Buckeye Brownies

This is another birthday post. As it turns out, I have plenty of friends who enjoy desserts on their birthdays. I know that’s extremely shocking. 😉

For this friend’s birthday, I didn’t know what kind of dessert she would want, and I didn’t have a chance to subtly ask her. I could have made my millionaire’s shortbread, as that’s always a hit. But since she’s already had that, I thought it would be fun to make something different.

I turned to my list of recipes. (You know, the recipes you’ve wanted to try but haven’t had a chance to. Everyone has that list, right?) I weeded out the weird ones, the ones that were primarily for me, and the ones that were super ridiculous or messy. I had to get them ready for later that day, and they were going to be eaten while we were out. I wanted something easy to transport and eat.

I ran a few ideas by my dessert comrade (my wife). I settled on this one. It had been on my list of recipes to make for a while. It looked delicious. It looked easy to transport and eat. And it had festive written all over it. So it seemed to be a good choice. 

I had heard of buckeyes before, but I hadn’t had them in regular form, let alone in brownie form. For those of you who aren’t familiar with buckeyes, you can read more about them here. I have no particular connection to Ohio, but I am a fan of peanut butter and chocolate. So, there’s that.

Ingredients!

Ingredients!

I had to run out and get peanut butter, eggs, and powdered sugar. (I ran out of powdered sugar on the red velvet cupcakes, as you might recall.) I did not use espresso. It was optional, and I didn’t feel the need to get something I wasn’t going to use otherwise.

I used a tiny little bit more hot (but not quite boiling) water than recommended as I didn’t have all the chocolate cut and ready when I needed to so it didn’t all melt. Plus, I might not have cut it quite as fine as I needed to. As I was at the end of mixing up the brownies, I noticed there were still some small chunks of chocolate, but I figured they would get melted in the end.

I had a ton of chocolate in the house, but I didn’t have any unsweetened chocolate. So I used some dark chocolate, which wasn’t super sweet. I used mostly canola oil (leftover from the sufganiyot). I ran out of that. So the last almost half tablespoon was grapeseed oil.

I only used 2 1/4 cups of sugar in the brownies, instead of the 2 1/2 in the recipe. Because the chocolate I used had a little bit of sugar in it (instead of being unsweetened), I figured I would take some sugar out to compensate. And even if I had used unsweetened chocolate, I might have done it anyway, because 2 1/2 cups of sugar is a lot. (Not to mention the sugar in the rest of the recipe.)

I know I’m a little bit on the slow side, but this took a while. Getting the ingredients together and making just the brownie part took around an hour. Then I did some cleanup and took a break while the brownies were baking.

They baked for 30 minutes. There weren’t really any crumbs. But I think if I cooked them more, there would have been fewer crumbs, so I figured they were done. I actually tested them in two places. I had never seen the “halfway between edge and center” wording before. In a 9 x 13 dish that could mean different things. So that’s why I tested in two places.

Freshly baked brownies!

Freshly baked brownies!

They smelled delicious and looked delicious just as is. Part of me thought of skipping the rest, but I thought it would be fun to make the whole recipe. I let them sit for the hour and a half that they needed. Part of the way through that time I started on the peanut butter filling.

Peanut butter filling. Yum!

Peanut butter filling. Yum!

I didn’t have any milk, and I didn’t want to get it for just two tablespoons. I used water. I ended up having to add a little bit more as was suggested might be necessary. I’m not sure if the filling turned out exactly right, though. I might not have mixed it enough, because it wasn’t that easy to spread on the brownies, and some of it didn’t stick right.

Brownies with filling!

Brownies with filling!

The glaze was easy to make. I had big chunks of chocolate from a big chocolate bar instead of chocolate chips. It was milk chocolate and it was going to get melted in any case. Because of the way the blocks of chocolate measured out, I was a very tiny bit short on chocolate. (I didn’t see the need to break them down further for just a tiny bit.)

Topped with glaze!

Topped with chocolate-peanut butter glaze!

After putting on the glaze, the brownies were supposed to sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to set. I was running a little late to get to the birthday celebrations, so I stuck them in the freezer for about 20 minutes instead. They were just about set. Good enough. I cut them up and left them in the fridge for just a couple more minutes before we actually left. (They ended up sitting at room temperature for a while at the party, but turned out to be okay.)

Side view, after they set.

Side view, after they set.

We brought them with us to the party. We actually kind of forgot about them, because we were having a lot of fun hanging out and playing shuffleboard. Yes, shuffleboard. It’s making a comeback here in Brooklyn. When the time came, we put a candle in the brownies and sang happy birthday. Because we’re traditional. And silly.

The final product.

The final product.

It was a good choice of dessert. The birthday girl loved them. Everyone loved them. Some people came back for seconds. They were rich. Sweet and delicious. Lots of nice different textures. Someone described them as tasting like a great peanut butter cup on top of a brownie.

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As you can see, some of the filling didn’t stick so well.

And in case anyone was wondering, we had asked them if it was okay to bring in a dessert from the outside. They had said it would be okay, with two caveats. One, we had to bring our own serving utensils, as they didn’t have any. And two, we had to make sure to give them some. 🙂

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It turned out to be a little bit of a ridiculous dessert: chocolate, peanut butter, and then chocolate peanut butter. Not too ridiculous of course, as they were quickly gobbled up. Do you have any ridiculous desserts in your repertoire? Do you have a list of recipes you want to try? What’s on your list?

Recipe courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker.

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