Monday, December 27, 2010

Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut Butter Brownies - made December 21, 2010 from The Little Red Barn Baking Book (book #32)

I underbaked these so they almost tasted like peanut butter fudge.  Or I have fudge on the brain since I still haven't made one successfully in my mind.  But these were pretty good and I like the two-layer combination look.  I didn't go exactly halfsies on the batter and made the peanut butter layer a little more than the chocolate layer.  No deliberate reason other than I wasn't that precise is halving the batter.  The chocolate layer looked a little nubbly, maybe because there wasn't enough base batter to go with the melted chocolate.  Still, both layers tasted good.  The only change I would recommend though is to bake in an 8-inch pan instead of a 9-inch one.  The 9-inch pan made the brownies a little thin and, as mentioned, I'm prejudiced against thin brownies.  Making this in a smaller pan would've enhanced the layered look a bit better.  Just remember to adjust for baking time and possibly bake them a little longer.  But not too long as the moist, fudgy texture makes these good. 

4 ounces semisweet chocolate
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (add to the peanut butter layer if you wish) 
1.     Preheat the oven to 350F.  Butter and flour a 9-inch square pan. (I recommended using an 8-inch pan.)
2.     Melt the chocolate with half the butter in a double boiler set over hot water.  Stir to combine, then let cool for a few minutes. 
3.     Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
4.     In a separate bowl, beat the remaining butter with the granulated and brown sugars until pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one by one, beating after each addition.  Add the vanilla.  Gently fold in the flour.
5.     Spoon half of the batter into another bowl.  To one half, had the peanut butter and to the other half, add the melted chocolate.  Spread the peanut butter batter in the prepared pan to form an even layer.  Spread the chocolate batter evenly over the top.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle.  A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with a few moist crumbs on it.
Makes 16-20 brownies

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