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Review: Peanut Butter and Candy Bar Brownies at The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Not so long ago, I took a trip to The Mara, the Quick Service location at Animal Kingdom Lodge to check out the Giraffe and Zebra Cupcakes. But when I posted my review, we also shared pics of a couple of delicious looking brownies that we’d seen at the bakery… .

Peanut Butter Brownies in bakery case

Candy Bar Brownies in the bakery case

I guess they grabbed the attention of a few DFB Readers as well :), because when I read over the comments on that article, several went something like this:

“Yep, the cupcakes look great. But, ummm… HELLO! What can you tell me about that Peanut Butter Brownie?!?” (And THIS is exactly why DFB Readers are So. Great. :) )

So, with that… it’s back to The Mara we go!

Atmosphere

Located on the ground floor of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Mara is one of the more interesting quick service locations in Disney World.

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Mara offers unique eats in a unique setting. From African Stew and a delicious variety of soups to something on the menu called an “African Chili Cheese Dog” (Note to self: find out what that’s all about), there is so much more here than your standard cheeseburger.

The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge

What I most appreciate about the atmosphere is that it has a more “grown-up” feel for a Quick Service location, with its nods to the majesty of nature. Yet it’s still completely comfortable and approachable, in large part due to the whimsical artwork on the walls.

Part of the wall mural at The Mara

Part of the wall mural at The Mara

For this visit, I took my goodies to the outdoor seating area.

Outdoor Seating at The Mara

Outdoor Seating at The Mara

It’s lovely and peaceful, and offers plenty of shade from the umbrellas and this beautiful tree.

The Mara tree!

I love how the tree outside almost serves as an extension of the “trees” inside The Mara.

But back to the reason we came… The Peanut Butter Brownie! Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Peanut Butter Brownie

I couldn’t wait to sample this chocolatey-peanut-buttery goodness!

Peanut Butter Brownie

The brownie base is a traditional chocolate brownie. And it’s pretty darn great: fudgy, thick, and not at all dry. But this one is really all about the Peanut Butter frosting.

Peanut Butter Brownie unwrapped

Oh, wow. WOW!

The frosting is so light and creamy that it is a perfect complement to the dense brownie, and the peanut butter flavor is absolutely spot-on. It’s also good to note that the brownie-to-frosting height ratio is nearly one-to-one. WOOT!!!

Peanut Butter Brownie cross section

And those mini chocolate chips on the top? They bring just the right amount of crunch to the mix. I’m not even a die-hard PB person, and I’m pretty well smitten with this thing. I would love to hear the opinion of PB fans on this one if you’ve had the chance to try it!

By the way, might I recommend washing this down with some Mickey Milk? “Mickey Milk” being, of course, regular ol’ lowfat milk; but it just tastes better thanks to Mickey’s picture on the carton! (That isn’t just me, is it?)

"Mickey Milk"

Candy Bar Brownie

While I was at it, I simply could NOT resist trying the Candy Bar Brownie as well ;).

Candy Bar Brownie

The Candy Bar Brownie has that same terrific brownie base, but the execution is completely different. As opposed to the light, airy frosting on the Peanut Butter Brownie, the frosting here is more akin to a ganache. It’s laid on thick, and topped, as you can see, with an assortment of candies.

Candy Bar Brownie cross section

In the yummy mass of toppings, I identified mini m&ms, Butterfinger candy bar crunch, chocolate chips, and a drizzle of vanilla icing. The candies seemed to add more to the texture and crunch of the dessert than the actual flavor – the primary taste was all heavenly chocolate, except for the few times I bit into an unusually large and yummy piece of Butterfinger.

So, which one is best? I suppose it depends on your tastes. But for me, while the Candy Bar Brownie totally rocks, I’m giving this round to the Peanut Butter Brownie, which earns major nods for its variety in flavor and texture.

Peanut Butter and Candy Bar Brownies

I’d highly recommend a stop at The Mara the next time you’re in Disney World, especially if you’re looking for something outside the norm. We’d love to hear about the goodies you find!

What’s your choice: the Candy Bar or Peanut Butter Brownie? Please let us know with a comment!

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10 Comments

  1. Julie says:

    Had the PB brownie a few months ago- it was the underdog when I bought that and zebra domes, but turned into the surprise winner for me!! Zebra domes will always have my love but the brownie may have stolen my heart. That frosting is what dreams are made of

  2. Jenn @ Fairest Run of All says:

    Yay! Now that’s what I call catering to your public. :D

  3. Kev says:

    For many Brits like me, Peanut Butter is a little ‘counter intuitive’!

    I’ve got to hang my head in shame and confess that I have only tried Peanut Butter once, many, many years ago. All I can think of that event is that PB must be an acquired taste?

    After those years have passed however, I definitely feel as though it is time to make friends with what must undoubtedly be one of the USA’s top ingredients for cakes and desserts!
    I’m sure that a nation that has fallen in love with Funnel Cakes, Mickey Premiums, Churros, Dole Whip and many more, can be trusted!

    I promise the USA, with all my heart to grasp this challenge and embrace Peanut Butter based desserts with the spirit of a true American!
    Which means of course, that when I do fall in love with the stuff, I must return more and more often!

    Nice work DFB, you have opened Pandora’s Peanut Butter Jar (Box)!

  4. Lora W. says:

    On our last day at AKL, my son talked all day about getting that peanut butter brownie. He was using his last snack credit. Anyway, we went after the parks that evening. There was only one left. It had a smudge but he didn’t care. He dreamed of that brownie all day. He started eating that delicious, dreamlike confection. Then he announced, ‘I think there’s a hair on it.” I said, “There’s no hair on it,” as I extened my hand to have a look myself. Well, have you noticed they’re ROUND. There was a fumble…that brownie rolled off the table. It fell off the table and continued to roll down the floor. It came to rest half way across the restaurant, top down. I was laughing so hard, I was crying.

  5. Wendy says:

    Julie – YES! I know exactly what you mean. I was most excited about the Candy Bar Brownie, but the Peanut Butter Brownie just stole the show.

    Jenn – I was hoping you’d see this! Yours was one of the comments I was thinking about :)!

    Kev – Ha! Brilliant! I would love to hear your take on it if you ever try it. One of my dear friends is from New Zealand, and whenever I try to offer her any sort of chocolate-PB combo, she is less than impressed ;). I think you’re right that it must be an acquired taste. We start on PB pretty young here in the States ;).

    Lora – Oh, nooooo!!!! I definitely hadn’t considered that aspect of the shape! Here’s hoping his next PB Brownie is “roll-free” ;)!

  6. Marcellina says:

    I love that you mentioned that the peanut butter frosting was light and airy… sometimes peanut butter and chocolate can be a super overwhelming and heavy combo.. but this one sounds great and like something I’d love. Thanks for the review!!

  7. Essie says:

    I’m planning on visiting both the Boardwalk and AKL on my next visit (which is sadly too far off) and this PB Brownie is targeted for my lunch at Mara. It looks delicious. The day when I visit the Boardwalk will mean lunch at the Boardwalk Bakery and, boy, will that be a tough decision when it comes to dessert!

  8. Wendy Snelgrove says:

    I have a solution. Put that brownie, plus pb frosting, plus crushed butterfinger pieces together, and now you’ve ***really*** got something.

  9. Choc says:

    They both look so intense! I’m more inclined to try the Peanut Butter Brownie, but in the end I’d take either!

  10. Jennifer says:

    The peanut butter brownie is AMAZING! We got it the first day we were there in September this year. WOW! I completely agree that it is all about the peanut butter frosting!

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