When you bake as much as I do, you quickly learn what makes your friends hearts sing. You begin to think “Well, this person loves pumpkin, but this person is really into tiramisu, and this other person is just really into cake.” I usually take my testers to my synagogue and let the masses be the judge. Because I have very nice friends I get many compliment, which I’m sure most of them are true. However, after bringing goodies for about 6 months one of my friends remained rather silent or indifferent about my baked goods. She was silent until I brought in brownies.
She ran up to me and said “OMG, you don’t know brownies are my FAVORITE and these are the best brownies I’ve ever had!” I was so happy to receive her name in the secret gift exchange for Purim, because not only did know exactly what this woman would like best, brownies are easy to package. I think the thing I love most about brownies is the low-maintenance factor. You just put them in any pan you like, bake them, cut them, and that’s it. Brownies don’t require frosting (and perhaps most would prefer they don’t come with frosting), and they are rich enough that a small piece brings a wealth of satisfaction. These peanut butter brownies hit just the spot – the peanut butter is not too strong, but provides enough saltiness to really balance the flavors.
PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIES
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
4 tablespoons dutch process cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8″ square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Microwave chocolate chips and butter in microwave for about 45 seconds. If not mostly melted, microwave for 20 more seconds. Stir until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder and espresso powder. Set aside.
Whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, peanut butter and salt until combined. Whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Stir in the flour until just combined.
Pour mixture into prepared pan, spread evenly and level the surface with a rubber spatula.
Bake approximately 35-40 minutes. Brownies will be slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out mostly clean.
Cool to room temperature for about 2 hours. Cut into 1″ squares. Store in a tightly sealed container; preferably in the refrigerator.
Brownies lovers, I dare you to try these and not love these! In fact, I really want one right now. Dangit!