I made something 'somewhat' Halloween-related. I couldn't get my energy up to make really intricate or cute cupcakes (like I have seen on so many awesome food blogs - like these and these), but I really wanted to use these Halloween mini-cupcake liners (a gift from my mother-in-law) -- and so, this blog-post was born.
I have also been making a lot of heavier desserts lately, and I wanted to make something that was lighter and more reasonable to eat as an after-dinner snack. I decided to make brownie "bites". After doing a solid recipe search and comparison, I decided on the recipe below, with some changes (of course!). The main change is that I substituted my recently made apple butter in place of most of the fat. I know that applesauce is a common substitute for oil, but I was a bit unsure of the apple butter, only because the spices are much stronger than in regular applesauce. But, there was no need for worry - the results were fabulous! My chocolate-loving husband was very happy to wake up to these on Sunday morning and I was happy knowing that I was not tempting him with something super-unhealthy.
Peanut-Butter Brownie Bites (adapted from BakingSheet)
Ingredients (makes ~ 24 bites)
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/3 scant cup apple butter (recipe adapted from Good Things Catered - so delicious!)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup peanut butter chips, plus more for topping
Mini-marshmallows (or homemade), for topping
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa, apple butter, vegetable oil, sugar and brown sugar.
3. Whisk in eggs one by one, followed by vanilla extract.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
5. Add flour mixture to cocoa mixture and stir until just combined.
6. Stir in peanut butter chips.
7. Fill mini-muffin cups evenly (about 3/4 full) with batter.
8. Bake for 12-16 minutes, until just set and slightly firm to the touch. A tester should have a few crumbs.
9. Top each warm brownie with a few peanut-butter chips. As they melt, press a marshmallow into the peanut butter. Let stand until set.
1. When I made the apple butter, I only used cinnamon (not the cloves or allspice) - I'm not sure if a "spicier" apple butter would make a difference in the brownies. Either way, the apple butter is so delicious, definitely give Katie's recipe a try.
2. These can be made using any kind of chips - white chocolate, dark chocolate, toffee chips, butterscotch, you get the idea...
3. As an FYI, these are not super-fudgy type brownies, they are a bit more cake-like - almost like a brownie cupcake.