Oh my goodness! How is it almost Halloween? Because once Halloween hits, next thing you know it’s Thanksgiving, and then Christmas, and then. . . it’s 2016.
Seriously, I feel like last Christmas was maybe a week ago.
But I digress. Let’s talk about candy, because you can’t talk about Halloween and NOT talk about candy. Today I have for you the awesome-est, most fudgy, gooey and CANDY-FILLED brownies ever. They are loaded with chocolate and peanut butter goodness.
I saw this recipe a while back and remembered them as brownies topped with Reese’s Pieces. So imagine my surprise when I googled around for the recipe and realized my memory was wrong. Blondies topped with M & Ms. Not a terrible idea, but also not the chocolate and peanut butter combination that I LOVE SO MUCH. So I set about to create the recipe I was looking for.
It starts with a super-easy brownie—in fact, you could sub in a box brownie mix if you were so inclined. But really, this recipe is almost as fast as any box, and way more delicious. The espresso powder and brown sugar make the chocolate flavor really intense. And the brownie, once baked? Let’s just say if you like your brownies cakey, this recipe might not be for you.
Then I threw in some peanut butter cups. Because peanut butter cups make life worth living.
And because I need ALL the peanut butter, I topped the brownies with the fluffiest, peanut buttery-est buttercream I could come up with.
Then I topped all of that with Reese’s Pieces (and the whole time I was smooshing the candies into the frosting I heard ET saying Elliot. . . Ellllliooooot.)
Bake, let cool, frost, then dive in face-first. Oomph. Too good for words.
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 4 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 17 snack size Peanut Butter Cups
- 1 4-oz box Reese's Pieces
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk, as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.
- Combine chocolate chips and butter in a bowl, then microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes, stopping every 15 seconds to stir until butter and chocolate are melted and smooth. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes (so you don't scramble the eggs).
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, sugars, vanilla, cocoa powder, and espresso powder together. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour and salt until just combined. Don't over-mix (too much mixing will make a tougher brownie).
- Spread half the batter into prepared baking pan, then top with peanut butter cups. You should be able to make four rows of four cups. Chop up the remaining candy and fill in any gaps. Spread remaining batter over the candy.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool brownies completely in the pan before frosting.
- Beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add peanut butter and beat for 2 minutes more. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until combined. Add salt. Add milk (if necessary) 1 teaspoon at a time until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.
- Frost brownies and top with Reese's Pieces.
- I actually bought two 4-oz boxes of Reese's Pieces because I wanted to have enough of each color to make stripes. One box is enough to cover the top though.