Category Archives: brownie

Peanut Butter Oreo Ice Cream

image_4This week marked the beginning of both student teaching AND my last semester of grad school, which means I’ve been having meltdowns left and right. For starters, the first week of the semester/student teaching = new. New people, new school, new experiences.

And Melanie ≠ good at new.

image_1I am that girl who would happily stay within her comfort zone and routine for the rest of her live-long days – if only that didn’t mean I would likely have stopped experiencing new things around age 7. You do NOT want to know how long it took my parents to get me to call and order pizza over the phone, because that would mean UM, TALKING TO A STRANGER.

I like to know what to expect. I like my schedule. I like things to happen the way I plan them to. So it goes without saying that the night before I started my brand-new student teaching I got totally nervous and spent eighteen hours running through every possible scenario in my head: What if I wear the wrong thing? What if I forget my lunch? What if my bus breaks down? What if the kids don’t like me? What if I’m supposed to bring pencils but I only brought pens? What if I forget the teacher’s name? What if I forget my name? WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ANY FRIIIIIEEEEENDS?

image_5Thanks (!) but no thanks, I’d rather stay in my familiar apartment with my familiar experiences. I have plenty of cookies friends here.

BUT, alas. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, and this girl’s gotta finish her master’s degree. So I put on my best I’m-not-scared-of-new-things-or-people face and marched to school and survived the day – and immediately came home and ate a giant chocolate peanut butter sundae, complete with homemade peanut butter oreo ice cream, brownies, and chocolate peanut butter ganache.

imageThank you, Ben & Jerry’s, for helping this hermit get through yet another [SCARY AND UNFAMILIAR] new day.

Peanut Butter Oreo Ice Cream (based on Ben & Jerry’s recipe)

yield: ~one quart


  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped Oreos (I chopped mine into quarters, but you can make the chunks smaller if you’d like)


  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the sugar a little bit at a time, then whisk until fully incorporated, about another minute. Pour in the cream, milk, and vanilla extract, and whisk to combine. Place about one cup of the mixture in a separate bowl and whisk in the peanut butter. Add the peanut butter mixture to the rest of the ice cream base and stir until fully combined.
  2. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker/attachment and freeze according to maker/attachment directions. When the ice cream has frozen to soft serve, gently fold in the chopped Oreos. Place the ice cream in an airtight container and put it into the freezer until frozen to desired consistency (I like it best after it has hardened up in the freezer over night).

I served my ice cream with these brownies and chocolate peanut butter ganache (pour 1/4 cup hot [not boiling] heavy cream over 3/4 cup chocolate chips and 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter. Whisk to combine.)

Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Guys. I took a major hiatus from blogging. LIFE, ya know??

Luckily I made something craaaaaaaazy good to make it up to you. Gooey brownie and peanut butter frosting and peanut butter cups GALORE. Let’s not even pretend I waited for the brownies to cool before frosting them, hence the melting peanut butter cups in the photo below. My life.

These brownies are super gooey-fudgy-rich just like boxed mix but without the mix. They are PERFECTION. And the peanut butter frosting? DIE. Dead.

(Also dead from the heart attack from the 80 pounds I gained when I accidentally ate THE WHOLE PAN. Okay I shared two with Mike. And two with friends. But the rest? I ate.)

MAKE ‘EM ALREADY, would ya???!


Chewy Gooey Fudge Brownies (adapted from Brown Eyed Baker and Cook’s Illustrated)

makes 15-20 brownies, depending on size


  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped and divided in half
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the cocoa powder and water until combined. Stir in half the chopped chocolate until most of the chocolate has melted. Add the melted butter and vegetable oil; whisk until combined. Whisk in the egg + yolk, vanilla, and sugar. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour, salt, and the other half of the chopped chocolate.
  3. Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then use the foil to lift the brownies out of the pan to cool completely. Top with peanut butter buttercream (recipe below).

Peanut Butter Buttercream


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2-3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of peanut butter cups, chopped


  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening on medium high until smooth.  Scrape down the bowl and add the peanut butter.  Beat on medium high until fully incorporated.
  2. Scrape down the bowl and add 2 cups of the confectioners sugar.  Start with the mixer on low, and as the sugar becomes incorporated, turn it up to medium.  Beat for about a minute, then scrape down the sides and add up to another cup of confectioners sugar 1/4 cup at a time, depending on consistency.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon milk, vanilla, and salt.  Beat on high for 1-2 minutes, or until frosting is light and fluffy.  If the frosting seems too thick, add another tablespoon of milk and beat until incorporated.
  4. Spread the frosting on cooled brownies; top with chopped peanut butter cups. Cut into 2-inch squares. Store at room temperature.

Peppermint Brownie Batter Truffles

Falalalala…lalala…brownie batter.

Peppermint.  Brooooownie batter.  Truffles.

These babies were born because I was making batch number 2 (obsessed) of these chocolate peppermint brownies and I accidentally-on-purpose “forgot” 1/4 cup of batter in the bottom of the bowl.  Since the brownies were already in the oven, I just had to eat the leftover batter.  It would be inconsiderate to let it go to waste.

As I was scraping every last drop of brownie batter out of the bowl, I had an epiphany.

Delete the egg, replace with milk, and voila!  Brownie batter sans salmonella, ready to be rolled into truffle form!

And no, I did not feed Mike one of these truffles and pretend they had raw egg in them to test his fake egg allergy.  Why would you ask?*

Peppermint Brownie Batter Truffles

yield: about 24 truffles, depending on their size


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup crushed candy cane pieces
  • candy melts or chocolate chips for dipping
  • sprinkles
  1. In a large bowl, beat melted butter, sugar, and vanilla until combined. Add flour, cocoa powder, and salt.  Stir until ingredients are completely incorporated; batter will be quite thick.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons milk; beat until incorporated.  If the batter is still hard to stir, add one tablespoon more of milk.  It should be soft but dense enough to roll into balls.
  3. Stir in candy cane pieces.  Roll batter into 1-inch balls; place on a cookie sheet.
  4. Prepare your candy melts (or melted chocolate chips).  Dip each ball into the melts; sprinkle with candy cane bits or sprinkles, and allow to harden for 30 minutes.
  5. Store in the refrigerator but serve at room temperature.

*In case you’re wondering, Mike had a fake allergic flare-up complete with invisible hives.  Point proven.  For Christmas I’m getting him a nicer girlfriend.