When it comes to desserts, our good friend Rita is known for her famous candy bar-filled “pillar brownies”. She is often asked to bring these simple, yet sinfully decadent, brownies to our group potlucks. The technique can be adapted to any box of brownies you have on hand and the candy bar of your choice. We asked her to share her recipe with you, and she was happy to oblige. Take it away, Rita!
I am proud to say I’m a chocoholic. In my opinion, the only thing better than chocolate is more chocolate. This mindset has led me to the best brownies in the world — pillar brownies. Pillar brownies are brownies with a layer of chocolate candy bar in the middle. They are easy to make and delicious to eat.
To start, you need your favorite family-size brownie mix (one that fits a 9 x 13 pan). Make the brownie mix according to the package directions and pour into a 9 x 13 cake pan. Now grab three extra-large-sized (5 oz) candy bars (my personal favorites are Hershey’s Special Dark and Symphony Milk Chocolate). Unwrap them and place them on top of the uncooked brownie mix. The 5 oz bars are approximately the width of a 9 x 13 pan and should cover most of the uncooked brownie mix.
Now mix up a second batch of your favorite brownie mix, also sized to fix a 9 x 13 pan, and pour it on top of the candy bar/brownies. Make sure to cover the candy bars completely.
Your oven temperature should be set according to the directions on the brownie box but baking will take approximately twice as long — usually about 60 – 90 minutes depending on your oven. I baked this batch for 60 minutes and they turned out perfectly.
The most important step, as well as the hardest one, is letting the finished brownies rest until only slightly warm so the candy bar can mostly re-solidify. Cutting too soon results in brownie ooze, not pillar brownie magic.
The recipe can be adapted to any chocolate bar that has a thick layer of chocolate on the outside. Thinly-coated candy, like Reese’s cups, don’t work.
You can even use more than one kind of candy bar in the same pan. In the picture below, you can brownies made with a peanut butter-filled candy bar (on the left) and a dark chocolate candy bar (on the right). These were both made in the same batch.
Have fun trying these out and becoming a choc-o-holic hero!
P.S. Wouldn’t these go great with a scoop of Chica’s vanilla bean ice cream?