Friday, May 16, 2014

Top Favorite: Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Brownies

Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Brownies (revisited) - made May 4, 2014 from Fearless Baking by Elinor Klivans
This is probably one of my favorite peanut butter and milk chocolate brownie combinations and I haven't made it in ages. Probably because I already know what it tastes like, I've already made the recipe and I've already blogged about it. But I needed something peanut butter and chocolate to take to my coworkers at our annual conference and I didn't want to risk a new recipe in case it didn't turn out. I had a lot of baked goods to bring and not much time to bake so I couldn't afford failures. Plus I blogged about these several years ago and wanted more close up pictures to post.
The recipe calls for 6 ounces of chocolate for the middle layer but I never measure. Instead I sprinkle with chocolate chips until the bottom layer is almost completely covered. Alternately, you can lay thin slabs of milk chocolate over the peanut butter to cover them completely then top with the remaining half of the peanut butter batter. These may not look "done" but they are. If you overbake them, they'll be cakey. Underbake slightly for a dense, moist texture.
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ pound (1 stick) soft unsalted butter
1 cup smooth peanut butter, room temperature
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces milk chocolate, such as Lindt or Dove Bar, broken into about ½” pieces
  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 9 x 2” or 11 x 7 x 2” baking pan. 
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt onto a piece of wax paper or into a small bowl and set aside. 
  3. Put the butter and peanut butter in a large bowl and stir with a large spoon until they are blended together. You may see a few specks of butter. Stir in the brown sugar and granulated sugar, mixing until they are incorporated and there is no loose sugar. Stirring vigorously, beat in the eggs and vanilla until the mixture looks smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir just until it is incorporated and there is no loose flour. Spread about two thirds of the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly with a thin metal spatula or a nonsharp table knife. Scatter the milk chocolate pieces evenly over the batter. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter over the milk chocolate, using a rubber spatula to scrape all of the batter from the bowl. Use a thin metal spatula or the table knife to spread the batter evenly over the chocolate. The chocolate will be covered, but may show through the batter. 
  4. Bake for about 35 minutes until the top feels firm when gently touched and the edges are light brown. Inserting a toothpick as a test doesn’t work because the warm milk chocolate clings to the toothpick. Cool the brownies thoroughly in the pan for about 1 hour. Cut the brownies into pieces and use a thin metal spatula to remove them from the pan. Wrap individual brownies in plastic wrap and store at room temperature up to 3 days. Wrapped brownies are ready to pack in lunch boxes or picnic baskets. These brownies can be served with a scoop of chocolate or peanut butter fudge ice cream. 
  5. Individual brownies can be wrapped in plastic wrap then heavy aluminum foil and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost the wrapped brownies as needed.

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