A few weeks ago, when I asked about whether or not people liked candy corn on Twitter a number of folks insisted that they are absolutely DELICIOUS when eaten with salted peanuts because the salty/sweet factor made it taste a lot like a PayDay candy bar. And PayDay candy bars are one of my favorite things to eat at Halloween time. I was always ecstatic whenever a couple found their way into my trick or treat bag.
So I decided to take the PayDays, the candy corns, and the salty peanuts and throw ‘em all together in a dense, rich chocolate brownie. AND IT’S AMAZING. And if someone looks at them and says “Ew, no, I don’t like candy corns,” tell them to try it anyway. You can hardly taste ‘em. Really, they take on a more textural role.
This recipe makes as many brownies as you feel like cutting out of a 9x9 pan of brownies. I prefer two. They’re THAT GOOD.
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
1 c. all-purpose flour
15 Fun Size PayDay candy bars
1 c. salted peanuts, chopped
a handful of candy corns
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
Grease the bottom of a 9x9 pan, and then layer it with one sheet of parchment paper, with some of the paper hanging out over the edges (this will make it easy to just lift the brownies out of the pan, after they’ve baked).
Break up the chocolate into large chunks and put it in a medium microwave-safe bowl with the butter. Microwave it on high for 90 seconds, then stir until all the chocolate chunks are melted, all the butter is incorporated, and the mixture is smooth.
Stir in the sugar, until it’s combined, and then add the salt and vanilla. Then add the flour and stir until it’s all incorporated and there are no lumps.
Pour 1/3 of the batter into the pan, and spread it out to completely cover the bottom of the pan. Arrange the PayDay candy bars on top of the layer of batter. I did five rows of three to ensure every piece would have a hunk of the candy in it. Cover the PayDays with the rest of the batter, making sure they’re all completely covered and the batter is distributed evenly over the top.
Sprinkle the candy corns over the top. Use a little or use a lot—you’re choice. I used a small handful. If you’re really, really against candy corns (or if it’s not Halloween anymore), you could omit them completely. Then sprinkle the peanuts on top of that. I used a full cup, I like a lot of peanuts.
Bake it for about 28 minutes, until the brownie is set, even in the center. But don’t overbake, or the edges will get really hard. (If that does happen, though, ice cream will soften them up! Just serve ‘em warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and no one will ever know.)
My cookbook, Bake It in a Cupcake: 50 Treats With a Surprise Inside, is available now at: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.com!