It's a habit of mine to look over the Internet while I'm sipping on a cup of coffee to find inspiration and new things to try. One particular day, I made one of those crazy leaps from Instagram-to blog-to blog-to pinterest-to blog and found myself drooling over Cookies & Cups Peanut Butter Cup Crack Brownies. I had to make them. That very night!
When one works with their mother-in-law and several other women older than oneself, it doesn't seem particularly nice to use the word 'crack' in a recipe title. I thought a slight name alteration was in order to better suit the possible sensibilities of those at my office so I could bring the brownies in the next day to share.
I made a few other alterations along the way because I don't particularly care for a brownie box mix and I'm a little crazy for my peanut butter. Certainly, if you prefer a boxed mix either for taste or ease, please go ahead and use one. The original recipe found HERE uses a Ghiradelli box mix and also less peanut butter and incorporated in a slightly different way.
Peanut But Cup Crackle Brownies
adapted and inspired from Shelly at Cookies & Cups
For the Brownies:
1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
For the Peanut Butter Layer:
8 Reeses Peanut Butter cups, chopped (I buy the little package of 8 individual ones as they go on sale often)
1/2 cup roasted and salted peanuts, salted (example: Planter’s Dry Roasted Peanuts)
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I strongly recommend NOT using natural. It’s too dry. Use Jif or something similar)
For the Crackle Layer:
2 cups of chocolate chips — Milk OR semi-sweet would do
3/4 cups peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups rice krispie cereal
1. Line a 9 by 9 pan with foil (this will aid in removing them from the pan later) with at least a couple of inches over hang on a two of the sides. Spray well with Pam or grease with additional butter being careful not to tear the foil. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a small bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, combine the melted butter and the sugar. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Slowly and thoroughly mix in the flour mixture. Pour and spread into prepared pan.
3. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
1. Remove the brownies from the oven and sprinkle them with the chopped reeses peanut butter cups and chopped peanuts. Return to oven for five minutes.
2. Remove the brownies from the oven and spread the melted peanut butter cups and peanuts across the surface. Drop dollops of the peanut butter onto the top of the brownies and wait a few moments. The peanut butter will start to melt. Very carefully, so as not to mix the layers, spread the peanut butter evenly across the top.
3. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare Step 3.
1. In a double boiler, or a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter. Let the mixture melt and stir it occasionally until it is completely smooth.
2. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the vanilla and the rice krispies. Take the brownie pan out of the refrigerator and careful pour the kripsie mixture on top. Again, be careful not to mix the layers and and spread the krispie mixture evenly across the top. Return to the refrigerator until completely cool and set (about two hours) and then cut.
The brownies can be stored well covered or in the refrigerator for a few days. I think they taste best at room temperature so if you keep them in the fridge you might want to let them come to room temp first.