Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Peep Brownie S'mores

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I know Easter is about far more than pastel colors and plastic eggs and sugar covered sugar treats, but when I see those Peeps on the shelf, I know it's Easter in America! And while I'm admitting my shame, I'll tell you like it is: I'm an eye-eater. Bite off those beady little eyes and then nibble off the tail. After that, it doesn't really matter if you inhale the entire body in a single bite because those Peeps have been reduced to a sugary marshmallow blob at that point.

These sugar-laden bars are basically upgraded s'mores. Normal s'mores, as any normal person can attest, are pure deliciousness served on a crunchy bed of graham cracker. Now look at that graham crackery, chocolatey, Peepy goodness! I dare say that these s'more are just a little more exciting with their neon animal-shaped counterpart sitting atop a dense brownie and graham cracker crust.

The only bad thing is their eyes kind of melt away during the baking. But it's totally worth it.

Peep S'mores [click to print]
Makes about 20 squares

For Graham Cracker Crust
  • 1-1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed)
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 6 T. unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 8x8 pan with parchment paper and set aside. 

Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix until evenly combined. Press mixture into pan with the back of a spoon and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 325 F. 

For Brownie Layer
  • 10 T. unsalted butter
  • 1-1/4 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. plus 2 T. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 20 Peeps
In medium saucepan, combine butter, sugar, cocoa and salt. Stir on low heat until butter is melted and mixture is hot, but not boiling. You should be able to stick your finger in it (and lick it) and not cry. It's going to look kind of grainy and that's okay.

Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time, incorporating well between each addition. Stir in flour; when combined, stir vigorously about 40 strokes. Pour batter over crust and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and gently press peeps on surface, about one peep every two inches. Return to oven and continue baking about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool just enough to eat while still warm.

Source: Inspired by Busy Mommy; Crust adapted from Make and Takes; Brownies adapted from Sis Boom Blog

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