Food, Fun, Holiday, recipe, Sweets

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

This recipe was made a while back when I found a box of brownie mix on the counter of my cousins house and wanted to make it a little more exciting than the original recipe.  A quick google search led me to this recipe where a peanut butter cheesecake layer takes there brownies to the next level.  I followed the recipe to a tee, but I must admit they are tricky to tell if they are done and I would err on the side of underbaking for a fudgier brownie.  These would also be a great recipe for Halloween as they don the orange and black color scheme.IMG_3371


  • your favorite brownie batter (I used Ghirardelli mix)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (can be light)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 eggs
  • ½ cup peanut butter (i eyeballed it and probably used more)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream or milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare the brownie batter and spread into a greased 8×8 baking dish.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, eggs, and sugar. Add the peanut butter, adding the cream as necessary to make the mixture more smooth. The consistency should be thick, but smooth enough to easily mix with the electric mixer. Add the vanilla and salt.
  3. Pour mixture over brownie batter and marble with a knife.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Food, Fun, recipe, Sweets

UN-healthy Heath recipes

More baking ensued to end my time in Florida.  I divided a bag of heath between two recipes.

First, I made a chocolate Heath Bit and Reese’s Pieces blondie which was tasty, but can be improved as the toffee hardens even the most underbaked blondie.  Then came the toffee brown sugar cookies.  Although I did not have a mixer to properly cream the butter and sugar together, they turned out great.   I started with the traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe then made a few revisions.  First, I subbed 1/4C brown sugar for white sugar.  I also added a tsp of cinnamon and an extra egg yolk, and used half butter and half crisco. I also only had baking powder so I omitted baking soda and used more baking powder.  Oh yeah I also added some oats in place of 1/2C flour.  I scooped them out by the tablespoon and undercooked them to only 9 minutes.  One thing to remember when baking with toffee is that it hardens as it rests so be sure to undercook!  Okay so I made a lot of revisions but they were still great.

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The blondie recipe was a little more exact with the substitution of butter flavored crisco and a little underbaked, I was a happy camper.  I believe I referenced this Hershey’s recipe and subbed the chocolate chips with Reese’s Pieces and toffee bits


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk (I used almond)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY’S Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolate


    1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line a 8X8 in pan with parchment paper

    2. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in small chocolate chips. Spread in prepared pan.

    3. Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan on wire rack. It may seem underbaked but do not panic!

    IMG_1548 IMG_1547

    Food, Fun, NYC, recipe, Sweets

    Unbelievable PB Whipped Cream Frosted Brownie

    Brownies with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream Frosting

    Thanks to the Baked Bree blog, I found a brownie recipe which I jazzed up with a peanut butter whipped cream.  I was curious to see the results of melting the brownie mix in a double boiler as suggested.  The only big decision I had to make was whether to make a layer of peanut butter topping then a third layer of whipped cream, or to combine the two into a frosting.  Well even though Food 52 said it was possible, the melted chips did clump up a bit when combining with the chilled whipped cream.  It still tasted delicious.  I also used only cocoa powder in place of chocolate which led to a more dry brownie in my opinion.

    Not the most amazing recipe, but the icing is on the right track to success.

    melted PB chips

    melted PB chips

    Bree’s Ingredients

    1 1/4 sticks butter
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    3/4 cups plus 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup flour

    My Changes

    1 stick of butter and 1/3C applesauce.  I also did not have whole eggs and used 1/4C egg whites.  I used half brown and half white sugar and reduced by 1/4C to compensate the sweet frosting.



    The Naked Brownie

    The Naked Brownie

    On top of a double boiler, melt the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt.  Melt, stirring occasionally.  Let the mixture cool a bit (this is when I prepped the 8X8 pan with parchment paper and set the oven to 325 degrees)

    Add the eggs one at a time.  Add in the vanilla.  Add Flour.

    Bake 20 minutes


    Naked Whip

    Naked Whip

    Combine 1-2T chilled heavy whipping cream with 2T powered sugar and 1t cornstarch.  Whisk cold heavy whipping cream in a bowl until it begins to set and add cornstarch mixture and whip until thick.

    Add 2T milk with 1/3C peanut butter chips in a double boiler until all chips are melted.  I would recommend lining the brownies with the peanut butter before topping with whipping cream.  I added peanuts for garnish and crunch and thought they were best eaten chilled.





    Food, Fun, NYC, Sweets

    Girl Scout Secret Brownie

    Brownies are a great treat to enjoy, however in my opinion they need some sort of addition to punch up the flavor and texture, otherwise you are left with an un-iced dense cake.  Even the simple addition of chocolate chips, powdered sugar, nuts, or icing will do the trick.  My personal favorite from growing up is to add peanut butter chips to the batter which inspired this post as I just made a batch of those last night now that Trader Joe’s sells PB chips.  


    In my case thin mint cookies were the hidden ingredient.  I used a simple traditional batter and layered half before adding the cookies then another layer on top to completely cover the cookies.  I have seen this done with oreos and plan on trying that next.  They were delicious as the cookie softened during baking, but gave the brownies a kick of flavor.  You can even use a box mix  and take the credit for them being homemade. 


    they look like normal brownies


    but the secret is hidden inside

    Dining, Food, Fun, recipe, Sullivan, Sweets, Uncategorized

    Boxed Betty Brownies Four Ways

    IMG_2043Part of the reaon why I love the midwest so much is for the bulk shopping.  I was lucky enough to get my hands on a huge box of extra chocolate chunk brownie mix.  Well I came to find there were four separate bags, so I wanted to take on the challenge of making them four different ways.  I spent plenty of time looking up recipes for doctoring up a box, and although many sounded good, most were pretty plain.  Many called for andes mints, smores, and other simple mix ins.  I thought to start it off, I would make a traditional brownie and bump up a few ingredients.  Round two I tried the “coke” cake, where you do not need to add eggs or oil to the batter, but simply a can of diet coke I took that to another level and added peanut butter swirl as well.  Third round was a for birthday party (I know another) where the birthday girl requested a cookie cake and I though I would make a “brookie” cake because it could feed double the people.  And finally I made a batch of brownie pops straight out of the freezer because it is sweltering hot here!  There were a few bumps on the journey, but they were all devoured pretty quickly so come along on the food journey.

    Round one: The Bumped up Brownie



    I wanted to know what these brownies tasted like before going too crazy experimenting so I followed MOST of the instructions.  My changes included adding vanilla extract to the

    IMG_2044batter and sea salt on top along with underbaking the brownies.  When underbaking brownies, they must go in the freezer before cutting.  The only mistake I made was sprinkling with powdered sugar before letting the brownies cool.  They were still great especially with the sea salt.

    Round Two: Diet Coke Brownies




    My Thought behind this one was that I did not have much vegetable oil left and heard about coke cake, and it looked like a coke brownie was also possible without losing too much of the fudgy texture.  I also figured adding a peanut butter cream swirl would cover up the taste if they did not taste good plain.  I mixed peanut butter, milk, and powdered sugar together for the mixture.  To make it even easier I put the remains of the peanut butter in the microwave to soften it, then added the powdered sugar and milk and shook it up to avoid cleaning another item.

    I decided to bring these to the green room to share them at intermission.



    Round three: The Brookie

    This one I sort of knew was going to be a disaster, but I wanted it to be in a round pan and I thought it would be too thin divided between two.  I started with a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe that I let sit in the fridge for several hours to hold its mold. 




    Then I poured a simple brownie mixture overtop and baked at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, then another 10 minutes, then another 10 and another.  Well you can see where this is going.  I didn’t want to overbake the cake, but it was already overflowing and still underbaked in the middle.



    The good thing is that it did not go to waste.  I just trimmed off the edges, sprinkled some powdered sugar on it, and fed it to the hungry boys in the house who ate the whole plate gladly!



    I flipped the “cake out of the pan and although it looks plain and overbaked, I decided not to ice or decorate it in fear of it being too sweet and I believe I made the right choice.  It was super crispy on the outside and ooey gooey on the inside and was one of the first things to go at the party.

    I know its not the prettiest, but I think I am most proud of this one

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    Round Four: Buckeye Brownie Bites

    For this one I wanted to make something that people can easily pop in their mouths and something chilled because it is starting to get hot outside.  I also like the fact that these could be easily transported.  I baked the brownies as directed with two eggs, oil, and 2 T water and baked only 35 minutes so they could easily be formed into balls, but still be crispy on the edges.  While letting it cool I used the extra chocolate chips as well as vanilla and peanut butter chips to dip the balls in.  I melted them in the microwave with a little veggie oil to make it silky smooth.  The only problem is that I was running out of both types of chips so by accident I created the buckeye brownie bite which is not something I found online.



    Top left : boring brownies

    Top right: Brownie balls with semi sweet chocolate and sprinkles

    Bottom left: buckeye brownies

    Bottom right: plain brownie balls frozen

    I prefer the peanut butter capped ones the best because the brownies still had crunchy bits as well as soft batter-like bits.