Tailgating and Gooey Brownies

Before we even got to Cape Cod, my fiancé’s brother asked my fiancé if he wanted to attend the Patriot’s opening game against Kansas City Chiefs, to which he responded to with a resounding yes and I responded too with a resounding ‘what’s the best tailgating dessert I can bake?’ (I know, but it’s how my brain operates, ok?)

I went through my repertoire for portable desserts; red, white, and blue (Patriots, hello…) desserts; football-themed desserts; and great-desserts-but-not-Super-Bowl-worthy desserts (whether I want to admit it, I’m marrying into a Patriots family after all; sorry mom and dad who are life-long Buffalo Bills fans).

To which, I arrived at these babies: gooey triple-layer-fudgy-peanut-buttery brownies with some classy/abstract football décor on top to keep them a smidge themed (have I mentioned how much I love a theme?). Perfect – easy to take for the game-goers and great for my fiancé’s sister-in-law and nephews who I Uno’d-til-we-dropped with at home.

Fun fact about this recipe: my beloved emailed it to me some time ago (if it’s yours, email me, and I’ll link to your site as I’m a big believer in giving credit where credit’s due!), he tried to make it, and to be frank, failed miserably. He has so many amazing qualities, but patience when brownies are involved is one that we’re still working on. With three trips to the fridge to cool and some Ashley-recommended freezer time, these require a lot of patience. But man-oh-man are they worth the wait. (Note: I actually started making them the day before just so I’d have enough time for all the cooling to commence). 

Gooey Brownies Making
1. Cooked and cooled brownies with peanut butter swirled (top left), 2. Brownies frosted with marshmallow topping (top right), 3. Peanut butter ganache layered on top of marshmallow frosting and being sprinkled (bottom left), 4. All four layers after cutting (bottom right).

For the Brownies:
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

For the Marshmallow Topping:
7 oz jar marshmallow cream or fluff

For the Peanut Butter Ganache:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup heavy cream

For the Decorations (Optional):
Chocolate sprinkles
White icing to pipe

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 8×8 pan with foil so that it’s hanging over the sides; grease with cooking spray (I told you they’re going to be gooey!).

For the brownies, mix flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt until combined. Then mix in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and vegetable oil just until the dry ingredients are wet and there are no lumps. Pour into greased foil pan, then take spoonfuls of the 1/3 cup of peanut butter and dollop it around so that it’s spread out. Then, using a butter knife or a toothpick, carefully swirl the peanut butter throughout the brownies. Bake for 20 minutes or until the sides start to pull away from the pan. Cool completely before proceeding to the next step.

After the brownies are cooled, use a butter knife to spread the marshmallow onto brownies. Place in fridge for at least 45 minutes, or until firm.

Once the marshmallow is firm, start to make the peanut butter ganache. In a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, powdered sugar, corn syrup, and heavy cream. Heat on low until you can stir it together and the peanut butter has completely melted (it may look like it’s starting to separate at first, but it will come together quickly). Wait five minutes for the ganache to cool slightly before pouring onto the brownies. Place in fridge for at least an hour, or until firm.

Once the ganache is firm, use the overhanging foil to remove the brownies from the pan and then slice.

(For decorations, I spread chocolate sprinkles all over, cut them into squares and then piped white icing diagonally to make an abstract sort of football.)

Keep uneaten brownies stored in the fridge and if you’re traveling with them (maybe to tailgating, perhaps), I’d strongly recommend freezing before transporting.

Yield: 12 decently sized brownies

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