Valentines day? For it or not?

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Obviously, I am for it. Only because I love any reason to make cute holiday themed foods. Which is why it may seem like I am so into football. I mean have posted not 1, not 2, but 3 recipes with the Super Bowl in mind. Buffalo Oven “Fried” Goat Cheese, Homemade Soft Pretzel with Hot Buffalo Cheddar Cheese Sauce and very healthy Chipotle Roasted Chickpeas. Oh and I totally forgot about yesterday’s Spinach and Artichoke Melts. Oh yeah, those are goood.

Honestly, I am no football fan (please don’t hate me) I just like a good reason to make some fun food. Same goes for Valentine’s day. If I had a choice I’d take it, but I could definitely be a ok without it. You know?

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Don’t get me wrong I think it is a really fun holiday and I love making sweet treats and buying pretty flowers, but It is not my favorite holiday or anything. My dad has always called Valentines Day a Hallmark holiday. A day thought up by card companies in order to make a whole lot of money. Yeah, he is not a fan. That’s for sure. He doesn’t really like ANY holiday though, unless you consider Sunday nights (as in Sunday Night Football… oh wait, and Monday and Thursday too) September – December holidays.

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Anyway, I ran out of treats this weekend. I know me, out of treats? That seems crazy, but it happens. Occasionally. Like when cookies are just soo good that they get polished off after a day.

So I made more. Of course. I mean come on, this is the Gerard household. We HAVE to have treats around. ALWAYS.

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So I put a fun spin on brownies and made them that much better with, wait for it……..Peanut Butter Frosting. Fudgey Brownie Cupcakes + Peanut Butter = Awesomness.

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Then I made little brownie hearts………

Asher made me. She said we needed to put some love into our cupcakes!

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Gooey Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

cupcakes
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
frosting
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temp
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper cups. Line an 8 inch square pyrex dish with parchment paper and grease.
  2. Mix canola oil and butter, add cocoa and stir until well blended.
  3. Beat eggs with a mixer. Add sugar and vanilla, beat well. Add flour and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Fill the muffin tins about 3/4 of the way full, using about half of the brownie batter. Spoon the other half into the prepared pyrex dish.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for about 8-10 minutes and the pan brownies for about 18-23 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting. Using the parchment paper lift the brownies from the pan and allow to cool before cutting into shapes.
  6. Frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or an electric handheld mixer), add the peanut butter, confectioners sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy and smooth. Slowly add the cream and beat on very high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  7. To assemble the cupcakes take the cooled brownies and using a 1 inch heart shaped (or any other fun shape you may desire) cookie cutter and cut out 12 hearts. Frost or pipe as desired and top each cupcake with a heart.
  8. * if you do not want to make brownie hearts, just use the remaining batter to make 12 more cupcakes and double the frosting recipe.
http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/gooey-brownie-cupcakes-with-peanut-butter-frosting/

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Promise, you’ll LOVE these.

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