Brownies (made with love and malice)

It’s the time of year when Michael and I end up baking things for people we know.  We have parties to attend, classes to end, etc.  And so, we usually end up making brownies.  The first time Michael and I made these together, we baked up two batches for the University of Alabama English Graduate Organization Valentines Day Bake Sale.  They were a huge hit!  We made a little sign that said:

Husband Killer Brownies
(made with love and malice)

I know, I know.  Husband killer brownies?!  That’s what Michael’s sister, Melissa, calls them.  The name is kind of a turnoff, I guess, but the brownies?  Totally to die for…or from.  And so, we only make them for special occasions.  Here’s how you can, too.

You’ll need:

  • a box of brownie mix (your choice–we used a “family size” box, for a 9×13 pan–though I suppose you could also use a brownie recipe you already love)
  • butter (lots)
  • as many eggs as your brownie mix calls for
  • mini peanut butter cups (one for each brownie)
  • a bag of chocolate chips (we used semi-sweet, but you could use any kind)

First, take a look at your box of brownie mix.  What does it say you need?  Ours said we needed 1/2 cup oil and 1/4 cup water.  But oh no! No we don’t!  Instead, we’ll replace these ingredients with 3/4 cups butter.  See?

box instructions
If your brownie mix calls for butter already, add the amount of butter it calls for and then replace the remaining liquid ingredients (probably water) with more butter.  Simple.  Then add the eggs and whatever else goes into your brownies and mix up the batter as usual.  You’ll then put it into your pan, like so:

photo-4
Once you’ve put the batter into the pan, unwrap your mini peanut butter cups and press them into the brownie batter.  Consider how big you’d like your brownies to be, and place the cups accordingly.  Since these brownies are rather rich (ha!), we tend to make them fairly small, so we placed the peanut butter cups fairly close together.

photo-6
Bake the brownies according to the directions on the box (or your recipe, if you’re super fancy like that).  When they’re done, you’ll have something like this:

photo-1
Admire the result, but control yourself.  There’s more to do.  While the brownies are still hot, sprinkle chocolate chips over their tops.

photo-7
You’ll want to use a lot of chocolate chips, because they’re going to melt and make a solid chocolate coating for brownies.  Once the brownies have cooled considerably, use a knife or spoon to spread the melted chocolate chips all across the brownies.  You’ll end up wiht this:

photo-2
Delicious!  Now, let them cool completely.  You want the chocolate to be solid before you cut the brownies.  Otherwise, you’ll end up with a big mess on your hands (and everywhere else).  When the brownies are cool, use a sharp knife to cut them.  Ideally you’ll cut around the peanut butter cups–they’ll be a surprise!–but we didn’t bother with that.  Here’s how ours turned out.

photo-9
My colleagues ate every one I brought to our departmental Christmas party, for sure.  Merry Brownies!

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