Peanut Butter Stuffed Mini-Brownies

My youngest brother loves brownies. He’s been nagging me to make them for him for a very loooong time! I’ve only ever made brownies from a box. When I saw this recipe, I just had to try it out. It looked simple enough and it used my favorite combination: peanut butter and chocolate! I was also hosting a dinner party for friends so these seemed like the perfect little treat. I decided to make these as mini-brownies since I planned on having a couple of other dessert items for my guests.

I made a few substitutions to the original recipe. The biggest one was that I used Reese’s Minis peanut butter cups instead of making my own peanut butter filling. Since I was having a get together at my place and planned on making everything (from appetizers to dinner and desserts), I decided to save some time and use the Reese’s. The brownies still came out great, but next time I make these, I will definitely try to make the peanut butter filling. If you want to make the filling on your own, you can get the recipe from The Novice Chef’s blog (link on my favorite blogs page and/or the recipe below). Most of the brownies I made were stuffed with the Reese’s, but I did set aside a bunch without it just in case someone doesn’t like peanut butter or is allergic to it.

The other substitutions I made were to use Hershey’s Cocoa instead of double dutch cocoa powder and Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate. I used the Hershey’s simply because I had it in my pantry already. Its a great option, and a cheaper one as well. I’ve used it several times in recipes that call for double dutch cocoa powder. As for the Ghirardelli, I couldn’t find the Scharffen Berger chocolate. I’ll look for it again for the next time I make these but I didn’t get any complaints ;) so I won’t go crazy looking for it (the Ghirardelli worked just fine). Also for next time, I’ll probably try it with the darker chocolate.

That’s all for now! Happy Baking!!

Here’s the recipe:

Peanut Butter Stuffed Mini-Brownies (from The Novice Chef Blog)
makes about 48 mini-brownies

1 cup flour
2 tablespoons double dutch cocoa powder (I had some Hershey’s Cocoa on hand, so I used that instead of the double dutch cocoa powder)
1 teaspoon instant espresso
2 sticks butter (I used unsalted butter since I use it for all my baking)
6 oz (2 bars) scharffen berger extra dark 82% chocolate, chopped (I couldn’t find this one at the grocery stores so I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the peanut butter filling: Reese’s Minis (you can make your own peanut butter stuffing, but to cut time, I used the Reese’s minis)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease individual square cake pan (or pan of choice).

In a small bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder and instant espresso. Set aside.

In a double boiler, melt the butter and chopped chocolate. Let it melt over medium heat, stirring frequently until it is completely melted. Remove from heat and set aside for about 10 minutes to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, both sugars, vanilla and salt until smooth. Whisk in the cooled chocolate into the egg mixture, until combined. Beat in the flour in two additions, stirring until there are no large lumps left.

Fill each square half way with batter. Place a Reese’s mini in the center and cover the top with a little additional batter. Do not fill past 3/4 full.

Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until centers are set. Let cool for 15 minutes and then transfer to a cookie tray to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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