Can we all agree that Costco has the best/most unnecessary stuff ever? I mean, yes, there are tons of necessary things like screaming deals on bulk butter, nuts, and even lobster. But they also have things that you don’t really need, but REALLY want once you see them. Take for example the 3 lb tub of Reese’s Pieces I recently bought. Did I technically need 3 lbs worth of peanut butter goodness?? Probably not. Did buying it totally make my day and maybe even life infinitely better?? That’s debatable, but I’m leaning towards yes.
So now you’re probably wondering, “What do you do with 3 lbs worth of Reese’s?” Well, I’m glad you asked. First, you eat it….like a lot of it. Then you hide it from your husband cause he’s eating it faster than you and you’ll be damned if he gets to eat more of it than you (I have candy sharing issues). Then you realize you still have an insane amount of Reese’s Pieces left and should probably figure out a way to use it up. That’s where this recipe comes in.
Lately, I’ve been drooling over all the meringue topped brownies on Instagram and have been wanting to create my own version. Thankfully, my crazy amount of Reese’s Pieces gave me the perfect excuse to do so. Since chocolate and peanut butter is one of the greatest combos of all time, I decided to make a dark chocolate brownie with Reese’s Pieces folded in. And to take the peanut butter flavor up a bit and take the brownies up a notch, I topped them with a peanut butter Swiss meringue.
You guys, I’m not kidding when I say this meringue is legit. It’s the fluffiest, silkiest, most delicious meringue ever. It’s so good that I ate an embarrassing amount straight out of the bowl. And it’s also super easy to make and super stable – which were the two most important things to me when developing the recipe.
So if you have any leftover Reese’s Pieces hanging around after Halloween…..or just need a good excuse to buy that giant 3 lb tub of Reese’s from Costco then this is the recipe for you!
Peanut Butter Meringue Brownies
Makes 9 – 12 brownies
For the brownie:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup dutch processed cocoa powder
10 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch squares
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup Reese’s Pieces
For the peanut butter meringue:
3 large egg whites
½ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons powdered peanut butter
To make the brownie:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8 x 8 pan with either foil or parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder and then set aside.
Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 20 seconds, then stir. Repeat this process until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar into the melted chocolate/butter and whisk until the sugar is completely incorporated and the mixture looks smooth. Then add in the eggs one at time, vigorously whisking after each addition. Once you’ve mixed in the last egg, add in the vanilla and give the batter a good 20 – 30 strokes worth of whisking. You want your batter to be thick, super smooth, and glossy. This technique helps strike the perfect balance of a cakey but still fudgy brownie…..which is my favorite.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the dry ingredients followed by the Reese’s Pieces.
Bake for 26 – 30 minutes or until the edges of the brownie are set and the middle is still a bit wobbly. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool completely.
To make the peanut butter meringue:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, place the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar. Place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water and, stirring and scraping constantly with a rubber spatula, heat the egg whites until they reach 165°F (this ensures they’re properly cooked).
Transfer the bowl to your stand mixer and whip on high speed until the eggs whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks (this should take about 3 – 5 minutes). Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the powdered peanut butter.
Pile all of the peanut butter meringue onto the middle of your cooled brownie. Then use either a small offset spatula or spoon to spread the meringue out and create lots of fun swoops and swirls.
Now here comes the fun part, break out your kitchen torch and lightly torch the meringue. Alternatively, you can use your broiler to torch the top. Just stick the brownies under your broiler for a couple of minutes…..carefully watching the entire time! They can go from torched to burned pretty quickly.
These brownies are best enjoyed the day of, but you can get another couple days out of them by storing them in an airtight container in the fridge.