Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

I admit I am a chocolate and peanut butter fiend. There really is no other combination that makes me as weak in the knees as chocolate and peanut butter. So when I found myself loaded down with extra Halloween candy, I knew I had to get it out of my house! I took my favorite brownie recipe and threw in some chopped peanut butter cups. I had no idea I could make this brownie recipe better, but obviously I did! ;)

Chewy, fudgy double chocolate brownies studded with chunks of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. So rich, so chocolately, so delicious! If you love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups then you are going to go crazy for these brownies! They are fudgy in the middle and chewy on the outside with a shiny, crackly top. Who can resist that? I know I can’t! ;)

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Chewy, fudgy double chocolate brownies studded with chunks of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Yield: 24 brownies

Ingredients:

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ½ cups sugar
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon table salt
12 regular size Reese's peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Place another piece of parchment paper in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk cocoa, espresso powder, and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. Add eggs, yolks and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined.
Transfer 1/2 of the batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. Sprinkle with half of the chopped Reese's peanut butter cups. Spread the remaining batter in to the pan. Sprinkle with remaining Reese's peanut butter cups. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1½ hours.
Using parchment overhang, lift brownies from pan. Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

Source: adapted from Cook's Illustrated's Chewy Brownies, March 2010

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