Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

What a busy few weeks it has been. Unfortunately, not in the kitchen. The good news is that we found out Michael will be performing a short set at the Tucson Folk Festival. He'll be doing an acoustic set in the Tucson Museum of Art lobby at noon on Sunday, May 6. If you're in the area drop by for some great music.

Since he's doing some new music he and some of our neighbors who won't be able to be there on Sunday decided he should do a rehearsal in our front yard last night. We had a great evening and of course I had to have refreshments for everyone. I was a little stuck on what to do until our neighbor Marge mentioned she loved chocolate and peanuts. Immediately, I thought of doing peanut butter and chocolate brownies with our "No Churn" ice cream and caramel sauce. I love warm brownies and ice cream and thought they would go wonderfully for a May evening in the desert.

It seemed the music and the refreshments were a big hit. The ice cream got raves (honestly, I prefer it to even the "gourmet" store bought) and the brownies were well received as well. Throw in some wine brought by a neighbor and it was a really fun evening. In fact, it was so fun, we decided to do it again in the near future.

I think you'll really enjoy these brownies. I love the flavors and I also love the way they come together so nicely and make such a lovely marbleized presentation. Give them a try for your own soiree!

Recipe: Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

Description: A great peanut butter and chocolate sensation. Perfect served warm with a scoop of ice cream!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. plus 2 tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. espresso powder or finely ground coffee beans
  • 3 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and line with parchment. Grease the parchment paper.
  2. For the peanut butter batter, place 1 stick plus 2 tbs. of the butter and the peanut butter in a heat proof bowl set above a pot of simmering water. Be sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Allow the mixture to warm, stirring until melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1 cup of the sugar until blended. Whisk in 2 of the eggs and 1/2 tsp. of the vanilla. Sift 1 cup of the flour and the baking powder over the batter and fold until no streaks remain.
  3. To make the chocolate batter, place the remaining 1 stick of butter and the unsweetened chocolate in a second heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Again, do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Heat, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp. vanilla and the ground coffee. Sift the remaining 1/2 cup flour and cocoa over the batter and fold until blended. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Alternately pour portions of each batter in prepared pan so that you create checkerboard pattern. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, swirl the two batters together to create a marble appearance. Be sure to get the batter into the corners and distributed evenly.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan. When ready to unmold the brownies, warm the bottom of the pan just slightly on the stove (low setting). Flip the brownies from the pan using a baking sheet then flip again with a second baking sheet. Cut into 12 or 24 squares.

Notes

I use Penzey's Mexican Vanilla Extract in this recipe because it has such a rich flavor profile and complements chocolate like no other vanilla. 

Be aware that you are working with warm batters and eggs with this recipe. Be sure to temper your eggs before adding them to the batter by placing a bit of the warm batter into the container with your eggs and stirring briefly. Then pour the eggs into the batter being sure to stir constantly as you pour. 

Homogenized peanut butter works best in this recipe. Avoid the ones that require stirring or have a film of oil on top. They do not do well in baked goods. 

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 35 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 24
Culinary tradition: USA (General)

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