  That one I found very interesting : )

This time of year holds so many celebrations--graduations and weddings, to name a few, and these Peanut Butter~Brownie Bites would be perfect to set out for family and friends.  The recipe makes six dozen and once they're baked, can be frozen ahead to save time. 

Decadent Peanut Butter~Brownie Bites
Peanut Butter Dough:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy, but smooth works too)
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening, and sugars until fluffy.  Beat in the peanut butter, vanilla and the large egg and mix thoroughly.  

Add the dry ingredients and mix, just until combined.  Bring the dough together and place in plastic wrap.  Chill the dough while you make up the brownie center.

Brownie Filling:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted
5 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate
In a 3-quart sauce pan melt on Med/Low.  Let cool.

1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
8 oz. pkg. Heath English Toffee Bits

Mini muffin pan

Preheat oven to 325F-degrees. 
Whisk the sugar into the melted chocolate/butter mixture.  Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking thoroughly.  When the last egg is added, whisk an additional 3-5 minutes until the mixture has a "shine" to it.  Fold in the dry ingredients and the toffee bits.

Take the peanut butter dough out of the refrigerator.  Make 1-inch balls and place into the mini muffin pan.  Use the wooden tart dough tamper to create the "cup." 

Fill the peanut butter cups with the brownie mixture, about 1 tablespoon full.  Bake in preheated oven 18-20 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.  Makes 6 dozen.

I was so excited how these little bites turned out that I telephoned my sister to share my enthusiasm.  We both love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and anytime I can bake something that mirrors the combination is a A+ in our recipe files.  Enjoy!



  1. I definitely shared your enthusiasm when we talked this morning!! I can't wait to try these decadent little morsels!! (I'll be stalking the mailman next week!!) Love you, Barb

  2. no such thing as reese's peanut butter cups in australia. gasp...i know. i did make a homemade version around christmas this past year.

  3. YUM!!!! These look great!

    Just when I think I have enough baking and kitchen gadgets, I read your blog and change my mind ;)

  4. I know...that's what my sister says!

  5. These sound so GREAT I can almost smell them baking in my oven...
    You sound like your Mum was are you!(and Grandma!) Look at all the baking you do!!!
    Sorry I missed last few posts...I know it's been a tough week.
    Sending a BIG hug and thank you for passing by my World and leaving such sweet comments...It means so much:-)


  6. These peanut butter bites look AWESOME. I love peanut butter and peanut butter cups have been my favorite since I was a kid. I can almost taste the peanut butter right now!

  7. Saw these on Sweets for a Saturday. These look terrific! And I love that tart dough tamper - it's one of the best gadgets I ever got.

  8. These look and sound decadent Susan and one day I will have to try the recipe. Trouble is I think I would eat them all!

  9. Joanne, I made sure they got distributed among friends and family...or I probably would have eaten them all!

  10. Our family favorites ~ peanut butter,
    chocolate and toffee!
    Another fabulous recipe...
    Merci, Cindi

  11. Two favorite flavors. I love to use my 'tart tamper', it is such a handy little tool.