Brownie Topped Peanut Butter Bars

A brownie topped peanut butter bar on a square white plate.
This past weekend flew by! Did it seem that way to you? I still can’t believe that Easter is next Sunday! Anyway, yesterday after lunch I was trying to think of a way to incorporate a little box of Reese’s eggs into a dessert. Since the husband ALWAYS wants brownies I thought I’d mix things up a bit and create a double layered treat. I started off by using a peanut butter “brownie” base and loaded it with peanut butter chips, then I added a thin layer of dark rich brownie on top. I sprinkled chocolate chips and Reese’s eggs over it all and called it good. These bars turned out to be a huge hit! It satisfied the peanut butter fanatic in me, and the brownie lover in Stephen. Happy Monday all!!!
Brownie Topped Peanut Butter Bars
Brownie batter:
¾ c. all-purpose flour
½ c. Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 c. sugar
8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 eggs
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. espresso powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
⅓ c. chocolate chips
Peanut butter batter:
¾ c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 c. peanut butter
8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 eggs
¼ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. Reese’s peanut butter chips
½ c. Reese’s eggs or Reese’s Pieces
½ c. chocolate chips
¼ c. mini chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13″ pan with aluminum foil, spray lightly with baking Pam.
2. Begin with making the brownie batter. In a small saucepan over low heat add butter. Once butter has melted, add sugar. Heat until the mixture becomes glossy but don’t let it bubble. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, salt, and vanilla. Gradually beat in one egg at a time. When the butter mixture has cooled (give it about 5-7 minutes or so) slowly add to the cocoa-egg mixture. Beat just until combined.
4. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the flour. When mixture is warm, but not hot (you don’t want to melt the chocolate chips), remove bowl from stand and fold in chocolate chips. Set aside.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter, peanut butter and sugar (2-3 minutes). Add vanilla, salt and baking powder. Gradually beat in one egg at a time. With mixing speed on low, add four, mix until just combined. Remove bowl from stand and fold in peanut butter chips.
6. Pour peanut butter batter into the prepared pan. Spread evenly to coat the bottom. Then pour the brownie batter on top, spreading to completely cover the peanut butter layer. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and Reese’s candies.
7. Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the bars are set (they should be nice and crusty on the edges and set in the middle, if you gently shake the pan they should not wiggle). Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan on top of a wire rack for 45 minutes. Using the foil edges, remove bars from pan and allow to sit for 15 more minutes before cutting.
NOTE: Espresso powder can be purchased at Williams-Sonoma, King Arthur Flour or Sur La Table.
Brownie recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour, Fudge Brownies | Makes approximately 12-16 large bars