Salted Peanut Brownie Bites
There are certain times of the month when my cravings for sweet and salty are on high alert and these salty peanut brownie bites truly hit the spot! So I decided to whip up a batch of brownies. But this was no easy task. I have always been a big fan of boxed brownies. They were easy (you can't beat one bowl) and they were moist and chocolaty. But when you're trying to stave off preservatives and processed foods, a boxed mix just won't do. So I went on a search. I realized that I don't like brownie recipes that called for melting chocolate. It sounds tempting, but I never found them to be that chocolatey and the brownies always came out kind of dry. Maybe its just me, but also melting chocolate made this a pot and bowl recipe and I don't know about you, but I need less dish washing in my life.
So I hunted for a one bow recipe that only used cocoa powder. I find that dutch processed cocoa produces a much more chocolatey flavor. And thats ultimately what we want right? Right! So I found this recipe from Cafe Delights, reduced the sugar and added more cocoa, because umm... why not? And made them pop-a-ble bites because I hate cutting brownies in a pan. They always become a gooey mess so any way to avoid that is also a plus. And because I can't leave well enough alone. we're going to add a salted peanut topping. It reminds we of the very top of an ice-cream sundae between the fudge and the nuts... its divine! I also wanted to call these "Salty nut brownies", but my sister vetoed that, though I still think its funny.
So onto this one bowl wonder. Place the butter into a microwaveable bowl and zap it in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds to melt the butter. Add the sugar and whisk till you can't whisk anymore. Approximately a minute. Seriously, my arms hurt doing this, but I persevered for the love of brownies. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk for another minute.
Now mix in the flour and cocoa powder until just combined. You don't need to overdo it here. Pour into greased mini muffin tins. I spray a but of pam into each well to ensure they pop out nicely once baked.
For the topping, mix together finely chopped toasted peanuts with 1 tbsp brown sugar and 2 tsp sea salt. I do this with my fingertips so that I can make sure all the sugar is sifted through and it's fun to do! Top the each brownie bite with the peanut mixture, then pop into the oven for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry- it doesn't have to be clean, a few pieces of brownie stuck on there is just fine. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes in the pan then transfer to a wire rack. Take these anywhere for a sweet and salty treat!
Salty Peanut Brownie Bites
* adapted from Cafe Delites, Best Fudgy Cocoa Brownie
Yields 16 brownie bites
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts
- Pre heat oven to 350F. Grease a mini muffin tin with non stick spray. Set aside.
- Mix together the topping ingredients. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, melt butter in the microwave for approx. 50 seconds.
- Mix in oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla till combined (about a minute)
- Add flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix until just combined.
- Drop about 2 tbsp of batter into each mini muffin tin.
- Top with the peanut sugar mixture.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes. Brownies should still have a bit clinging to the inserted toothpick. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan then transfer to a cooling rack.