candy bar brownies

You know those BIG bags of miniature chocolate candy bars they sell at Costco?

The ones with itty-bitty snickers, milky ways, 3 musketeers, baby ruths and butterfingers?

The ones that seem to jump into your cart all on their own when you shop hungrily before a mini-road trip?

Well, I have one of those bags in my house.  Hiding in my laundry room actually.

(Hiding from me, not you!  If you come over to my house, please go into my laundry room and eat as many as you'd like so they stop staring at me!)

Anyways... this morning I woke up thinking about brownies.  (What?  Don't you wake up thinking about brownies in the morning??)

And since I have been staring at that bag of miniature temptations, I decided to use some of them up in these brownies.

I started with my regular Fudgy Dark Chocolate Brownies, took away some of the chocolate chips, pressed miniature chocolates into the top and then when frosted it with chocolate chips at the end.  I think it was a winner.  The only problem was coming up with the right name!

Candy Bar Surprise Brownies?  Hidden Temptations Brownies?  Candy Machine Brownies?  Chocolate Overload Brownies??  Diabetic-Coma Brownies???

It all got to be too much.  So I sat down and ate another brownie and decided to just stick with simple.  Candy Bar Brownies.  Really...  what more do I need to say?

Candy Bar Brownies Recipe

3/4 cup dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup butter, melted & divided (1/3 cup + 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups flour
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided (1 cup + 2 cups)
24 or so miniature chocolates, unwrapped

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Line a 9x13" pan with parchment paper and butter the paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and baking soda.  Whisk in 1/3 cup of melted butter until smooth and wet.  Stir in the boiling water, whisking until smooth and thick.

Whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup melted butter & the sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt until smooth.

In a small bowl take about 1 tablespoon flour out of your measured 1 1/3 cups and toss it with the 1 cup of chocolate chips.  Whisk the remaining flour into the batter until just smooth and combined.

Stir in the flour-dusted 1 cup of chocolate chips and spread the batter into the prepared pan.  Press the miniature chocolates evenly spaced into the top of the batter.

(The idea being that each brownie you cut & serve will have a mystery hidden candy bar in the center!  Fun, huh?)

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the edges are firm and the center is just set.  Sprinkle the remaining 2 cups chocolate chips evenly over the top of the brownies and place the pan back into the oven for 3 minutes.

Remove from the oven again and smooth out the now melted chocolate chips evenly with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula.

Let cool completely and chill in the fridge for a few hours to let the chocolate top harden again.  Lift from the pan and cut into squares to serve.

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