Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Peanut Butter Brownies

I had the good fortune of going out to dinner with my former boss last week.  Not only was it great to catch up, but it sparked a reminder to her about some recipes she thought I "needed."  The next day, I received one Martha Stewart cookie magazine (all cookies, all the time), two cookie cookbooks, and a single print out of a recipe she saw online.

Yes, it was like Christmas.

I spent the weekend perusing and after going through the magazine and one cookbook, I came up with a list of 2 dozen recipes that I had to try.  And then I actually made one from the second book, titled Christmas Cookies and published in 1986 (I haven't gotten to make the actual list from that book yet).

I'll be the first to tell you that bars are not cookies.  There is a strict difference.  But I do like them and will make them.  And these were totally worth it.  I make a lot of things Dave likes, but I don't even have to ask if he wants something made of peanut butter.  And if that something also includes chocolate then that makes him the luckiest guy EVER.  It's like crack to him and it's never wrong, no matter what the circumstances of the marriage of these two flavors.  So when I came across this recipe for Peanut Butter Brownies, I asked him if he wanted them straight up or with mini chocolate chips.

He may or may not have answered before I finished saying the word "chocolate." (Yet he didn't want chocolate frosting.  Strange.)

These were very yummy and super easy to make.  I used the technique I learned from my regular Brownies recipe of baking and then jiggling the pan and baking again.  This worked out ok, but I did not use the right sized pan.  I used an 8 x8 inch square and the recipe called for a 9 x 9.  While the brownies were nice and thick, the edges were starting to overbake, so I took them out.  The middle was good, but it could have baked a touch longer (they weren't raw, they just weren't as firm as I would have preferred).  The baking time I list below is from the original recipe in the right sized pan.  If I come up with something else, I'll let you know.

Peanut Butter Brownies

I'd started using the ingredients before I asked Dave about the chocolate chips.  Oops.

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used smooth)
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

Combine peanut butter and butter in large bowl and mix well.  Gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of bowl as necessary.  Add eggs, beating well.  Stir in almond extract.

Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, stirring well to combine.   Stir in mini chocolate chips.

Spread mixture evenly into a greased 9-inch square pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and jiggle the pan; if the middle jiggles sloppily, put it back in the oven and bake for 2-4 minutes.  Keep doing this until cracks just start to appear and the middle JUST stops jiggling.  The original recipe says up to 35 minutes.  In the wrong sized pan, I baked for 42 minutes.

Cool completely in pan and cut into squares.

Makes 2-3 dozen (depending on pan size and how big you cut them).

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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