My dearest friend,
If you are on a 30-day cleanse, don’t read this. If you are avoiding refined sugar, superfluous oils and fats, processed nut butters or pleasure in general, stop reading. If you are looking at this while beginning a 13-mile run or heading to pilates, I’m begging you, look away. Because, once you start, you won’t be able to stop. You won’t be able to say no. The life you have been leading, nay, striving for, will cease to exist as you know it.
Because sometimes you just need to bake something. You see a picture or have a craving and BAM! You gotta have/make/eat whatever it is NOW. No amount of reasoning or fear of tight pants getting tighter will stop you. So goes the story of today’s letter, mon amie. I saw a pic of the following recipe on Instagram and needed to have it. Needed. To. Eat. It.
When it comes to desserts, I’m not particularly discerning. Chocolate or fruit, pie or cake, bar or cookie, I’ll eat (and love) them all. I'll nibble on elegant desserts, like chocolate soufflé or lovely lemon tarts. But, I will also devour good ol’ M&Ms and that weird gummy worm dirt cake that kids have at birthday parties. Really. It’s not a sweet tooth so much as a whole body need for things that are sweet. And the more ooey and gooey and over-the-top looking, the more intrigued I am.
I swear next time I write it will be about homemade toasted almond milk or a favorite herby farro salad that has made it into our weekly rotation (foreshadow much?). But today – today – is about commandeering someone else’s ridiculous dessert recipe and sharing it with you.
Peanut Butter S’more Brownies
The original recipe calls for peanut butter cups but doesn't specify which kind. I think you could use any kind, but we had Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups on hand, and dammit, those are really the best in the whole wide world. Also, I didn’t have a chocolate bar, but I DID have chocolate chips, so I added those instead. So, read on, dear friend, knowing you will put on some LBs as you do…
Oven at 350. Grease 9 x 13” pan.
For the crust:
3 C graham cracker crumbs
¼ C sugar
¼ tsp salt
¾ C butter melted
For the brownies:
¾ C cocoa
¾ C butter, melted
2 TBSP hot water
1 + 2/3 C sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla
1 + 1/3 C flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
12 mini peanut butter cups (cut into quarters)
1 dark chocolate bar, broken into pieces or 2/3 C semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used these)
20 oz jet-puffed marshmallows (I used minis)
First make graham cracker crust.
Mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and butter and press into pan. Bake in oven for 12-14 minutes, until just beginning to brown. Let cool completely.
Next, the brownie layer.
In a large bowl, stir together cocoa, melted butter and hot water, until combined. Add sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Add chocolate chips if using. Spread over cooled graham cracker crust mixture, spreading in an even layer. Press peanut butter cup peices into brownie, then chocolate bar pieces (again, if using instead of chocolate chips). Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until just set.
Finally, remove brownies from oven and turn oven to broil. Top with marshmallows, pressing lightly to adhere them to the warm brownies. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until they are golden brown (darker if you like that burnt sugar flavor!). Let cool completely, then cut into ooey gooey squares and serve.
Recipe adapted from Melanie Makes