CHOCOLATE! One of my major weaknesses. Don’t get between me and a chocolate bar. I will fight you for it. For some reason I had a craving for some chocolatey, peanut buttery goodness this weekend and needed to find a unique way to combine the two. I came up with a brownie with a peanut butter cookie in the middle…but haven’t thought of a better name. These are only three bite brownies if you have a large mouth and like to just dive in and devour your food. I didn’t want something overwhelmingly sugary and really hate using refined, white sugar. I used the glorious and versatile maple syrup to sweeten this treat up. Also, applesauce replaced butter, reducing the fat and contributing to the sweet moistness of the brownies.
Brownie Recipe (adapted from here)
- ¼ cup Applesauce
- ¾ cup Maple Syrup (or try honey, agave nectar, stevia, etc)
- Egg replacement equivalent to 1 Egg (1 tbsp flaxseed ground with 3 tbsp water = 1 egg!)
- 1 tsp. Vanilla (I ran out of vanilla, but they still tasted great without!)
- ½ cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp. Baking powder
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 4 tbsp. Cocoa
- ½ cup Chopped nuts (optional)
Thoroughly mix all wet ingredients first. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Slowly add to wet ingredients, but do not overmix. Slowly fold in nuts, if using. Time to make the cookie dough!
Peanut Butter Cookies (adapted from here)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup peanut butter (I used a mix of crunchy and smooth…mainly because I ran out of crunchy.)
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup almond milk
Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately. Then dump into one bowl! Dough will be thick and pretty dry. You will definitely have some leftover, so make them into cookies! Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll about a tablespoon of dough in your hand and flatten with a cup. With a wet fork, make criss-cross marks. Sprinkle some sugar on top and pop into the oven for about 11 minutes.
To assemble the brownie/cookie things: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray/grease a muffin tin. Spoon about a tablespoon of brownie batter into each muffin groove. Take about a tablespoon (or slightly less) of the peanut butter cookie dough, roll into a ball and flatten in your hand. I made mine slightly smaller than the muffin circle so that the brownie part could encompass the peanut butter cookie completely, hiding it from the world! Place the peanut butter cookie onto the already spooned brownie batter, then cover with another 1.5 tbsp of brownie batter (or however much you want!) Just make sure the cookie is completely covered in the brownie goop. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. It’s a little hard to tell if they’re done, but really, you can’t go wrong because there’s no egg! No worries! If you really have a sweet tooth, sprinkle some powdered cane sugar on top. Now, go find someone who doesn’t know what you were concocting in your kitchen and surprise them with a bite!
This was a great dessert that didn’t make me feel too guilty to indulge in! The maple syrup was a “barely-there” flavor and didn’t make you feel like you had just stuck your tongue into a bag sugar. Of course, this might not be appealing to everyone, but I enjoyed the light sweetness and didn’t feel like I had to go take a nap after eating. Applesauce kept these moist and they’re still moist even a day later! Just remember to wrap them up or store them in a bag. Great additions to these would be some chocolate chips, carob chips, or some broken pretzels (salty+sweet=amazing).