I may have
ranted mentioned before my irritation with people who are constantly talking about how they would never do this or never do that or “omg, how can you USE this when you cook?!” when it comes to cooking and ingredients. You know the ones I am talking about? The who claim that a preservative has never ever passed their lips, that everything they cook with, feed their family and/or eat is organic, humanely raised, home made down to growing the ingredients themselves, even the wheat. And God forbid they were to ever eat something made with a prepackaged mix. Mind you, these are also the same people who, were a world crisis to happen, would be the first to uphold all of Darwins theories about survival of the fittest because they are too entrenched in one way of cooking and eating. Though, mind you, I am personally convinced that 98% of them frequently hide in their closets and eat Hershey bar or Little Debbie snack cakes, but I’ll admit that I may be projecting a bit there 😛 The other 2 percent just scare me.
But the people who supposedly live by this credo would be missing out when it comes to these brownies. Why? because they are made with *GASPS LOUDLY* a boxed mix. The recipe comes from one of those Pillsbury monthly books. I used to buy them all the time and I have had this one for over 20 years. I’m not even sure they make these cookbooks anymore actually which is a shame because they helped me a LOT in my early years of cooking for a family.
When I first decided to use this recipe, I considered improvising and using a homemade brownie recipe for the base of these. It was a case of wanting to look good and not wanting readers or other bloggers to roll their eyes at me. But then I remembered that when I MADE this blog, one of the things I promised myself and any readers I would get in the future was that I would NOT be someone full of pretense. I would blog the way I cooked. And while I rarely use boxed brownie mix, it has been known to be made in my household. It’s easy, they taste good, it’s a good way to get kids into cooking and it’s quick.
Many of you know that I’m not a peanut butter fan for the most part. But every once in a while I still use it because my family enjoys it. And I have to admit… I really really like these. The brownie is nice and chewy and the creamy topping is rich with a slight tang from the cream cheese. Add in the ganache topping and I would happily wager that they could convert many a boxed mix hater (and peanut butter hater like me). There is nothing about these that screams “boxed mix”. They are also pretty darn attractive and would make a good addition to any cookie tray, be it for the holidays or a Summer bbq… whatever. So go on… go buy a box of brownie mix. G’wan.
Fudgy Brownies With A Creamy Peanut Butter Mousse
- One box brownie mix, batter prepared according to directions (or make homemade if the spirit moves you)
- 1 package peanut butter chips, 1/2 cup reserved
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons milk or cream
- 6 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13×9 baking pan. Line it with parchment paper then butter the bottom only of the paper. Trust me… use the paper. it’s not expensive and it will be nearly impossibly to get the brownies out neatly otherwise.
- Prepare brownie mix according to package directions, stirring the peanut butter chips into the batter (not the reserved 1/2 cup)
- Bake according to box directions, using the lowest cookie times so the brownies are fudgy and not hard. (I’m not putting specific times here because different brands may call for different times)
- Cool in pan set on wire rack until completely cooled.
- When cool, make the mousse. In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, the butter and the cream cheese. Mix until smooth and creamy. Slowly add in the powdered sugar. beat until you have a spreadable creamy mixture. Eat a few spoonfuls hehe.
- Spread the mousse mixture over the top of the brownies.
- Refrigerate while you make the ganache.
- To make the ganache, put the semi sweet chocolate in a small bowl. Scald your cream then pour it over the chips. Let it sit for about 3 minutes or so then stir. the heat should have melted the chips quite nicely. Stir until smooth and shiny.
- Let the ganache come to room temp. Do NOT pour over the mousse when warm or you’ll melt the mousse.
- When it’s at room temp, slowly pour the ganache over the peanut butter mousse. Use it all. When it’s poured, refrigerate the pan to let the ganache set up.
- When chilled, cut into squares… or circles… or hexagons if that makes you happy.