Whenever I’m feeling kind of meh, I have a few options. A nap isn’t usually possible (there are small children about), so I can either try to sneak episodes of whatever TLC show is new on Netflix without the li’l ones noticing, or I can make a pie. It’s hard to hide what my iPad is doing, so I think the pie wins this one.
Last week, Kenny and I had a mini-getaway to Hershey, PA. A lot of people were confused about our choice of location since we went without our kids, but if you know me, it’s not confusing at all.
For one thing, it’s close to home so if there’s a kid emergency, we can get back fast. The resort is super fabulous. I mean, there’s a chocolate spa. And best of all, there is chocolate everywhere.
One thing I noticed about Hershey baked goods in Chocolate World (yes, that’s a place) is that the resident bakers incorporate Hershey treats liberally into everything: fudge, cookies, brownies, even tarts. There are peanut butter cups in everything. You can imagine my joy!
I’ll be working on a copycat of an amazing peanut butter cup cookie this week to share with you, but in the meantime, I needed to get all that Reese’s out of my system. And what better way to do that than in a fudgy brownie?
Lesson number one from Hershey’s Chocolate World: be generous with your chocolate inclusion into baked goods, and use the regular size, not the miniatures, in the batter. So inside and on top of these brownies are the full-sized cups, not their little siblings. I like it better that way! More peanut butter bang for my buck.
To make sure there were peanut butter cups everywhere, I chopped the Reese’s cups into quarters and placed them on the bottom of the pan before layering on the brownie batter. Some of them shifted once the fudgy batter went in, but that’s fine. Between that layer and the full cups pressed into the top, nobody can complain they’re not being given their full Reese’s dose for the day!
I like to learn from the experts, and the truth is, the only thing cooler than filling brownies with Reese’s is making my own candy bar (and designing my own wrapper)! I mean, that’s heaven.
But now I’m home, away from my woodside cottage, away from my chocolate massage, away from bowls of Hershey’s Kisses everywhere. A girl’s gotta do something to withdraw. Lucky for me, I bought these magnets:
Or, you know, I can just keep baking Hershey products into everything. I’m happy to endorse Reese’s forever without being paid. Talk about cheap advertising! I hope they’re grateful. And I hope you start putting more candy bars into your treats. Totally worth it!
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8 X 8 pan with foil and spray it with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the cocoa into the melted butter until it dissolves. Add the sugar and stir again. When the sugar is incorporated, mix in the vanilla and eggs. Add the salt and flour, mixing until just combined.
- Take half of the peanut butter cups and cut into quarters. Line the bottom of the pan with the quartered peanut butter cups.
- Spread the batter on top of the Reese's cups. Don't worry if some of them shift. That's fine!
- Press the remaining eight peanut butter cups on top of the batter evenly.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, Do not overbake, or the brownies will not be as fudgy.
- Cool and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.