S’mores Brownies & Peanut Butter Blondies

by byn on July 28, 2010

in Brownies & Blondies

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It was Nicole’s 30th birthday a couple weeks ago, and her boyfriend threw her a surprise party at a lawn bowling club. Since I don’t do sports, and I also don’t own any white articles of clothing (the lawn bowling attire of choice), I didn’t know how this whole thing was going to work out for me (like that’s the most important thing! ha).  

Know what I do know? Treats. Someone else was in charge of birthday cupcakes, so I was trying to think of some other things to bring with a few considerations in mind:  

1. Transport – treats needed to be easy to package up and bring to Glebe Manor

2. Hand held – didn’t want to bring anything that needed to be sliced to serve or eaten with forks/spoons

3. Meltability Factor – we were going to be outside, so my first idea for Lemon-Lime Squares from the Baked cookbook wouldn’t work, nor would any type of cheesecake squares or the like that would get too soft if left out in the heat.  

I came up with these two treats as my final selection: S’mores Brownies and Peanut Butter Blondies.   S’mores seem like such a summery thing, although I may or may not make them in the microwave in the winter. You’ll never know. I generally followed this outline from How Sweet Eats, but I used my own go-to brownie recipe that I love.

I’ve made Smitten Kitchen’s Peanut Butter Brownies in the past, but I decided to try Joy the Baker’s version because it calls for natural peanut butter which I had in the cupboard. The flavours are very similar, the only real difference is the JTB recipe is topped with a milk chocolate frosting (butter, chocolate, icing sugar etc), while SK’s uses a more rich chocolate ganache (bittersweet chocolate, whipping cream, that’s it). I think I prefer the contrast in flavour of the bittersweet chocolate, but in reality, it’s a win with either topping. Each of these recipes made a 9×13 pan, for a total of 4 dozen big squares, definitely enough for the crowd of 20 or so peeps that came out to celebrate Nicole.  

S’mores Brownies  

Source: Idea from How Sweet Eats, Brownie Recipe from some old magazine, I think Canadian Living , nope it was Good Housekeeping according to my old recipe book.

Ingredients:  

Crust

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted  

Brownie

3/4 cup butter

4 oz unsweetened chocolate

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt  

Marshmallows

1 small bag mini marshmallows  

Directions:

  1. For crust, mix graham crumbs with melted butter and press into a foil lined 9×13 baking dish. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.
  2. For brownies, melt butter and chocolate over medium-low heat in a large saucepan. When smooth, remove from heat, and let cool for a few minutes. Stir in sugars, then eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt until just blended and pour over cooked graham cracker crust. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  3. Pour the mini marshmallows over the top of the brownies, as much as you like (I wanted a thick marshmallow layer). Switch the oven to broil, and put the pan in the oven. Watch it very carefully (marshmallows can burn/light on fire easily), and when lightly toasty and brown, remove.
  4. I let the brownies cool, and then put in the fridge overnight. They will be a sticky mess to cut, but a hot dry knife, wiped between each cut will help you get neat tidy squares.

Peanut Butter Blondies with Milk Chocolate Frosting

Source: Joy the Baker

Ingredients:

Blondies

10 tbsp butter

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup smooth natural peanut butter

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

Icing

6 tbsp butter, softened

3 tbsp cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups icing sugar

3 tbsp milk

3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, melted and cooled

Directions:

  1. Line a 9×13 baking pan with foil and preheat the oven to 325.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar, then remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter, and let mixture cool for 10 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla,  and then salt, flour and baking powder until just blended. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature before frosting.
  3. For frosting, beat together butter, cocoa powder and salt. Add 1/2 cup icing sugar followed by 1 tbsp milk, and beat well. Add remaining icing sugar and milk and beat again. Finally, add melted chocolate and beat again. Spread over top of blondies.

Note: I actually made the blondies on Friday night, let them cool overnight,  frosted them on Saturday morning, and put them in the fridge until Sunday morning. The icing was firm after being in the fridge, so they were easy to slice.

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