Peanut Butter Brownies

Boy, am I ever late posting this!  Before my peanut-butter-loving friend and co-worker, Jo, left for a one-year work assignment in Switzerland at the beginning of August, I tried a bunch of peanut butter dessert recipes trying to find the right one for her going away coffee hour.  I did post the peanut swirl brownies, but that was just one of several really good ones I tried before I settled on the dessert I actually made for our little party.

After trying three different peanut butter recipes, I decided on these peanut butter brownies which, to me, are really a peanut butter blondie with chocolate chips and a ganache frosting.  As far as Jo and I are concerned, peanut butter and chocolate are a marriage made in heaven.  These brownies reminded me of the peanut butter buddy bars I used to make years ago but even better.  If you like the PB-chocolate combo, you can’t go wrong with these moist, peanutty bars topped with a wonderful chocolate ganache.  They are oh so good!

There are three things that everyone at work knows are Jo’s favorites—peanut butter, ladybugs, and sunflowers.  I covered the peanut butter, Juan made ladybug cupcakes, but someone made a blueberry dessert instead of a sunflower cake!  Well, 2 out of 3 isn’t so bad…

Aren't the ladybug cupcakes Juan made for Jo cute?

Peanut Butter Brownies

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Ingredients for brownies

  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Ingredients for ganache

  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbl. unsalted butter, softened

Directions

Make brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in middle. Butter a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan, then line bottom of pan with parchment paper and butter parchment.

Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, then add peanut butter and beat until incorporated. Beat in whole eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Reduce mixer sped to low, then mix in flour until just combined.

Mix in chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups) then spread batter in baking pan, smoothing top. (It will be thick, almost like cookie batter.)

Bake until brownies are deep golden, puffed on top and a wooden pick inserted in center come out with some crumbs adhering, 40 to 45 minutes.

Cool completely in pan on a rack, about 1 1/2 hours.

Make ganache: Put chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups) in a heatproof bowl.

Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan, then pour over chocolate chips and let mixture stand for one minute.  (I put cream and chocolate chips in a bowl and microwaved according to directions on back of chocolate chips bag.)

Gently whisk in butter until it is incorporated, chocolate is melted, and a smooth mixture forms.

Spread ganache on cooled brownies and let stand until set, about 15 minutes.

Source: A Smitten Kitten recipe

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