So now that the Buttermilk Chronicles are over, let’s have a look at the next thing I decided to make. This one is partially influenced by my wanting to clean out the pantry (of Hershey’s chocolate chips and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups). Although to be honest, I intentionally picked up the Reese’s after Halloween at half-price with the intention of using it in something.
You might not know, but I have a somewhat personal relationship with Hershey’s and Reese’s. (Reese’s is owned by Hershey.) I grew up in central Pennsylvania, home to wondrous snack foods as I’ve previously mentioned. It’s also home to Hershey’s.
We spent time hanging out at Hersheypark and Hershey’s Chocolate World. (Ah, that wonderful theme song.) In elementary school I had a friend whose dad worked at Reese’s as an accountant (if memory serves me right). They lived even closer to Hershey than I did and had season’s passes to Hersheypark. I remember going to sleepovers at my friend’s house where we hung out at Hersheypark all day. In middle school, I remember a class trip going there to celebrate our graduation.
I may be a little biased about Hershey’s chocolate. I think it’s really good. I always thought everyone else did as well, but it turns out that’s not the case. In high school I was on an exchange program with an Austrian high school. (Technically it was a Gymnasium.) One of the places we took them was Hershey. I asked my new Austrian friend what he thought of Hershey’s chocolate. He was not too impressed. I was incredulous at the time, but I get it now. There is other good chocolate out there, and Hershey’s isn’t to everyone’s liking.
So this recipe was very easy to put together and very easy to clean-up. I did all the measuring with a 1/4 cup and a 1/2 teaspoon. Everything was multiples of those. I also used some bowls and utensils which went in the dishwasher. But I was just left cleaning the 1/4 cup and 1/2 teaspoon and mini food processor. (I’ll get to that in a moment.) While I normally like to use a scale, this turned out just as easy. (I didn’t feel like looking up conversions for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and chocolate chips.)
As an aside, I wanted to talk to you about brown sugar. Why? Well, we used to have a problem with keeping brown sugar fresh, even though we kept it sealed in its original bag, which was then sealed inside a bigger plastic bag. But now, we have these glass jars that we keep dry goods in. It keeps the brown sugar nice and fresh. I love it. It makes it easy having fresh brown sugar for recipes.
For the oats, I had to do some research. I couldn’t find quick oats at the store I went to. I found out I could substitute rolled oats. I got some of those and used the mini food processor to make them into smaller pieces. This effectively turns the rolled oats into quick oats.
I used Hershey’s milk chocolate chips leftover from another recipe. I had almost a cup. I used leftover semi-sweet chocolate chunks and chips to finish up making the 1 1/4 cups needed. Instead of using Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and chopping them, I used mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It was hard measuring them, because they didn’t fit neatly into measuring cups, but I made some allowances and let them go over a bit because there was a lot of empty space in the measuring cup.
Since they were Halloween candy, they were individually packaged, like 5 mini Reese’s to a small bag. I had to open all of these individual little bags. It was almost the entire package of candy. It was a lot of waste. Note to self for the future: do not get Halloween candy individually wrapped like that.
As I said, it was easy to put it all together. I mixed everything in a big regular bowl instead of a small mixing bowl. (That way I could put it in the dishwasher instead of having to hand wash it.) I waited until being done with the mixing to preheat the oven. Then instead of greasing the dish I used parchment paper. I pressed it in with a spoon at first, but then I realized I needed to use my hands.
After the 8 minute range it wasn’t ready, nor after 10. I let it go for about 12 minutes. Maybe I hadn’t made the oats small enough? (The research I had done indicated that bigger oat pieces would take longer.) I was basing “doneness” on the recipe saying it should be starting to brown. It wasn’t really, but I was afraid I was cooking it too long.
It had really risen a lot. I should have taken a picture, because it was super poofy. (Super Poofy! A new superhero movie coming to theaters near you!) When I put the chocolate on top it deflated very quickly. Then I piled it up with the peanut butter cups. Then I crumbled up and sprinkled on the topping by hand.
I baked it for 15 minutes. I wasn’t sure if it was enough or not but given that the first half needed more, I thought it made sense to do the second half a little more too. I did 2 more minutes and then checked it. Then 1 more. Then I left it in the oven for a couple of minutes after I turned the oven off. It got nice and brown. It smelled nice. It sounded nice too, being that it was all bubbly and such.
I put it on the counter to cool. It was late. So after I let it cool, I stuck it in the fridge overnight, as I wasn’t going to eat any that night. (Shocking, I know.) It still smelled nice and oaty.
I tried it the next day. It was kinda awesome. I hadn’t taken it out soon enough so it was a little hard. It was much better the following day at room temperature. There’s a nice mix between the two parts of the dessert: the chocolate and peanut butter part & the oat part. The oat part makes you think for a moment you’re eating something hearty and wholesome. And then you taste the chocolate and peanut butter, and you realize what an unholy mess of a dessert it is. Delicious, decadent, wonderful, and ridiculous.
One note: the chocolate and peanut butter hadn’t melted so much, so I tried microwaving a piece at one point to see if that would help. I wouldn’t recommend it. It kinda fell apart and didn’t help with the melting.
I’m wondering if the mini Reese’s made a difference as compared to the chopped Reese’s? Or if I put in too many when I was trying to measure them? It’s also possible that they melted the right amount and that’s how they were supposed to be.
I would happily recommend making these. Not just because of my enjoyment of all things Hershey, but also because they were very easy to make and really blew people’s socks off wherever they went. More specifically, wherever I took them. They didn’t go anywhere by themselves.
Do you have a favorite recipe involving Hershey’s chocolate? Do you have a favorite hometown chocolate or candy of your own? I’m always happy to learn something new. Until next week!
Recipe courtesy of Oh Sweet Basil.