Monday, January 31, 2011

Easy Decadent Gourmet Brownies

I was the dessert person for yesterday's family meal. I made fancy brownies. Everybody dug in and enjoyed. They pronounced this recipe "A Keeper".
Picture is from Betty Crocker website.

We are a family of brownie lovers. Brownies are a staple to us. Thinking back, I don't think a week went by that my mom didn't make a batch of brownies. No family get-together is complete without somebody bringing a batch of brownies, no matter what other desserts might be present.

Although I have made them from scratch, I honestly prefer a boxed mix. The mix is reliable, turns out every time, and is, oh, so easy. My preferred brand is actually my local discount grocer's house brand. (If you have an Aldi's nearby, try their Country Cupboard brownie mix.) That said, I must admit, I used Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix this time around. I stocked up last time our local store had a Dollar Day sale.

I wanted to do something a little different and we had just bought a similar single serving brownie at a deli that features "home-baked" goodies on Saturday. (It's an Amish run store and the goodies are a big attraction.) The Big Guy had suggested I try making them at home as he absolutely loved it. Simple enough. It was a regular brownie with a layer of fluffy peanut butter icing and then topped with a thick fudgy chocolate icing. I knew I could do that - with or without a specific recipe.

While the brownies were baking, I went on line just to see what I could find about gourmet brownies. The true treasure trove turned out to be Betty Crocker's official website. There are pages and pages of ways to make your brownies special. The one's I made are called Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies. (They also have a gluten free version of these.)

I suggest you go to the site yourself and find a favorite way to dress up your next batch of brownies.

But, because these were just so delicious and so decadent, I'm reprinting it here anyway!

1 box Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix
(prepare as directed on the box)

Peanut Butter Filling:
1/2 Cup butter, softened
1/2 Cup creamy peanut butter
2 Cups powdered sugar
2 tsps. milk

1 Cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 Cup butter

Mix all filling ingredients together and spread on cooled brownies.

Combine chocolate chips and butter in a microwaveable bowl and heat uncovered in microwave for 30 - 60 seconds or until it stirs smoothly. Cool 10 minutes and then spread over the peanut butter filling.

Pop the whole pan into the fridge to set for about 30 minutes.

Just a few personal comments about the preparation:
*I let my brownies cool for one hour before icing.
*I used a bit more milk in my peanut butter filling to make it a little easier to spread. I'd actually like to play with it a bit more to see if I can get an even fluffier consistency.
*I made mine in a 13"x9" pan and ran a little short of chocolate topping and needed to whip up some more. I would use the full 12 oz. bag of chips and 3/4 Cup of butter.

I'm thinking of trying one with maraschino cherries today.

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