At a library book sale recently I saw The All-American Cookie Book languishing on a shelf. I couldn’t believe no one had grabbed it yet and snatched that puppy up for myself. I’d heard of this book and its author before, but hadn’t yet tried any of its recipes. A quick flip through it and it wasn’t long before I had dozens of recipes that I wanted to try. This week, though, I was going for something that wouldn’t make too many treats as we’re heading on vacation at the end of the week. There’s nothing sadder than cookies or brownies that don’t fulfill their purpose. This recipe made 24 mini brownies, just enough for us to keep a few and my co-workers to finish the rest.
This recipe might be a great one to make after Halloween when you have some leftover candies and are looking for something to do with them. Why not stuff them into the middle of a brownie? Be careful when you’re baking them as I slightly over-baked them. Keep an eye on them - it’s probably better to slightly underbake them then keep them cooking for too long. Another heads up – you definitely want the candies to be well-chilled. Inserting them into the brownies will cause them to melt very quickly if they’re not cold enough. Okay, enough with the fine print. Bake these up and you won’t regret it.
Peanut Butter (or Caramel) Mini Brownies (adapted from All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett)
5 T. unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped up
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped up
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 T. smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
24 Reese’s mini peanut butter cups or Rolos, chilled and unwrapped (I threw them in the freezer for about an hour before I baked)
Preheat the oven to 350. Coat mini-muffin pan with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, microwave butter and chocolate on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir well, then continue microwaving at 50% power at 30-second intervals. Stop microwaving before the chocolate completely melts.
Stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until well blended. Let cool to warm. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Beat the egg and peanut butter into the chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla and stir vigorously until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Stir in the flour mixture until incorporated. Spoon the batter into the mini-muffin cups, then set on a baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for 10-14 minutes, or until almost firm when pressed in the centers. Immediately press 1 peanut butter cup or Rolo candy into the center until flush with the surface of the brownie.
Transfer the muffin pans to a wire rack and let stand until the brownies are completely cooled. Remove from pans gently.
Makes 24 mini-brownies.