Peanut Butter Cookie Brownies

So last night I came up against an age old dilemma:  would I rather have peanut butter cookies, or brownies?  Kenneth solved the problem for me by suggesting that I create a combination peanut butter cookie/brownie confection.  And it turned out so well that I’m going to share it with you!

The Cookie Crust

You can use any recipe for the cookie crust that you like — just make sure it’s a soft and easily formed dough.  I chose to go simply with the old Skippy-jar 3-ingredient standby, and adjusted the usual recipe so that it would only make enough to cover a 9×9 pan.  You could, of course, make more cookie dough and just freeze the rest for later (or make cookies AND cookie-brownies all at once, if you’re feeling daring).  But since I’m going to be moving to a new apartment soon, I’m trying to reduce the amount of frozen goodness in my freezer.

So for my cookie crust, I just combined 1 cup of peanut butter, 1/2 a cup of white sugar, and 1 egg.  Pressed into the bottom of a 9×9 pan, this made for a crust about 1-1/2cm (1/2 inch) thick.  I suggest poking some divots into the top of the cookie with a fork to help the brownie batter adhere during baking.

Set your cookie crust aside while you prepare the brownie batter.

The Brownie Batter

As with the cookie crust, you could probably get away with using any brownie recipe that you like for the brownie portion of this delicious snack — but I highly suggest trying this one.  It’s from my mom’s Betty Crocker Cookbook, and it’s actually the very first recipe that I ever made all by myself (well, I was 5, so dad handled putting it into the oven, but I did all the measuring and stirring).  I’ve made it many different ways over the years, but I keep coming back to the original.

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine (softened)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional; or you could use other nuts)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cream together the sugar and butter, then add the vanilla and the eggs.  Stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Finally, fold in the nuts (if you’re using them — you can also try chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, or dried fruit).

Once your brownie batter is prepared, spread it in an even layer over top of the cookie crust.  Then it’s into the oven for about 50 minutes (this is about 10-15 minutes longer than the brownies would take alone, but the cookie crust adds some time).  A pick inserted in the center of the pan should come out clean when the brownies are finished.

Tips and Tricks

You’ll definitely want to let your cookie/brownies cool pretty thoroughly before you attempt to remove any from the pan.  The cookie crust needs some time to solidify, or else it’s just going to come out in a whole lot of little pieces.

I think that next time I make these, I’m going to sprinkle the top of the brownies with mini marshmallows before baking.  That way, they’ll be kind of like peanut butter s’more brownies.  I’m also considering making a chocolate chip cookie brownie, with chocolate chip cookie dough in place of the peanut butter cookie dough.

Let me know if you come up with your own variations!

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