Treat Day – Week 2: Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies!

 

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Good Morning! Treat Day – Week 2 was last Thursday at Halas Hall since the game is today vs. the Denver Broncos.  For our 2nd week of treats I wanted to send something brand new to the team.  2019 marks my 8th season of treat-making for the guys so I already know that Peanut Butter anything is very popular with them.  I found this  recipe in late July (when the team goes to training camp, I get to work on finding and testing new recipes on my friends and coworkers at The Chicagoland Chamber).  While scrolling my Instagram feed one night I came across a picture of a brownie that I knew had to be tested.  I woke up the next morning, ran to the store for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (I had all other ingredients on hand) and got to work on test baking.  When I got to the office, I popped the pan into the freezer for a few minutes to let the brownies set a little more, since my commute downtown is about an hour door-to-door.  I waited about 10 minutes, and then cut them up for bite sized portions.   I sent out an “All-Staff” memo subject line: “Peanut Butter Brownies in the Kitchen” and then in the body of the email told them this is a new recipe, so needed honest opinions from anyone who tries them.  The results were overwhelming positive….Joey sent me a response email and said, this is the best thing he had ever tasted and I was his  new favorite person.  Haha!  That was only one of SEVERAL  opinions from my friends at the Chamber.  I myself even thought they were exceptional, and peanut butter is actually not my favorite choice when it comes to treats.  SO, that morning I officially added the brownie recipe to my rotation of treats for the upcoming 2019 season.  The blogger calls these brownies “Peanut Butter Cup Crack Brownies” but I have renamed them and refer to them as “Peanut Butter CRUNCH Brownies” because they are loaded with, not only Peanut Butter & Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, but a half a cup of chopped peanuts…as well as Rice Krsipies – so they are crunchy!!  And they are delicious.  On Thursday morning treat day, I received a text from Jack who works in the Video Department for the Bears and it read:  “Holy cow…those peanut butter fudge crispy things are AMAZING”.  There you have it…these treats are everything and more that you’ve been looking for in a Peanut Butter treat.  Give yourself a  break from standard peanut butter cookies and give these brownies a try… everyone will love you for it…I promise!  Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies

And here are the few tips I have for you:

  • I used Ghiradelli Boxed Brownie Mix – the chocolate with the syrup pack – but your favorite brownie mix will do just fine, as the star of the show here is not really the brownie base, but the Peanut Butter Cups and peanuts and chocolaty peanut butter fudgy layer on top!
  • I use Jif Creamy peanut butter.  I grew up on Skippy but made the switch to Jif in my adult life, as I think it has a better peanut flavor…  just my opinion!
  • I used Planters Honey-Roasted Peanuts… because I love them right out of the jar
  • I always use Ghiradelli Chocolate Chips – and this recipe says you can use semi-sweet or milk chocolate… I use semi-sweet because I am afraid milk chocolate might be too sweet in here.  But again, just my preference.
  • Definitely chill the brownies to  set them up before cutting into them.   I then put them in cupcake liners for serving

That’s it!  I hope you enjoy them if you do try them.  You will not be disappointed!

Thank you so much for reading my blog…and GO BEARS!!!

Published by

Sarah

2018 will mark my 7th Season making treats and baking for the Chicago Bears. You might be thinking, how does one land that gig? Well, let me tell you. It’s riveting… My younger brother, Danny, works full-time for the Bears. Our entire family have been life-long Bears fans, btw. Back in the summer of 2012, he came to me and said, “Hey, we need someone to make treats for the team. Do you think you can do it? Because my boss said, Dan, you’ve got all those sisters, can’t one of them bake? So, I volunteered you.” My first response was, “YES, but I don’t know how to bake”. I mean, up until that point, the only things I remember ever baking were 1) S’mores Bars back in the 80’s off a recipe on the back of the Golden Grahams cereal box. Come to think of it now, I don’t even think those things went into the oven – so technically that wasn’t baking. And 2) Good old Nestle Toll House cookies – which NEVER turned out the same each time I baked them and it drove me nuts and got me to HATE baking for that very reason. I was always in love with cooking, though. I was the gal who threw dinner parties often and provided an obnoxious array of hors d’oeuvres and wine – that’s more my thing. Side note: I learned the hard way that baking and wine don’t mix. Ha! However, I was honored and excited to have been asked to step up to the plate for this little baking / treat-making gig, for THE CHICAGO BEARS, no less. So my answer was an enthusiastic, YES! I figured I still had a month before the first regular season game, which is when the “treat days” begin – every Thursday during the regular season (not preseason). So, I hit the streets in search of good recipes and then got to work test-baking in the kitchen for the rest of that summer. As I became more internet savvy, I started following lots of baking bloggers and watching video tutorials. I would go to parties and if I tasted something that I thought was exceptional, I would never hesitate to ask for the recipe. Baking for the Bears is always in the back of my mind when eating desserts. I now have an arsenal of treat recipes worthy of offering at a bake shop, if I do say so myself;) . I started getting requests for my pound cake, outside of Baking for the Bears, and my Double Chocolate Chip Sea Salt cookies have been quoted as “The best cookies in the world” by a well-known player, as well as friends, family and neighbors. One of the first things I did was perfect a cookie of my own that comes out pretty consistently crunchy on the outside but chewy on the inside. I no longer rely on the old Toll-House recipe. It’s the one thing I never get tired of baking. The guys get them every week. With that said, this season, I plan to blog my recipes each week, and share with you whatever it is I am making for the Bears. I’ll also give you tried & true feedback on what worked, what didn’t, and any fun comments that the players, staff, friends & co-workers might have regarding the treat of the week. My office colleagues love it when football season rolls around, because I typically find new recipes and test-bake on Sundays to bring in on Mondays for critical reviews. From there, I decide if they are Bear-worthy for Thursday Treat Days at Halas Hall. I hope you will check in periodically and enjoy my blog. I’m super excited for the 2018 Bears football season both on the field and in the kitchen! GO BEARS! This is gonna be a good season… I can feel it!

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