I helped organize a cake auction fundraiser for our church youth group a few weeks ago, and few received some amazing cakes and pies to auction off. There was one cake in particular that caught my son’s eye from the very beginning–a peanut butter and chocolate cake topped with chopped Reese’s PB cups and a chocolate ganache. Unfortunately, despite battling long and hard, we lost the bid to another family. He was pretty sad, but to make him feel better, I told him I would recreate it for him. I decided Father’s Day would be the perfect time to make it, because Reese’s is my husband’s absolute favorite candy, and I knew he would love it too. I was right–it was a hit!
I did decide to switch out the cake for brownies–we love brownies, and I wanted to serve it as more of a layered style. It’s a layer of brownies on the bottom, topped with peanut butter frosting, chopped peanut butter cups, and drizzled with chocolate ganache. Yes. It IS as good as it sounds!
Amazingly, they are SUPER easy to make, and don’t take long at all to whip up! You can use your favorite brownie recipe, or a brownie mix. I actually love boxed brownie mixes–I prefer Ghirardelli–and use them about half of the time, especially for something like this. You can use whatever you like best! The peanut butter frosting is the best I’ve ever had–it’s rich, creamy, and the perfect complement to the brownies. Make it while the brownies are baking, and you’ll be ready to serve when the brownies come out of the oven. I like serving them warm, but you can let the brownies cool first if you prefer. Instead of frosting the whole pan, I just added a dollop right on top of each brownie before serving, then added the PB cups and drizzled the whole thing with the ganache. I love the way it looks!
This is definitely a dessert to impress–you can serve it at home to your family, when you have guests over, or take it to a party or other gathering. No matter who you serve it to, it’s sure to be a hit!
Easy peanut butter cup brownies
- 1 brownie mix for a 9x13 pan
- Reese's PB cups about 24 mini cups, chopped
Peanut Butter Frosting:
- 1 c. peanut butter
- 1 c. butter softened
- 4 c. powdered sugar
- 3 T. milk as needed
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 8 oz. chocolate chips
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
Prepare brownie mix (or favorite brownie recipe) and bake according to directions. While it's baking, make the frosting! In a large mixing bowl, combine the softened butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, then as much milk as you need to make the right consistency. Add vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
To make the ganache, melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream together in a glass bowl in the microwave--start with 1 minute, stir well, then continue with 15 second intervals until it can be stirred smooth.
Chop the peanut butter cups and place in a bowl. I usually cut the mini ones into fours.
To serve, place a brownie on a plate, add a dollop of peanut butter frosting, then top with the peanut butter cups and a drizzle of ganache.
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