Bars, Cookies, Sweets

Almost an Empty Nester, Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Brownies for Heidi

Today is a big day — the day the second of three T-boys graduates from high school, which means my sister Heidi only has one more graduation before she’s an empty nester. Although my kids are just in middle school, I can only imagine the mixed emotions you feel when your child graduates and goes off to build their own life. The excitement of the day calls for one of Heidi’s favorite sweets. Cut yourself a big square because these brownies combine the flavors of rich chocolate and smooth peanut butter in a cross between cake-like and fudgey bars.

Garritt’s party was last weekend so I baked baby cheesecakes, including his favorite Reese’s® Peanut Butter. Today, we celebrate with him as he walks the stage and accepts his diploma. And today we celebrate with my sister who is a mom that many of us aspire to be like. (And now that I took the time to write this post this morning, I’ll be late for my lunch with her — good thing these brownies have forgiving powers!)

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Brownies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

5 ounces unsweetened chocolate

2 1/3 cups white sugar, divided

6 eggs, divided

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1-3/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350˚. Spray 13×9 pan or line with parchment paper or non-stick foil.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate together, stirring until smooth. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of sugar, 5 eggs, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until fluffy. Slowly beat in the chocolate mixture until combined.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and salt. Gradually add it to the chocolate mixture, beating until well combined. Spread into the prepared pan and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1 egg. Beat on medium speed until creamy. Drop the peanut butter mixture onto the chocolate mixture and spread until smooth or gently marble with a knife.

Bake for 38-40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out with minimal crumbs. Cool completely before serving.

Any of you empty nesters have advice for my Heritage-Softail-riding-hardworking-sports-going sister?

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  1. Thanks, Paula! I was with Heidi when you posted your comment so I read it to her – she laughed because her oldest just got home from college last week and between all three boys at home again, her house was a disaster when she got home last night after being gone for a week.

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