In my quest to reduce waste and stretch my creativity, I like to challenge myself in the kitchen. I’ll sort through the refrigerator or pantry, and plan a meal or dessert from ingredients I have on hand instead of running out to the store to pick up one more thing. As I perused the pantry this week, a forgotten bag of toffee bits and a nearly empty jar of peanut butter caught my eye. It wasn’t long before I was devising these peanut butter brownie bites, conveniently made with kitchen staples.
I topped rich and fudgy brownie bites (a one-bowl recipe, no less!) with a swirl of peanut butter buttercream for a tasty union of salty and sweet. A sprinkle of toffee bits is a welcome surprise between the layers, and the toffee adds a nice crunch to these two-bite treats. How do you like to challenge yourself in the kitchen?
Peanut Butter Brownie Bites
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbsp toffee bits
Peanut Butter Buttercream
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 Tbsp low-fat milk
Preheat oven to 325°F and spray two 12-cup mini muffin pans with nonstick spray. Place melted butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a large bowl and stir the mixture until combined – the texture will appear granular at this point. Stir in vanilla; add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each one. When the batter is thick and shiny, add the flour and stir until completely incorporated, then beat briskly for 40 more strokes.
Fill each cup with a slightly rounded tablespoon of batter; sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon toffee bits over each brownie. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool bites completely in the pans on a wire rack, then chill in the refrigerator 1 hour. Use an offset spatula to pop bites out of pan.
To make buttercream, beat butter and peanut butter in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, then gradually add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and milk; beat on medium speed until airy. Fit a pastry bag with a round tip and pipe a spiral onto each brownie bite. Store leftover bites in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.
Yield – 24 brownie bites (serving size: 1 brownie bite)
Calories – 155
Carbs – 21