Patriotic Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies

Patriotic Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies 4
You know how you run into Target for 2 things and leave with 10. Well, these patriotic M&M’s where one of the additional things on my latest trip. What is it about that place? Everything is so shiny and bright and hard to resist. I don’t know how they do it but they get me every time with those seasonal end caps.
Patriotic Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies 3
I was literally rushing through the store since Joel and the kids were waiting in the car and as I walked past the display my arm just went out and grabbed them. Like I didn’t even have control over it. Some kind of crazy hypnotism mind and body altering business going on there. But I like it. Joel probably doesn’t but I do all the shopping so that’s his price (literally) to pay.

I’ve had these hidden in the depths of the pantry for a couple weeks so my children didn’t find them because I’m pretty sure they are bloodhounds and their hunt is for chocolate. Even the babe knows what’s up.
Patriotic Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies 2
I know I’ve said it a million times but I love peanut butter and chocolate together. And a brownie slathered with peanut butter frosting, I’m pretty sure they’ll be served in Heaven. I didn’t think they could get better but then I added peanut M&M’s. I love the crunch they add to the chewy brownies and creamy frosting.
Patriotic Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies 1
After the first bite, I quickly cut a row to save for home and sent the rest with Joel to work. Because I can resist a lot of desserts but I knew these would own me.

For more patriotic ideas to celebrate the 4th, check out the end of the post.

Patriotic Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies

1 box brownies, plus required ingredients (13×9 size)
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 bag patriotic peanut M&M’s*

1. Prepare and bake brownies according to package directions. Allow to cool.

2. Meanwhile, beat butter and peanut butter together in a mixer until combined. Add salt and vanilla and combine again. Add powdered sugar and combine slowly. Once powdered sugar has been incorporated, turn mixer on medium high and beat for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.

3. Spread peanut butter frosting on cooled brownies and sprinkles with M&M’s.

*If I remember correctly, they were exclusively available at Target. Oh darn, you have to make a Target run.

Patriotic Pudding Pops
4th of July Pudding Pops 5
Patriotic Funfetti Whoopie Pies
4th of July Funfetti Whoopie Pies
Patriotic Fruit Skewers
4th of July Fruit Skewers
Red, White and Blue Layered Milkshake
Red, White and Blue Milkshake 2
4th of July Rice Krispie Cupcakes
4th of July Rice Krispie Cupcakes 3


Peppermint Brownies

Peppermint Brownies 3
Mint and chocolate is one of my all time favorite combinations and is a classic for the holiday season. Combine it with fudgy brownies and it’s pure perfection.

Although I do love peppermint, I enjoy it in small doses. Like peppermint patties…one bite is enough to fulfill my sweet tooth. So when I saw this recipe I decided to double the brownie base but keep the peppermint frosting at the original amounts to cut the richness a bit. I also kept the chocolate layer on the lighter side since most of us aren’t huge chocolate lovers but I know that isn’t normal so I would recommend doubling it if you want more chocolate-y goodness.
Peppermint Brownies 2
It’s the perfect ratio of peppermint and chocolate and just a small square will satisfy any sweet tooth. I hope that you all are enjoying the holiday season with all your loved ones!

Peppermint Brownies

1 family size dark chocolate brownie mix (prepared according to box directions)

for the peppermint frosting:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 Tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the chocolate layer:
4 oz. chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4-1/2 cup Andes peppermint crunch pieces, or crushed candy canes

1. Prepare brownies according to box directions. Cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar together. Add milk and extracts and whip until thick and fluffy. Spread over cooled brownies and refrigerate for at least an hour.

3. Melt chocolate and butter together in the microwave in 30 second increments. Drizzle over peppermint frosting and spread. Sprinkle with peppermint crunch pieces or candy canes.

*frosting recipe from The Galley Gourmet

Frosted Zucchini Brownies {Gluten and Lactose Free}

Frosted Zucchini Brownies
My zucchini supply is finally starting to wind down, thank goodness. As much as I normally like zucchini, I will be happy to not see it for awhile. I had picked the last few right before we were heading out for Kansas City to visit our new nephew and see the Royals play the Red Sox and I knew I wouldn’t have time to do something with them for dinner but didn’t want them to go to waste. So, I decided I would whip up a baked good to bring along for the weekend.

I’ve mentioned before that our nieces eat gluten and lactose free so that can sometimes make things difficult. A lot of gluten-free recipes I come across use about 50 (exaggerate much?) different kinds of flours that I just don’t want to invest in since it’s only a once and awhile thing for us. But I do always keep a box of gluten-free all-purpose flour around for such occasions. I have had pretty good success switching the gluten-free version for regular flour in most recipes.
Frosted Zucchini Brownies
When I whipped up these brownies, I followed the recipe exactly and the batter was incredibly dry and I just didn’t feel comfortable with it. I decided to mix in an egg and then it was the perfect consistency. And an added bonus was that it made them more dense, rich and cake-like. The zucchini kept them moist and I promise you can’t taste it in the finished product. It’s almost like it melts away in the batter.

This may not be the healthiest way to use up that last bit of zucchini growing in your garden but it is quite delicious and is still a way to sneak in some veggies. You could totally trick your kids or significant others…I tried with Joel but he isn’t a big chocolate fan so he didn’t want them. Darn, I love foolin’ that guy.
Frosted Zucchini Brownies
Frosted Zucchini Brownies
recipe adapted from

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (or regular all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

For the Frosting:
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup vegan margarine (or regular if dairy isn’t a concern)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup almond milk (or regular)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.

2.In a large bowl, mix together the oil, egg, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

3.Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched. To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa and margarine; set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, blend together the confectioners’ sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares.

Brownie Nests

Brownie Nests 3
These chewy, super fudgy brownies are amazing on their own but by adding a few crispy Mini Cadbury Eggs they become divine and festive too. And they are easy to boot. What’s better when you have a dozen things to prepare for Easter dinner?

I, of course, had help from my little man while making these and goodness does he have sticky fingers and a love for those little eggs. If you have the same problem around your house, you may need to buy three bags!
Brownie Nests 4
Joel had to work super late a few days in a row so Noah and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to make an Easter treat early to share with you all while surprising Joel and his co-workers with a well deserved sweet. I kept two at home so we could sample them and delivered the rest and Joel came home with an empty bowl! So, I think they were a hit!
Brownie Nests 1
These are a fun little dessert for the kiddos and adults alike. I love that they are little so you can practice your portion control. Not that even one is really a healthy choice since it’s three types of chocolate topped with chocolate crispy coated eggs…. Sorry, but I made no claim to be providing you with healthy Easter treats. Make sure to check out some other delicious (and still not healthy) treats for your Easter dessert table at the end of the post!

Brownie Nests
yields approx. 54 brownie nests

2 bags Mini Cadbury Eggs
1 fudgy brownie recipe, ingredients mixed but not baked

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini muffin tin liberally with non-stick spray. Fill each halfway with brownie batter. Bake for about 12 minutes, making sure they are still a bit soft in the middle.

2. Let cool for about 5 minutes then remove from the muffin tin to cool completely. Gently press three mini Cadbury eggs into each mini brownie.

Check out these other delicious options for Easter:
Cherry Dump Cake

Cherry Dump Cake – Joel’s favorite
Lemon Hush
Lemon Hush – my favorite
Cheesecake 2
Key Lime Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Sauce
Jello Cookies 9
Jello Cookies
Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
Lemon Bars
Classic Southern Lemon Bars

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Brownies

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Brownies
These yummy, super dense brownies consist of only two ingredients and they are healthy. Yep, you heard my right. I guess mine are technically 3 ingredients because of the sprinkles but they are optional so we’ll just stick with two. I have been lacking in the Halloween themed treats arena so I randomly bought a bunch of fun sprinkles and needed a way to use them in order to be festive and not get shunned by food bloggers across the land. It was a lazy way to make them Halloween-y but that’s all I’ve got for you.

The texture of these brownies is not typical but they taste delish so don’t be alarmed. They even look like fudge which isn’t a bad thing in my book! They are the best 2 ingredient baked good since 2 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins!
And make sure you have a little monster to help you clean up the utensils.

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Brownies
recipe from Cookies and Cups

1 Family Size box (19.5 oz) brownie mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
Sprinkles, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9×9 pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. I only have an 8×8 (what kind of baker am I?) so mine were a little thicker and had to bake longer.

2. In a bowl mix together brownie mix and pumpkin until smooth. Top with sprinkles if desired.

3. Spread batter into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until set. Let cool completely.

One Pot Brownies + My New {Bad} Addiction

Ulta is evil and so is my friend Molly (well, ok the Molly part isn’t true). But that is what I told Joel when he is wondered why I bought all this stuff. It was her idea to go so it’s her fault. Just saying.

We went to check out the store as it had just opened and we had never been to one before. We asked about face primers then all of a sudden I had all this stuff in my bag.

It all happened so fast…. I just wanted the face primer and ended up with that along with eye shadow, eye liner, blush and lip gloss. It was only $5 more for the whole kit. What’s a girl to do?

And it doesn’t take any talking into to for me to leave a place with OPI nail polish. I’m a total nail polish snob and OPI is all I buy. And who could resist their new shattered polish? I couldn’t.Nail Polish

Well, after our little trip I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the store and all the lovely things I left behind so that I could “appear” practical. I have to go back…soon. Joel might not let me leave the house if he knows my plan. Because my plan might involve spending all the grocery money on amazing, ridiculously priced beauty products.

So if you have a similar problem to mine, make these brownies. It will make you feel better about spending all your grocery money on makeup and nail polish and you probably already have all the ingredients on hand. They are rich and thick and super chocolate-y…everything you want in a brownie! Plus, they only dirty up one pot and stirring utensil so you don’t have to ruin that pretty little manicure you gave yourself washing a bunch of dishes.
One Pot Brownies

One Pot Brownies

3/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup shortening
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13×9 pan. Melt shortening over low heat then stir in cocoa. Remove from heat.

2. Mix in sugar, vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Stir in nuts. Spread evenly into prepare pan and bake for about 30 minutes.
One Pot Brownies

Recipe linked to These Chicks Cooked, Mangia Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Totally Tasty TuesdayTempt My Tummy Tuesday and Full Plate Thursday.

Football Brownie Bites

When I saw these Football Brownie Bites over at What’s Gaby Cooking, I totally fell in love and knew I had to make them for one of our football gatherings. They turned out so cute and were a huge hit for the Husker game. Don’t you love my Husker platter? Go Big Red!

I used my favorite brownie recipe to make these little guys. It’s super rich and fudgy which is perfect for a bite size morsel. I topped them with canned cream cheese frosting but if you are an overachiever you could make your own. I just didn’t bother since such a small amount was needed. The recipe makes 24 mini brownies but if you are attending/hosting a big party I definitely recommend doubling the recipe since mine disappeared and there were only about 12 of us.

Football Brownie Bites
recipe adapted from from What’s Gaby Cooking
yield 24

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can cream cheese frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease a 24 cup mini muffin tin.
3. In a medium bowl combine melted butter and cocoa and stir until cocoa is dissolved.
4. Add sugar and mix well.
5. Add eggs one at a time and stir until well combined.
6. Stir in vanilla, flour and salt until you no longer see any flour (do not overmix).
7. Divide into muffin cups and bake for 10-15 minutes.
8. Pipe on football laces with a piping bag and tip or using a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off.

Recipe linked to:
Recipe Sharing Monday
Mangia Monday’s
Tasty Tuesday
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Cast Party Wednesday
These Chicks Cooked
Full Plate Thursday
Friday Food
Fusion Friday’s
Crumbs and Chaos
Sweets for a Saturday
Friday Potluck
Fat Camp Friday
Sweet Treats Thursday
Sweets This Week
Bake With Bizzy
What I Whipped Up Wednesday
Totally Tasty Tuesday
Too Cute Tuesday