Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Peanut Butter Brookies

Peanut Butter Brookies - made December 13, 2013 from Shugary Sweets
When you have a lot of baked holiday gifts to give away, 9 x 13 cakes and brownies are a lifesaver, both because they're easy to make and because they can go a long way in a lot of gifts. I needed exactly that so it was a good time to test out Peanut Butter Brookies. "Brookies" are a combination of "brownie" and "cookie" in case you haven't come across that nomenclature before. "Crownies" are the cookie/brownie cutesy word combo.  Regardless of what you call it, the aim is to make the best of both worlds.
Chocolate and peanut butter are always a good flavor combination and usually how I like to eat anything with peanut butter: partnered with chocolate. I didn't have peanut butter chips in my pantry (about the only thing not in there) but I did have the last of the mini peanut butter cups from Halloween to clear out so that's what I used instead.  Plus they look cuter. Yes, I'm a girl and I like cuteness, even in baked goods.
In reading the recipe, I was fine with the brownie layer as it seemed like a standard brownie. I was a little more skeptical about the peanut butter layer because I have a prejudice against shortening but I know that's also a common ingredient in peanut butter cookies. So I went with it. Sometimes suspending skepticism is a good thing because these turned out deliciously. It actually worked to have the shortening in the peanut butter layer because that's what helped give it a little crisp-ness (not crispy but elements of a crisp texture) in part of the peanut butter layer. The brownie layer was wonderfully fudgy and the peanut butter layer offered both a flavor and texture complement that enhanced both layers. All in all, a good offering for the peanut butter chocolate lovers on your gift list.
Brownie layer
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Peanut butter cookie layer
1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup peanut butter morsels
8oz bag Reese's mini peanut butter cups
  1. For the brownie layer, melt chocolate chips with 1/2 cup butter for 1 1/2 minutes in microwave safe glass bowl. Stir until smooth. Add sugar, flour and eggs and combine completely.
  2. Pour into a 13x9 baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  3. For the cookie dough, beat shortening with 2 tablespoons butter. Beat in milk, vanilla, sugars, peanut butter and egg. Add flour, salt and baking powder. Fold in peanut butter morsels and Reese's mini PB cups.
  4. Drop cookie dough onto brownie batter layer. Smooth evenly.
  5. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove and cool completely. Refrigerate and cut into bars.

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