Kitchen Adventures: Peanut butter cookie brownies

What’s better than a chocolate chip cookie, a peanut butter cup, and a brownie?  Being able to eat all three of them at once.

I found this recipe on Pinterest and made it for my office’s Pie Day Friday.  Even though it wasn’t technically pie (ok, not at all), it rocked because:

  • I was able to get all the ingredients at CVS on my way home
  • All the ingredients cost less than $10 and made more than 20 servings
  • I was able to make different portions easily
  • I was able to give the extra peanut butter cups to my gluten-free colleague so he could have somewhat the same thing as the rest of us

These were a huge hit and especially great for when you don’t have time to get to a full-blown grocery store or need something that travels well.


Peanut Butter Cookie Brownies

  • 1 bag of small Reese’s peanut butter cups
  • 1 box of brownie mix and the ingredients to make it (varies by box)
  • 1 roll of refrigerated cookie dough or box of cookie dough mix and the ingredients to make it (varies by box)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Grease a muffin or mini-muffin tin
  2. Press cookie dough into the bottom layer of each section.  Add a peanut butter cup. Top with brownie mix, filling to about 2/3 full overall. (The cookies and brownies will both take up a little more space when cooked.)
  3. Bake for 18 minutes, less for mini-muffins.  When testing to make sure your treats are done, don’t let the melted chocolate from the peanut butter cup throw you off.  I overcooked mine a little, but they were still delicious.

Done!  I made 12 large muffins, 12 mini muffins, and 1 mini loaf pan (with the leftovers) with these ingredients.  Serving recommendation: warm these up and top them with ice cream.  You won’t regret it.

Marvelous Mocha Madness

I dare you to find a richer, more decadent mocha cookie than this one from Gourmet.  Kat and I made these munchies for her housewarming party earlier this year, and I recreated them this afternoon to bring to a bonfire tonight (I am daring myself to try them instead of a graham cracker in a s’more, though I may die from sugar shock…).

I used this recipe, with a few modifications:

  • I ran out of white sugar and had to use some brown, which was fine, but I should have gotten all the lumps out in advance because they were a pain to do while cooking.
  • I melted 2 of the cups of chocolate chips and only put 1 cup in before baking – last time, we melted all the chocolate and it was great, so I didn’t want to go to far with their 50/50 breakdown – these cookies are so rich, you don’t really need pockets of chocolate.
  • I tried to bake some in a mini-muffin pan because I ran out of baking sheets.  Major fail.
  • I used instant espresso powder – last time, we used actual espresso, which left a bit of a crunch in the final product.  This way isn’t necessarily better, it was just cheaper.  (I might even try it as a drink later…)
  • I ate way too much batter, and now I am stuffed.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie?

Five Ingredient Fudge

In the aftermath of the announcement that Borders is closing, I scurried over and browsed their cookbook section for what could be one last time.  I ended up with a book called Cookwise, (by Shirley Corriher) which includes helpful tips and comments on the science of cooking along with each recipe.  They tell you what role each ingredient plays, and how you can make easy substitutions.

I worked off of their “Sinfully Easy Fudge” recipe but made it even easier for tonight’s cooking adventure.  Even so, they deserve the credit – I’m just passing on the excellence.

Five Ingredient Fudge (aka Sinfully Easy Fudge)


  • 7 oz milk chocolate chips, chopped up
  • 11 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can (14 oz) low-fat sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp butter (in the original recipe, the butter is added to roasted nuts, but I just threw it in with the chocolate)
  1. Line an 8×8 pan with foil and grease well (cooking spray works fine).
  2. Chop up the milk chocolate chips – I used my mini food processor for this one.  The semisweet ones don’t really chop, so don’t bother trying.
  3. Add both types of chocolate chips, the sweetened condensed milk, and butter to a saucepan – preferably something with a thick bottom so the chocolate doesn’t burn.  Heat over low heat, stirring often.
  4. Once the chocolate chips melt, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Transfer all that chocolate goodness to the pan, and spread it evenly.  Pop it in the fridge and let it sit until solid (about 2-3 hours), at which point you can cut it into squares.  Done!  This makes about 30+ small pieces.

As the recipe mentions, this stuff is a little soft because it’s so low on butter, so you will have to keep it refrigerated until soon before you eat it.  But it’s totally worth it.  I feel like this could also be good warmed up and melted onto a brownie sundae…  I’ll let you know if any pieces last long enough for me to find out!