Sunday, October 16, 2011

Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

Saturday was Carol's birthday.  She'll argue it's a birth month, but sadly for her it sounds like she's only getting one party this year.  My contribution, as per her request, was to bring chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.  I decided, since I know Carol's a big fan of Halloween, to use my skull and crossbones cupcake liners.  The only downside is that they're for mini-muffins so the end result would be more like two-bite cupcakes instead of big ones.  I figured if I was going to be making minis I needed them to be super flavour-packed minis: brownies with peanut butter frosting.  Oh yeah, I'm all over that!

After some quick googling to see how I could convert my favourite brownie recipe into a mini-muffin recipe, I was good to go.  I made the brownies the day before in case they didn't work out... I wanted time to bake something else if I needed to.  The end result was that the brownies have a slight crust where the liner meets the icing.  I suspect, if you were to ice the brownies while they were still a little warm, like I usually do when it's a whole tin, that the icing and brownie would melt together so you don't have that little crust.  But it's up to you.

Best Brownies (mini-muffin-style)
Makes: 24 mini-muffins

Ingredients:
 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Directions:
Heat oven to 350°F. Line your mini-muffin tins, or spray with non-stick spray.

Mix  together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended.  Stir in nuts, if desired. Spread batter evenly in prepared muffin tins.  (I used my small ice cream scoop for this.)

Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Prepare frosting.

Source:
adapted from Hershey, minus the icing.

Peanut Butter Icing
Makes: about four cups*

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened 
1 cup creamy regular peanut butter
4 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup cream

Directions:
In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy. 
Slowly beat in 1/2 of the confectioner's sugar. 
Mix in 1/4 cup of the cream. 
Beat in the remaining icing sugar. 
If necessary, add a little more cream or milk until the frosting reaches a good spreading consistency. 
 (I had to add two more tablespoons of cream because my kitchen was cold.)
Makes enough to frost one 2 layer 9 inch cake or one 9x13 inch cake. 

Source: All Recipes.

* Since this frosting recipe makes about four times as much icing as I needed, I froze the rest in a log for use as a stir-in for future batches of ice cream.  I made a log about the diameter of a quarter, and froze it, so when I want to use it all I'll have to do is slice off some chunks and stir them into the ice cream.

The end result was portable brownies for the party!

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