Do you love brownies? I do. I think that Starbucks has the absolute BEST brownie ever. I don't know if they sprinkle magic dust on those or what but they are the most moist (yet not gooey) brownies. I digress. Today is my beautiful Mama's birthday. She really is the best. She's strong and wise and loving. She is definitely my role model. If you know her, you know that her favorite things (besides her family and faith) are chocolate and books. A runner up would be peanut butter.
Our love for peanut butter is genetic. My grandfather, Pop, used to go missing and we'd find him in their old walk in pantry with his long skinny fingers in the peanut butter jar. When I was just a young kid I remember him teaching me a wonderful trick: chocolate chip cookie (or Oreo) with peanut butter on top. When we visited them we'd often have Chips A'Hoy with peanut butter as an afternoon snack. Ahhh, memories. I miss that man and his skinny peanut butter fingers.
SO, how did I combine my Mama's favorite dessert treats into one birthday dessert? Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle. I love trifles because they can be planned, or they can be made when you totally ruin a cake or brownies of any kind. It's freeing to take a baked cake or pan of brownies and totally destroy them into a delicious bowl of crumbles.
First I made a pan of Peanut Butter Cup Brownies (from a box, I'm not trying to be a hero, plus they taste good). I promptly crumbled those. Then I cut up about 20 or more mini Reeses cups (and maybe I ate one or two). Finally I whipped up a bowl of vanilla pudding mix, milk, peanut butter, vanilla, and cool whip. See...here are the elements of the dish.
Next I layered 1/2 the brownies, 1/2 the peanut butter mixture and 1/2 the PB cups and then repeated the layers one more time. Whhhaaaalaaaaa! Didn't quite fill up my trifle bowl, but it's a huge bowl! I'll let ya'll know what the general opinion is on the flavor. Here's the recipe (I modified this recipe), and Happy Birthday Mama!!! I love you!
Here's the recipe as promised:
Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle
21 ounce package Peanut butter cup brownie mix
2 packages vanilla instant pudding mix
3 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup peanut butter, creamy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, whipped and divided
24 regular sized (about 2 inches in diameter) peanut butter cups, divided
Line a 13 by 9 inch pan with aluminum foil, extend foil by 2 inches over side. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Bake in foil lined pan for length of time required by package. Cool completely.
Lift foil out of pan. Invert on cutting board. Remove foil. Cut into 3/4 inch pieces, using sharp knife.
Coarsely chop 20 peanut butter cups; saving 4 for garnish.
Combine pudding mixes and milk in large bowl. Beat at low speed for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add peanut butter and vanilla; beat until smooth. Gently fold in whipped cream.
Place half of brownies in bottom of trifle bowl; top with 1/2 of the peanut butter pudding mixture and then sprinkle with 1/2 of the chopped Reeses cups. Repeat layers. Enjoy!