Hershey's Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Brownies

Hershey’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Brownies

As a relative newcomer to Instagram (debriefme), I have of late been exposed to a myriad of delectable desserts.  One that caught my eye was a Reese’s peanut butter cup brownie snapshot.  To be completely honest, we’ve had a barely-touched 56 ounce mega bag of mini Reese’s peanut butter cups sitting in the snack basket in our rumpus for months now.. so it only seemed proper that I use some of them up – after all – wouldn’t want to let them go to waste, right??

So I did a thorough internet search and stumbled across a recipe on Parade by Donna Elick that really caught my eye…  So I sat on it for over a week.. and finally, last night, whilst my husband was working in his office and my gorgeous toddler was tucked away in his bed, I got out my Kitchenaid, dusted off my camera, and let the stress-relieving process that is ‘late night baking’ envelope me whole…

RECIPE

Brownie
1 cup (220g / 2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz (340 gram) bag of mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, cut into quarters {I ended up using way more – probably around 18 oz (510 grams) – not so much for taste but just to make it look pretty on top (plus – I had essentially 55 ounces to play with)!!}  Use 15 mini peanut butter cups in the brownie base and save the rest for the topping…

Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting
8 oz (227g) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (220g / 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered (confectioner’s icing) sugar, sifted
15 oz (425g) natural peanut butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Decorations
Left over Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
6 oz (170g) milk chocolate chips, melted {plus I found I had to add around 2 tsp of copher in order to make the chocolate drizzle effortlessly over the top of the brownie}

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Grease and line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment paper, set aside.

Place butter in a large microwave safe mixing bowl, melt completely

The melted butter in my heavy duty Pyrex bowl

The melted butter in my heavy duty Pyrex bowl

Add sugar, cocoa, vanilla & eggs.

Add sugar, cocoa, vanilla & eggs..

Add sugar, cocoa, vanilla & eggs..

Whisk well to combine.  Add remaining ingredients.

Remaining ingredients including the flour, baking powder & salt

Remaining ingredients including the flour, baking powder & salt

Whisk until completely combined, but do not over-mix.

Pour into prepared baking dish.

Brownie in the pan

Brownie in the pan

Sprinkle 15 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups over batter.

Peanut Butter Cup morsels

Peanut Butter Cup morsels

Press into batter until they are covered.

Peanut Butter Cup morsels all tucked in

Peanut Butter Cup morsels all tucked in

Bake for 20 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

This is what it looked like fresh out of the oven..

This is what it looked like fresh out of the oven.. {I ended up cooking mine for 27 minutes in my Miele oven on the fan-forced setting}

Place in the freezer to cool, about 15 minutes. {Or just let it cool to room temperature on a bench top – or even just in the fridge – where ever there is space..}

Meanwhile, combine cream cheese & butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until smooth & creamy.

Butter & cream cheese - whipped

Butter & cream cheese – whipped

Add sugar.  Beat on low until combined, then switch to medium speed & beat until light & creamy.

The sweetened mixture

The sweetened mixture

Add peanut butter, vanilla & salt.

I could not believe how much peanut butter went into this!! I had 375g Kraft light crunch peanut butter so ended up using almost one and a half jars of the stuff!!

I could not believe how much peanut butter went into this!! I had 375g jars of Kraft Light Crunchy peanut butter so ended up using almost one and a half jars of the stuff!!

Beat mixture until well combined.

Heavenly peanut butter frosting...

Heavenly peanut butter frosting…

Spread frosting over the top of the cooled brownie base.

The brownie slicked over with peanut butter frosting

The brownie slicked over with peanut butter frosting

Sprinkle remaining peanut butter cups over the top of the frosting.

Oh dear.. the amount of sugar and fat in the dish made me giggle and I kept proclaiming "OH MY GOD!!!!" (I know, blasphemy, right?)

Oh dear.. the amount of sugar and fat in the dish made me giggle and I kept proclaiming “OH MY GOD!!!!” (I know, blasphemy, right?)

Drizzle melted chocolate {with added copher if you need to like I did} over the top of the brownies.

I did try to get the flow right with a fork but ended up using a piping bag in the end once the chocolate had cooled down a bit!

I was lazy (it was late) & melted my chocolate in the microwave..  I did try to get the flow of chocolate right with a fork for a while but gave up and ended up using a piping bag once the chocolate had cooled down a bit!

Serve & enjoy!!

The finished product!!

The finished product!!

Hoorah!!!  I took it to work today & had a label on the box saying – ‘WARNING: may cause a heart attack / stroke / diabetic coma’.  After all, a disclaimer seemed like the responsible thing to do…

This dish was a lot of work but it was soooooooooooo worth it.  The recipe advised 18 serves, I sliced it up into 24 serves.  But I think realistically, it could have been sliced even smaller maybe into 28 or 32 serves…!!  Not for the faint-hearted but a fantastic recipe that I definitely had to make at least once in my life 😉

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