Saturday, May 9, 2015

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies

Brownies have become quite versatile these days. There are so many things that pair well with chocolate, it is hard not to add an additional flavor component to them.  Cream cheese, raspberry, wine, coffee-- and the list goes on.  However, we do not need to turn to the Food Bible to discover this particular flavor combination. Chocolate and peanut butter are a classic pairing that nearly all of us are familiar with.

These treats taste are as if someone took a large chocolate peanut butter cup and stacked it on top of  rich chocolate brownies. Not just plain brownies, but fudgy brownies choc-full of roasted, salted peanuts. Now that I have your attention, lets get right to the recipe.

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies
adapted from Bon Appetit/Jan 2007

4 eggs
3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
7 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped peanuts ( preferably roasted and salted)
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 or 1 stick butter (divided in half)
7 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup chunky style peanut butter (not natural or old fashioned)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp gnd nutmeg
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the interior of a 9x13 inch pan with foil, leaving an overhang on the long sides. Butter the face up side of the foil, covering all that is lining the interior of the pan.

The first step is to create and bake the brownie base. Set up a double boiler over medium heat. Let the water in the bottom part come to a simmer. Place other pot on top and fill with chocolate and butter. Stir occasionally as the ingredients melt.  Once completely melted, transfer to a mixing bowl.

Add sugar, vanilla extract and salt to the melted batter. Mix together until blended. Add one egg and whisk into the batter. Continue the same process with each egg, one by one. Stir in flour until no streaks remain.  Lastly, mix in peanuts.

Transfer batter to prepared pan, smoothing the surface. Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until tester comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool brownies completely in pan, placing pan on rack.

The first layer on top of the brownies is the peanut butter mixture.  Add peanut butter and 1/4 cup butter to mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until combined.  Sprinkle in the salt and nutmeg and beat again for about 30 seconds.  Sift in the powdered sugar and blend with mixer.  Beat in the milk and vanilla for another 30 seconds.  Spread mixture evenly over brownies and smoothing the top.

For the final layer, set up a double boiler again.  Fill top pot with chocolate and 1/4 cup of butter.  Stir occasionally as the mixture melts.  Once melted and smooth, drop by spoonfuls over the surface of the peanut butter layer.  Using a spatula, smooth out chocolate.  Make sure that the surface is covered evenly.  Place pan in refrigerator for about 1 1/2 hours.  This will give the top two layers time to set up.

To serve, pull sides of foil and lift brownies out of pan. Cut into squares while still cold. Let come to room temperature prior to serving.
                           **LAST YEAR: Pineapple Rum Trifle Cake**