SHF #32: Ooey-Gooey Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

When I was a kid, my favorite candy was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I couldn’t get enough of that sweet yet salty, crumbly peanut butter middle, enrobed in Hershey’s milk chocolate. Sometimes, I’d nibble the chocolate sides, leaving only a peanut butter center sandwiched by a thin layer of chocolate. I might pull the bottoms off with my bottom front teeth, leaving the exposed middle primed for licking. If I were impatient, I’d take a hearty bite, enjoying the feeling of harder chocolate co-mingling with a softer middle.

As I got older though, my chocolate-peanut butter cravings diminished. Sure, I’d enjoy a Reese’s from time to time, or a scoop of chocolate ice cream with ribbons of PB, but my cravings took me elsewhere. (Primarily, to cookies.)

Until this year. January heralded a renaissance in peanut butter-chocolate love for me. Peanut butter cups? Yep. But even better are PB minuets, with super creamy centers covered in a more sophisticated chocolate. Or decadent brownies swirled through with rivers of peanut butter. Or, my new favorite, Chocolate Peanut Butter milkshakes from Abbott’s Frozen Custard.

But, though we may not like to face it, food bloggers live in a real world where calories do count, and if I indulged my cravings as often as they’d like, I wouldn’t be able to get out the door and get a milkshake.

So I found this Cooking Light recipe for Ooey-Gooey Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies. They are good, but are not as decadent as they look (or should be). They’re also chewy enough to pull out a loose filling, so watch out.

Still, if a raging Choco-PB craving hits you but you’re not ready to blow the calorie bank, these will help you out. I brought them to a picnic, and they were among the first desserts to disappear from the table, so all in all, not a bad choice.

Ooey-Gooey Peanut Butter-Chocolate Brownies

3/4 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk, divided
1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, melted and cooled
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1 (18.25-ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme (about 1 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup peanut butter morsels (plus more for garnish, if desired)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Combine 1/4 cup condensed milk, butter, and next 3 ingredients (butter through egg white) in a bowl (batter will be very stiff). Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil (allowing extra to hang over the sides for easy lifting later). Coat bottom of foil-lined pan with cooking spray. Press two-thirds of batter into prepared pan using floured hands or a rubber spatula; pat evenly (layer will be thin).

Bake at 350-degrees F for 10 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup condensed milk and marshmallow creme in a bowl; stir in morsels. Spread marshmallow mixture evenly over brownie layer. Carefully drop remaining batter by spoonfuls over marshmallow mixture. If desired, sprinkle extra peanut butter chips over marshmallow mixture. Bake at 350-degrees F for 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Lift out using foil, and cut into 24 brownies using a pizza wheel.

Yield: 2 dozen (serving size: 1 brownie)

CALORIES 176 (25% from fat); FAT 5g (sat 2.1g,mono 1.6g,poly 1.1g); PROTEIN 2.6g; CHOLESTEROL 6mg; CALCIUM 30mg; SODIUM 212mg; FIBER 0.8g; IRON 0.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 29.9g

Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2000

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Categories: Brownies, Chocolate, desserts, Grade Range: B- to B+, Lighter Fare, Vegetarian

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