You know those two-bite brownies? The kind from the bakery section at the grocery store? The kind that manage to be simultaneously gooey and chewy and fudgey and chocolatey, thus embodying all the characteristics of the perfect brownie?
They're kind of my weakness. And by that, I mean that I've been known to inhale an entire bag on my own if left to my own devices.
Actually, it's worse than that. As soon as I get my hands on a bag, it's all I can do not to snarl like a feral creature and curl myself around them all Gollum-like, muttering "my prrrrrrreciousssssss" as I cram them into my mouth. (And yes, the whole "two-bite" thing is a lie. They're one bite at most.)
I'm seriously considering therapy for that little problem of mine.
In other words, they're just about the most perfect food around... but as this recipe proves, sometimes if you nestle a peanut butter cup smack dab in the middle of perfection, it gets even perfecter. (Seriously, that is so a word.)
It only seemed appropriate to make a batch of these to help my gal Jenny (aka The Brunette Baker, aka my kick-ass roomie at last year's Food Bloggers of Canada conference, aka all-round awesome lady) to celebrate her third blogoversary in style. For one, this girl's sweet tooth is as big as her heart, and two, she's kind of obsessed with chocolate and peanut butter.
Also, I actually like Jenny enough that I'd be willing to let her have a few of these without trying to bite her fingers off. I'm a giver like that.
Since you're not Jenny, it's probably best if you you make your own batch if you value your fingers, which is why I'm parting with my super-duper super-secret recipe. I'm also a giver like that.
- 24 mini peanut butter cups
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- ¾ cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the cups of a mini muffin tin, and set aside.
- Unwrap the peanut butter cups. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the butter, sugar and cocoa powder in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 30-45 seconds or until the butter is melted. Stir to combine. (If you don't have a microwave, you can also do this on the stovetop in a small saucepan set over medium heat.)
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then stir in the vanilla, espresso powder and salt, then. Stir in the flour and baking powder, and mix until just barely combined.
- Spoon a generous 2 tsp of batter into each of the cups of the prepared mini muffin tin. Gently push a candy in the middle of each one, making sure you only push it partway down (it shouldn't be touching the bottom of the pan).
- Bake in preheated oven until the edges are set and dry, about 12-15 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, then gently unmold and cool completely before serving.
Don't forget to check out all the other awesome bloggers who are celebrating with Jenny today!