Welcome to another month of #FoodieExtravaganza! This month we are highlighting the ingredient: PEANUTS and our host is the lovely Alexis from We Like To Learn As We Go! I love all things peanuts - peanut butter in particular. I think I almost ate my weight in PB and J sandwiches when I was pregnant with the twins (ok, not quite that much - but a half sandwich was often my "go-to" bedtime snack along with a small glass of milk, and I never got tired of them!) If you would like to participate in the next Foodie Extravaganza, just go to the Facebook page to join. We would love to have you!
It has been an exceptionally crazy month - we sold our house in Hiram just last Friday and Atlanta has had some ice and snow over the past couple weeks and between those two things our past couple weeks have been a little hectic and crazy. We still had Kenneth's old project trucks at the Hiram house up until about two weeks ago, and then with the bad weather we were limited on which days we could get out to the house to finish clearing out the basement. The rest of the house has been ready for months now, but we had to get Kenneth's F-150 towed to the scrapyard, replace the battery in the Bronco, load up the last couple loads of miscellaneous tools, lumber, and car parts from the garage and get it to the new house. In two days Kenneth almost single handedly accomplished all of that. I was pretty impressed, I must say. His Dad very kindly came out and helped on the very last day of work, and helped get the final load of "stuff" into the trucks, helped Kenneth get the Bronco started, and followed him home to make sure he made it safely (since it's been a LONG time since the Bronco has been driven - it's been up on jack stands getting worked on probably for over a year at this point!)
Ok, I am digressing... a lot. You want to see creamy, peanut butter, chocolaty goodness! And this recipe absolutely delivers all of that and more. I used my new favorite kitchen tool to blend the brownie batter together. The brownie batter gets a generous helping of chopped mini Reese's and then poured into a 9x13 pan lined with Reynold's nonstick foil. The peanut butter cheesecake layer is whipped until light and fluffy, and gently spread over the brownie batter. This beautiful concoction is baked for 35 - 40 minutes, until set, then refrigerated for an hour until cooled through.
A generous layer of melted chocolate is smoothed over the baked cheesecake and more delicious morsels of mini Reese's are distributed over the warm chocolate - then back to the refrigerator to chill just one last time so the chocolate layer can set up.
These are VERY rich - make sure you have a glass of cold milk to wash them down, and cut the pieces small. They are SERIOUS chocolate fix deliciousness! The brownie layer is very rich and fudgy, the cream cheese layer is creamy and peanut buttery - and this is an amazing combination of the two flavors and lots of textures that complement each other for an incredible sweet tooth fix. These were a huge, huge hit in my house - my husband and son were practically swooning. They each downed 2 (fairly large) pieces the very first night we cut into these, which is always a sure sign of praise and approval from my recipe critics! Of course, I guessed these would be a big hit with them both since they are both huge Reese's lovers and fanatics - it's an oversized, soft, creamier, fudgier version of a Reese's, how could I go wrong?!
Here are 11 delicious Peanut Recipes!
- Peanut and Candy Popcorn Ball from We Like to Learn as We Go
- Kung Pao Chicken from Fearlessly Creative Mammas
- Peanut Almond Polvoron from The Joyful Foodie
- Cold Spicy Peanut Noodles from Culinary Adventure with Camilla
- Oatmeal Peanut Butter Scones from Baking in Pyjamas
- Reese's Cheesecake Brownies from Making Miracles
- Peanut Crunch Pull Apart Bread from Mrs. Penguin
- Spicy Georgia Sugared Peanuts from Food Lust People Love
- Chocolate Caramel Peanut Clusters from The Freshman Cook
- A Peanutty Treat from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Whoopie Pies with Peanut Filling from Passion Kneaded
Reese's Cheesecake Brownies from The Recipe Critic
¾ cup butter
6-oz dark chocolate, chopped
1½ cups sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 ½ tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 (12-oz) bag mini Reese's peanut butter cups, divided and chopped into fourths
For the peanut butter cheesecake layer:
8-oz block cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
For the chocolate layer on top:
1 (12-oz) bag milk chocolate chips
Optional: stir in a TBS of peanut butter to the chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13" pan with Reynold's nonstick foil for easy removal of the bars. Chop your Reese's peanut butter cups in half, then divide the Reese's into 2 piles.
- In a medium sized nonstick pot, melt the ¾ cup of butter with the chopped dark chocolate. Stirring constantly until the chocolate has melted, keep the heat to medium-low so you don't burn the chocolate. Remove from heat.
- Whisk the sugar and brown sugar into the butter / chocolate mixture. Whisk in the vanilla and 3 eggs, when those are incorporated, whisk in the flour. Gently stir in half of the chopped mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Spread the brownie batter in the prepped 9x13" pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together the cream cheese and softened butter for about 2 minutes until fluffy. Add in the egg, sugar, salt, and vanilla and continue to blend on high for about 2 more minutes. Finally, add in the peanut butter and blend on high for 2 more minutes (scrape down the sides as needed - mixture should be smooth and fluffy).
- Gently spread the cream cheese layer over the brownie layer until it is smooth and completely covers the brownie layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the top and edges are lightly golden brown and the center is set.
- Allow the bars to completely cool (I let mine sit out on a wire rack for about an hour) and then refrigerate for at least an hour before proceeding with the final chocolate layer.
- To make the chocolate layer: In a medium nonstick pot over medium-low heat melt the chocolate chips, stirring constantly with a spatula (if you want even more of a peanut buttery taste, add a TBS of peanut butter to the chocolate chips while melting). When the chips have melted and are smooth, quickly and carefully smooth the melted chocolate evenly over the top of the cooled cheesecake layer, spreading evenly until it covers the entire pan.
- Sprinkle the remaining chopped mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on top of the chocolate while it's still wet. Return the bars to the refrigerator until the chocolate is set. Cut into squares and serve.
- Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator.