Peanut Butter Oreo Overload Brownies

Phew. Okay kids, I promised you sugar and here it is. All of it. So much.

The other week Pinterest lit up with these brownie Oreo peanut butter cupcake delights. The ones I happened across didn’t lead to a recipe, but it looked pretty straightforward. All I needed was a reason to make them because I certainly wasn’t going to eat 18 of these babies. Luckily, my work had a charity bake sale and these immediately came to mind as something I could donate.

Peanut Butter Oreo Overload Brownies {{Baking Bytes}}

Due to the brownie mix (which is one of the few things I’m okay using a mix for), these come together simply with relatively little time commitment and are easy to transport for parties. But let me warn you, they are rich! I am not normally one of those people who thinks thing are too sweet (I can eat chocolate pudding pie for daaaays) but these take it to a whole new level. I also don’t typically eat packaged candy (which is probably part of why it’s a bit overwhelming to me) but I made an exception for these.

Peanut Butter Oreo Overload Brownies {{Baking Bytes}}Peanut Butter Oreo Overload Brownies {{Baking Bytes}}

With a glob of peanut butter sandwiched between two Oreos and surrounded by brownie, these things do not mess around. Maybe you only want half of one, maybe you want five, I don’t judge. The fudgy-ness of a brownie, the crunchy-ness of an Oreo, and a smooth peanut butter filling give you all the textures you could want in one chocolatey bite.

Peanut Butter Oreo Overload Brownies {{Baking Bytes}}

I topped mine with some Reese’s peanut butter chips for some added flair, and because I always have them on hand anyway. Totally not necessary but they do look prettier that way, and as we all know: you do eat prettiness.

Peanut Butter Oreo Overload Brownies {{Baking Bytes}}

These would be great for an upcoming Halloween party (maybe cut them in half for kids) if you want to get away from all the pumpkin flavors. (If you don’t, my pumpkin ginger cupcakes are amazing, not that I’m biased.)

Peanut Butter Oreo Overload Brownies

Inspired by various Pinterest pins
Makes ~18

Ingredients

1 box brownie mix (for 8×8 pan)1
–> plus any ingredients called for on package

1 package Oreos (or knockoffs)
peanut butter
Reese’s peanut butter chips (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners and lightly grease with cooking spray.
  2. Mix the brownie batter according to package directions and set aside.
  3. Place an Oreo (or knockoff) in the bottom of each muffin liner and top with one teaspoon of peanut butter (using a cookie scoop will greatly speed up this process.)
  4. Gently press a second cookie on top of the peanut butter, pressing down till the peanut butter is spread evenly across the cookie.
  5. Add two rounded tablespoons of brownie batter on top of the Oreos, using a toothpick to spread it evenly down the sides and across the top. Liners should be almost completely full.
  6. Top with Reese’s peanut butter chips (optional).
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes (the tops should be matte).
  8. Let cool completely in the pan, then store in an airtight container.

Notes

1 I used the Ghirardelli brownie mix that Costco sells, but it would be much easier to use a mix that doesn’t have chocolate chips/chunks in the batter.

You may have a little leftover brownie batter, just bake it in additional liners, filling each about 2/3 full. Great for brownie sundaes after you’ve given all these away.

Peanut Butter Cheerio Treats

Peanut Butter Cheerio Treats {{Baking Bytes}}

When I was a kid (and to this day), I never cared much for Rice Krispies. They were better in the overly sweet, marshmallow form that graced many of my friends’ lunches, but I’d have preferred cookies or pudding any day. Instead, my mom often made what we called Cheerio treats: the peanut butter and Cheerios cousin of Rice Krispies Treats.

Peanut Butter Cheerio Treats {{Baking Bytes}}

As a household of peanut butter fanatics and Cheerio eaters, these were always a big hit. A bit crunchier than a normal Rice Krispies treat, but with the added flavor of peanut butter, these continue to be one of my favorite easy snacks. Since they are made in the microwave, they are perfect for hot days when you don’t want to heat up the oven. Even better, they only take about 15 minutes to come together, making them a great go-to recipe when you’re in need of a quick treat. Just make sure you always have marshmallows in the cupboard and you’ll be ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Peanut Butter Cheerio Treats {{Baking Bytes}}

I nearly always make them our traditional way, with creamy peanut butter and plain Cheerios, but feel free to mix it up however you like. I’ve given some suggestions after the recipe if you’re looking for inspiration. Whether you go with the original or kick it up a notch, these are a wonderful treat.

Peanut Butter Cheerio Treats

Adapted from Kraft
Makes an 8″ x 8″ pan

Ingredients

2 Tbsp butter
25 large marshmallows
3/4 cup peanut butter

3-5 cups plain Cheerios2

Directions

  1. Lightly butter an 8×8 baking dish.
  2. In a large, microwave safe bowl, heat the butter on high for 45 seconds, or until melted.
  3. Add  marshmallows and peanut butter and stir.
  4. Heat in microwave for 45 seconds, stir, heat again for 45 seconds, and stir until mixture comes together with little to no streaking.
  5. Add cereal, stirring until combined. Mixture will be stiff. After it cools slightly, you may want to use your hands to mix it further.
  6. Press into prepared baking dish and allow to cool. Cut into desired pieces (I usually do 12 or 16) and serve.
  7. Store on the counter in an airtight container.

Variations

  • Add 1/2 cup baking chips (e.g. chocolate chips, peanut butter chips) when you add the cereal
  • Press sprinkles or mini chocolate chips into the top after pressing into pan
  • Drizzle with melted chocolate chips
  • Use crunchy peanut butter instead of creamy
  • Use a different flavor of Cheerios (maybe chocolate?), or substitute Rice Krispies or Chex cereal

Notes

If, you prefer, you can heat the mixture on the stove over medium heat instead of using the microwave.
I like them gooey so I only use 3 cups of cereal; my mom uses 5 cups. The more you use the more important it is to make sure everything is combined really well so it all sticks together.

Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple Ice Cream {National Ice Cream Month}

[Welcome! In case you missed it, this month is National Ice Cream month. Each Tuesday I’ll be sharing a new ice cream recipe for the entire month of July. If you want to see the first two recipes, they can be found here and here.]

Week three already, can you believe it? This week we are diving headfirst into decadence with a peanut butter and chocolate confection. Regular readers have probably noticed that peanut butter is something I consider to be a staple food. I eat it at least once a day, usually spread atop an English muffin with a dusting of cinnamon and sugar (my standard breakfast), or as a dip for a sliced apple sprinkled with cinnamon (my go-to work snack). I never grow tired of peanut butter, whether I’m eating it straight out of the jar or in a more complicated creation. I even took my own jar of Jif when I spent six weeks in Japan, having learned from my Scotland semester abroad that peanut butter is not quite as common in other parts of the world. (My mom saved the day by mailing me a jar to Scotland so I could eat all the PB&J I wanted, much to the confusion of my British flatmates and friends.)

Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

In any case, peanut butter is a big deal here in the home of Baking Bytes. M almost always tops his preferred flavor of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce, peanut butter, and a banana. (According to him, the banana makes it healthy.) I thought this week I’d try combining some of those flavors into one sweet treat, namely peanut butter ice cream with a chocolate ripple.

Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

My first attempt had way too much peanut butter (like that’s even a thing) and ended up more like extra fluffy peanut butter than an ice cream. I toned it down for my second attempt and in addition to not freezing hard as a rock, it’s definitely ice cream. Smooth and very peanut buttery, the chocolate ripple breaks up the thickness of the flavor. I’d never tried a ripple before, but it turned out to be very easy. If a mix-in isn’t really your style, just top it with your favorite chocolate sauce or keep it plain; it is certainly delicious all on its own.

Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Below find my recipes for peanut butter ice cream and a chocolate ripple, as well as instructions for combining the two. Keep in mind this is not a hot fudge recipe, it is meant to stay soft in the freezer as a mix-in, rather than be served on top, so it is very thin at room temperature – this is normal. Just make sure you chill it in the fridge before you add it to the ice cream or it may blend in too much.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream 

Makes ~6 cups

Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup half and half (or milk)
1/4 – 3/4 creamy peanut butter1
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth and completely combined; mixture will be somewhat thick.
  2. Cover bowl and chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  3. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions, then place in a freezer-safe bowl to freeze for an additional three hours, or overnight.

Notes

1 You could use chunky if you want, although likely the texture will still be pretty smooth after blending. The more peanut butter you add, the harder the ice cream will be. I like to use about 1/2 or 2/3 cup, which results in a strong flavor but still stays fairly soft. If you’re looking for a more subtle peanut butter flavor, I’d cut that amount in half.

Fudge Ripple

Borrowed from Brown Eyed Baker
Makes about 1.5 cups1

Ingredients

½ cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
½ cup water
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder2

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together all ingredients except vanilla. Cook over medium heat, whisking often, until the sauce comes to a low boil.
  2. Continue cooking for another minute, whisking almost continuously.
  3. Remove sauce from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and let cool in the pot for several minutes.
  4. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using in ice cream.

Notes

I did not use near this amount in my ice cream, so I’m storing the leftovers in the freezer to use in another recipe. Depending on how much fudge ripple you like, you may end up with extra. I used about a third to half of the recipe, and I would probably use a little more next time to make sure the ripple permeates every bite.

The original recipe calls for Dutch-processed cocoa powder but I just used Hershey’s because that’s what I always have on hand. I used one tablespoon dark cocoa powder and the rest regular.

Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Fudge Ripple Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 recipe ice cream of choice, chilled but not churned
1 recipe of fudge ripple (above), chilled

Directions

  1. If you haven’t already, place a freezer-safe bowl in the freezer.
  2. Freeze ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s directions.
  3. Remove bowl from freezer, and drizzle some chocolate sauce on the bottom.
  4. Gently spread about one cup of ice cream into the bowl, and top with another drizzle of chocolate sauce. Avoid stirring or the ice cream will look muddy. Repeat with remaining ice cream (you may have sauce leftover), finishing with a sauce drizzle on top.
  5. Return bowl to freezer for about 3 hours, or until ice cream is firm (or serve immediately if desired firmness is already there.)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hope you’re having a delightful Monday! If you aren’t, maybe these cookies will help to improve it. This is probably the recipe I use most often as it’s one of M’s favorites. It’s also very consistent in baking and pops out lovely round cookies every time. Although we’ve been buying Skippy peanut butter ever since Costco stopped selling Jif (jerks), I still prefer my adaptation of the Jif recipe. It makes perfect and soft cookies every time and doesn’t require softened butter, making it a good go-to recipe for any time of the year. It also freezes well, so feel free to make a double batch and save half for later. Geared more toward a peanut butter fan than a chocolate lover, these cookies are the antithesis to the chocolate peanut butter chip cookies I’ve posted previously.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {{Baking Bytes}}

Spectacularly peanut buttery with a smattering of chocolate chips, I like to make these cookies small for a bite-sized treat. They are chewy and sweet and practically require an accompanying glass of milk, so I like to have the option of eating one or five, depending on how big of a sugar rush I’m looking for. If you prefer larger cookies, have no fear. Use two tablespoons of dough instead of one, flatten slightly, and bake for an extra two minutes or so. I like to bake a test cookie if I’m not using my usual method just to make sure I don’t ruin a whole tray.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {{Baking Bytes}}

Personally, I think these cookies speak for themselves so I’ll stop here. If you’re in the mood for a peanut butter experience, whip up a batch and have a few warm from the oven; your Monday can only get better from here.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {{Baking Bytes}}

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Adapted from Jif’s Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes about 5 dozen small cookies

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups lightly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter1
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
3 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk, and vanilla on medium speed until completely blended and fluffy.
  3. Add egg, beating until just combined
  4. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing on low until just incorporated. Dough should not stick to your finger. If it does, stir in extra flour in very small amounts until it’s no longer sticky.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Using a 1 Tbsp cookie scoop, place two inches apart on prepared cookie sheets and bake for 7-9 minutes.2 They will look slightly under done, but should be matte, not shiny.
  7. Cool briefly on cookie sheet, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Store in an air-tight container on the counter for up to 1 week (or maybe longer, they are always gone by this time), or in the freezer for several months.

Notes

1 I always use creamy, but crunchy peanut butter will definitely work. Both Skippy and Jif work great, but I have not tried a natural peanut butter in this recipe, so use caution if you do. You may need to add a little extra flour at the end, so check the dough before you add chocolate chips.

2 If you’re using dark pans, they will likely be closer to the 7-minute time, if you’re using light pans (or a silicon mat) they will probably need closer to 9 minutes. I use light aluminum pans and silicon mats and 9 minutes is correct for me.

[Psst. Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow morning for a new ice cream recipe! Hint: alcohol ahead. If you missed last week’s ice cream recipe, it can be found here.]

Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Happy President’s Day! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend (and Valentine’s Day, if you’re into that sort of thing.) Friday marked my 5-year anniversary with M, and as usual I baked a cake for the occasion. Each year I use a brand new recipe I’ve never tried, but luckily so far all of them have been delightful. Two years ago was a chocolate raspberry layer cake, and last year was a black forest chocolate cake I haven’t added to this blog yet. Maybe I’ll do a flashback post one of these days.

Peanut Butter Layer Cake {{Baking Bytes}}

This year, I wanted to hark back to the first cake I ever made: a chocolate cake, cream cheese peanut butter frosting, and chocolate ganache decadence that was amazing, albeit incredibly rich. Chocolate and peanut butter are a mutual favorite and this year I decided to reverse it in anticipation of a slightly less decadent confection. Borrowing a peanut butter cake recipe from The Daring Gourmet and pairing it with the same chocolate buttercream frosting from two years ago resulted the cake version of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Peanut Butter Layer Cake {{Baking Bytes}}

The cake is moist with a fabulous peanut butter flavor, and pairs beautifully with the chocolate buttercream. I opted for just frosting and no extra filling, but for an extra kick some chopped peanut butter cups would be fabulous between the layers.

Peanut Butter Layer Cake {{Baking Bytes}}

Peanut butter chips make a fun polka dot decoration that keeps with the peanut butter theme while being a contrasting color to the frosting. Bonus: they are super easy to decorate with.

Peanut Butter Layer Cake {{Baking Bytes}}

Below find The Daring Gourmet’s peanut butter cake recipe with my minimal changes, followed by a reprint of my chocolate buttercream. The original cake called for baking it all in one layer and cutting the cake in half, but since I don’t have a tall enough cake pan for that I opted to divide it before baking. I actually prefer this method because there’s no cutting involved, but both ways should work equally well.

Peanut Butter Layer Cake {{Baking Bytes}}

As for the frosting, I used about a tablespoon of dark cocoa and the rest regular to keep with a more traditional Reese’s pairing, but if you’re a dark chocolate kinda person, go ahead and use all dark cocoa. It will be amazing. For assembly, use your favorite method or head on over to my chocolate layer cake for my own method. Just ignore anything that mentions a filling and use peanut butter chips or another topping for some flair.

Peanut Butter Layer Cake {{Baking Bytes}}

So next time you have a peanut butter fanatic to please, this cake will definitely fit the bill. Just be sure to sneak a piece for yourself.

Peanut Butter Layer Cake

Borrowed from The Daring Gourmet
Serves 8-12

Ingredients

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup (rounded) creamy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar (loosely packed)

2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk

Directions

  1. Line the bottoms of two 8″ (or 9″) cake pans with parchment paper. Butter and flour the pans, especially the sides.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. In a large mixing bowl (or with a stand mixer), beat the oil, peanut butter, and brown sugar on medium speed until combined and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix on low until just combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
  6. Starting with the dry mixture, alternately add it with the buttermilk, beat gently with each addition just until combined. Batter will be fairly thick.
  7. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans and bake for 18-22 minutes. A toothpick should come out moist but not wet.
  8. Cool cakes in the pan for a few minutes, then turn onto a cooling rack to cool completely (about one hour).
  9. Wrap each layer carefully in plastic wrap, and freeze for 1 hour or until ready to frost.

Peanut Butter Layer Cake {{Baking Bytes}}

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

From Savory Sweet Life
Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar
½ cup sifted cocoa powder3

½ tsp table salt
2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup tablespoons milk, half and half, or heavy cream

Directions

  1. Beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
  2. Add sifted powdered sugar and cocoa, and mix on low (unless you want a blizzard) until combined.
  3. Add vanilla, salt, and milk or cream and beat for 3 minutes on medium speed.
  4. If necessary, thin with milk/cream (1 tablespoon at a time) or stiffen with powdered sugar to desired consistency.

Notes

1 This cake is pretty beginner friendly, just be careful not to over-bake it.
2 It keeps well on the counter for a few days, just be sure to cover it with plastic wrap. (Once the frosting has set it shouldn’t stick much.
3 I used part dark and part regular, but any combination of cocoa powders will do; just make sure it all adds up to a half cup.