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Recipe: peanut butter (or caramel) candy mini brownie cups

Recipe: peanut butter (or caramel) candy mini brownie cups

Peanut Butter (or Caramel) Candy Mini Brownie Cups

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken up or coarsely chopped
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, broken up or coarsely chopped
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
24 Reese’s miniature peanut butter cups or Rolo
candies, thoroughly chilled and unwrapped
24 roasted peanut halves, to top peanut butter cups, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 12-cup mini muffin pans or coat with nonstick spray.

In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter and chocolates on 50 percent power for 1 minute. Stir well. Continue microwaving on 50 percent power, stirring at 30-second intervals. Stop microwaving before chocolates completely melt; let the residual heat finish the job. (Alternatively, in a medium, heavy saucepan, melt butter and chocolates over lowest heat, stirring frequently; be careful not to burn. Immediately remove from heat.)

Stir sugar into chocolate mixture until well blended. Let cool to warm, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, thoroughly stir together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

Beat egg and peanut butter into the chocolate mixture. Add vanilla extract; stir vigorously by hand until mixture is smooth and shiny, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour mixture until evenly incorporated. Spoon batter into mini muffin cups. Set muffin pans on a baking sheet.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 to 14 minutes or until almost firm when pressed in the centers. Remove from oven. Immediately press 1 peanut butter cup or Rolo candy, smaller end down, into the center of each cup until flush with the surface of the brownie. Place a peanut half in the center of each peanut butter cup. (There’s no need to press down; the peanuts become embedded as the chocolate softens.)

Transfer muffin pans to a wire rack; let stand until brownie cups are completely cool. Gently loosen brownie cups with the point of a table knife, then remove from pans.

Store in an airtight container up to 4 days or freeze up to 1 month.