Layered peanut butter chocolate brownie bars

I know, I know – I’ve been on a peanut butter chocolate kick lately. It started with the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars, then with the cookies, and now these. But THESE I assure you are worth it. If you’re a fan of fudgey brownies and creamy peanut butter – all combined – then you MUST MUST MUST make these. I made them a few times, experimenting with a few different things, but I think this is the perfect combination. They are addicting, rich and sinful – so make sure you have some friends to share these with!

Layered peanut butter chocolate brownie bars

Layered peanut butter chocolate brownie bars

Inspired by this recipe.

Here’s what you need:

for the peanut butter layer 

  • 1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 10ish mini Reese’s peanut butter cups

for the brownie layer

  • 3 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped Reese’s peanut butter cup (or other peanut butter candy – feel free to use festive peanut butter M&Ms – I used spring ones in one version of this)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish – I lined with foil and sprayed with my Pam non-stick cooking spray.
  2. First, make the peanut butter layer: Mix together the peanut butter, sugars and egg until smooth. Press into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Make sure to press well – do not leave it loose or it could crumble after baking. Lightly press Reese’s cups (not chopped) on top of layer, evenly throughout.
  3. Then, make the brownie layer: Melt the baking chocolate and butter together in a saucepan (or microwave-safe bowl – if you microwave,  nuke for about 45 seconds, checking and stirring often until completely melted and smooth). Once melted, gradually add in sugar, then vanilla, then eggs. Then, carefully mix in the flour. Once combined, pour the batter into the pan over the peanut butter and Reese’s layer spread layer evenly to the edge of the pan. Sprinkle chopped Reese’s on top.
  4. Bake about 35-38 minutes until the top is slightly cracked around. Cool completely before cutting.

Layered peanut butter chocolate brownie bars

Peanut butter chocolate chip Reese’s cookies

One of my favorite dessert cookbooks is my Magnolia cookbook. There are so many good cookies, cakes, cupcakes, bars, and more – I need to seriously go through and start making more of the recipes! (hmm, a 2015 goal?)

Anyway, I was looking for a peanut butter chocolate recipe and came upon the recipe for peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips. I slightly modified it based on the ingredients I had (basically adding Reese’s and peanuts) and boom – this recipe was born. Seeking something chocolate and peanut buttery? Try it for yourself!

Peanut butter chocolate chip Reese's cookies

Peanut butter chocolate chip Reese’s cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped and chilled

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl or Kitchenaid mixer, beat butter and the peanut butter together until mixed well and smooth.
  3. Add sugars and beat until creamy.
  4. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add milk and vanilla extract.
  6. Add the flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, and mix well.
  7. Stir in the peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and about half of Reese’s cups.
  8. Roll dough  and drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Using a fork or spatula, lightly push down on the cookies. Lightly press chopped Reese’s on top of cookies before baking.
  10. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until done! Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1-2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy! Serve with milk 🙂

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have a favorite cookbook? What is it?
  • What is a good peanut butter recipe you enjoy? These Magnolia peanut butter cookies.
  • Have you ever been to Magnolia in NY? What’s your go-to order? Banana pudding! A rec. from my brother and so so good.

Peanut butter chocolate chip Reese's cookies-icrashedtheweb

Peanut Butter Fudge Caramel Bars

Just in time for the holidays, I’m excited to share with you a recipe that is delicious and perfect for peanut butter and chocolate lovers.

This is not realllllly a holiday recipe, but you can dress it up with red and green and then it’s the perfect for the holidays! It’s not difficult to make but it IS somewhat time consuming because it’s a few layers. But I promise it’s worth it because it really is that good.*

*if you don’t like peanut butter or chocolate you WON’T like these. I can’t be held responsible for your taste buds.

Peanut Butter Fudge Caramel Bars - icrashedtheweb

Peanut Butter Fudge Caramel Bars

Here’s what you need:

For the cookie layer

  • 1/2 c butter (1 stick)
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c flour

For the peanut butter caramel layer

  • 30 caramels, unwrapped
  • 3 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream

For the peanut butter fudge layer

  • 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips (I ended up using about half semi-sweet and half milk chocolate)
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. candy topping – I used peanut butter M&Ms that were red and green

Here’s what you do:

  1. For the cookie layer: Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 in. pan with foil and/or spray with cooking spray. Creaming the butter and sugar with a stand mixer until fluffy. Slowly stir in flour. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 18 minutes until it starts to slightly brown. Cool for at least 20-30 minutes before continuing.
  2. For the peanut butter caramel layer: Mix caramels, peanut butter, and heavy cream in a pot over medium to medium low heat. Stir until smooth and melted. Carefully pour on top of cookie layer. I used a spatula to evenly spread on top of cookie. Chill at least 15 minutes before adding chocolate peanut butter layer.
  3. For the chocolate peanut butter layer: Melting chocolate chips and peanut butter together in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Stir until smooth and peanut butter is incorporated and pour over caramel layer. Again, I used a spatula to spread evenly and carefully. Top with candy of your choice – I use red and green M&Ms and sprinkles to fit within my holiday theme.
  4. Chill bars until completely firm; I chilled mine in the fridge for a few hours and then let sit at room temperature before cutting.

Peanut Butter Fudge Caramel Bars (1)

Semi-Homemade Buckeye Brownies!

I know I’ve expressed my love for peanut butter and chocolate before. There’s just something SO perfect about the way the two flavors combine and the creaminess of peanut butter mixing with the creaminess of chocolate (don’t get me started on white chocolate and peanut butter — that’s amazing in my opinion).  So, naturally since stumbling upon this recipe, I’ve now made this three times. Once, for a Cleveland-themed party (thus the Cleveland beer), once for B’s birthday, and once for … hmm … I don’t remember but I’m sure there was a good reason.

Anyway, this recipe is super easy but SUPER delicious. A coworker told me these were the best brownies she had ever had! AND – shh – I even use a brownie mix. It may be a little time consuming (hey, I only said it was easy) because you have to make three separate layers and let them cool  – but it’s worth the wait. Try this IMMEDIATELY.

For my non-Ohio friends – Buckeyes are peanut butter chocolate candy. They’re like an amazing peanut butter cup, shaped like a nut from a local tree (the Buckeye!). I wrote about them once before .. or twice.

three layer buckeye brownie bars - peanut bar + Brownie + chocolate OMG! - I CRASHED THE WEB

Three-Layer Buckeye Brownies

Here’s what you need:

For the Brownie Layer:

  • Brownie Mix
  • Beer! – You can replace the water quantity with a stout-like beer (so my brownie mix called for 1/3 c. water – instead, I used 1/3 c. Great Lakes beer to continue with the Buckeye/Cleveland theme)

For the Peanut Butter Layer:

  • ¾ cup peanut butter (creamy)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Topping:

  • 1½ cups semi-sweetened chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter

Here’s what you do:

  1. First, make the brownies! I did it the easy way and just doctored up a brownie mix. Feel free to make your own brownies or beer brownies if you choose – really any work. I went with the beer-themed brownies to keep with the Ohio theme. If you want to do that too, make brownies and cook them according to directions in a 13×9 in. pan – but instead of adding water, replace that same quantity with a dark, stout-like beer. After cooked, cool completely (at least 1 hour).
  2. Then, make the peanut butter layer. Try not to drool! Beat together peanut butter, butter and vanilla on medium high until smooth and creamy. Then, turn your mixer on low and alternate adding a little powdered sugar and then adding a little milk/cream. Mix well between each addition and keep mixer on low until both ingredients are added. Then, increase the speed and beat until super smooth and spreadable. NOTE: If it’s too dry, add a little more cream – if it’s too thin, you may need a little more sugar. Using a spatula, spread the peanut butter layer evenly on top of the brownies.
  3. Make the chocolate peanut butter topping. Melt together the chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave. Keep an eye on this – you DON’T want it to burn! I stirred mine about every 20-30 seconds for a few minutes until it was melted and combined. Pour over the peanut butter layer and spread evenly with a spatula.  Let set for at least 1 hour.  Or put it in the fridge if you can’t wait that long 🙂

I’ve made this a few times now and each time I cut them differently – sometimes I cut them into 1 1/2-2 inch squares, other times I make them smaller and more bite-sized and put them in mini cupcake papers (like I did for B’s birthday).

Enjoy!

three layer buckeye brownie bars - peanut bar + Brownie + chocolate OMG! - I CRASHED THE WEB buckeye brownies - i crashed the web

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Peanut butter and chocolate. What other flavor combination makes your mouth water? What other flavor combination produces some of the best desserts ever? (like homemade BuckeyesSurprise Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes or Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oreo Bars)

That’s why, when I was asked to bring cookies to an event, B suggested that I bring Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies – a recipe my mom had made when I was growing up, and one that I often forget about. Now you can make them too!

 REESE'S Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

(from the back of the Reese’s peanut butter chip bag … and my mom)

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups peanut butter chips (one package of Reese’s peanut butter chips)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat  your oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. I used Pam.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Combine dry ingredients — the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt — and slowly stir into the creamed mixture.
  5. Fold in the peanut butter chips. Try not to eat too many before adding to the batter! They’re SO good.
  6. Drop cookies by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the greased cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until set. Cool on wire racks.

Enjoy! Hopefully more peanut butter and chocolate recipes are coming 🙂

chocolate peanut butter chip cookies ingredients

What you need …

chocolate peanut butter chip cookies

What you’ll make!

Peanut Butter + Chocolate = Homemade Buckeyes

Each year for B’s  birthday I make him a favorite treat, Buckeyes.

What are Buckeyes?

If you had asked me a few years ago, I would’ve just looked at you crazily. Buckeyes? I have no idea? I would’ve said.

Now, being an Ohioan for five years (can you believe that?) – of course I know what Buckeyes are! Not only do I know what they are – but I LOVE eating them and making them! Peanut butter? PLUS chocolate? How could they go wrong? So to all my East Coast and West Coast friends  and family – Buckeyes are basically a glorified and homemade peanut butter cup that are made to look like the state tree of Ohio’s “fruit/nut” and are super delicious:

A real deal Buckeye – not one I made

actual homemade buckeyes

So each year, sometime around September 13 (B’s birthday) … or a month later if I’ve been busy … I cook (without the oven, of course) up some Buckeyes and B is a happy camper. And now, you too, can make some perfect Buckeyes – oven free – with this recipe:

Perfect Homemade Buckeyes

Here’s what you need:

For the amazing peanut butter filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

For the chocolate outer coating:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2ish tablespoons of Crisco or shortening

Here’s what you do:

    1. Line a baking sheet with foil or waxed paper
    2. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar. Mix well (I use my KitchenAid) until it forms a stiff dough.
    3. Shape dough into balls, about one inch or 2 tsp wide.
    4. Place on prepared pan, and place peanut butter dough balls in refrigerator for 1 hour, or freezer for 30 minutes.
    5. Now it’s time to make the chocolate coating! Melt shortening and chocolate together in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Stir occasionally until smooth.
    6. Time to coat the Buckeyes! Remove  peanut butter balls from freezer. Insert a toothpick into a ball, and dip into the melted chocolate chip/Crisco mixture. Return to wax paper or aluminum foil chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls.
    7. Refrigerate chocolate coated peanut butter balls (or Buckeyes!) for 30 min to 1 hour to set.

peanut butter chocolate buckeyes

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oreo Bars

Last weekend, B and I went camping with a few friends. Each person was in charge of bringing a specific food item, and in addition to bringing lunch for Saturday, we were slated to also share in bringing dessert. In fact, next to desserts, the list read, “Snacks & Desserts – Everybody bring some, but I have high expectations for Melissa’s desserts.”  Yipes! So the pressure was on. So not only did I bring the AMAZING cookie dough balls  (which were a hit) – but also decided to bring some Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oreo cookie bars! Who doesn’t like peanut butter AND Oreos?

peanut butter chocolate chip oreo cookie bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oreo Bars

(Inspired by Picky Palate)

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg (per usual, I used 1/4 c. Egg Beaters)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 c mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c peanut butter chips
  • 2 cups mini Oreos

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar and peanut butter. Mix well.
  3. Add egg and vanilla; continue to mix.
  4. Add flour, baking soda and salt to wet ingredients, and combine until a sticky yet firm dough forms.
  5. Add chips and mini Oreo cookies and stir lightly with a spatula so the Oreos don’t crumble.
  6. Transfer dough to prepared baking dish. Dough will be sticky – I had to use my hands to spread it out on the baking dish.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
  8. Cool before cutting. Serve with milk – or if you’re like me, bring on your next camping trip because they definitely traveled well!
peanut butter chocolate chip oreo bars!

it almost looks like a square pizza!

Oreo peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

Ready to enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

This week, our office is participating in a few fun activities in honor of our Operation Feed Week – our effort to support local food banks. One of the awesome things we’re doing is hosting a bake sale – with donations going to the local food bank. Of course I was SUPER excited to participate – and decided to make some cupcakes (surprised?) that combine two of many people’s favorite ingredients: chocolate and peanut butter.

Wanna wow your friends with some delicious AND easy cupcakes? The cupcakes feature a homemade peanut butter cream frosting, a chocolate cupcake using (shh!) brownie mix AND a surprise inside – a peanut butter cup!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

(inspired by Betty Crocker)

Here’s what you need:

For the cupcakes (makes 12):

  • A box of brownie mix (see, I told you it’s easy! I used Betty Crocker’s Supreme Brownie Mix with fudge packet)
  • Ingredients required per brownie mix box (mine had oil, water and eggs)
  • 15 Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – 12 for baking in your cupcakes, 3 to chop up for topping frosting

For the peanut butter buttercream frosting (frosts 12 cupcakes):

  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ – ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Here’s what you do:

For the cupcakes:

  • Prepare brownie batter per directions on box.
  • Pour batter into a muffin pan, prepared with cupcake liners.
  • Unwrap the Reese’s peanut butter cups and place one cup softly on top of each brownie cupcake.

Peanut Butter Cups in the Brownie Mix!

  •  Bake, at 350 degrees, until done, about 15-18 minutes
  • Cool completely before frosting. I put mine in the freezer so I could frost them sooner : )

For the frosting:

  • Thoroughly beat peanut butter and butter until well blended.
  • Gradually add sugar, 1/4 cup or so at a time until frosting stiffens.
  • Add milk and vanilla. Continue mixing until creamy.
  • Frost cupcakes! Chop up the remaining Reese’s and sprinkle on top of frosted cupcakes.

Enjoy~