Monday, November 16, 2009

Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut Butter Brownies - first baked 6.26.09, now baking 11.16.09

I have these brownies in the oven right now. I'd made these once before, hence where the current picture comes from. If you like peanut butter, these are good brownies to make. It's a peanut butter layer on the bottom, then the brownie layer and you sprinkle peanuts on top before baking. Despite my diatribe against nuts in brownies, I'm okay with them when they're layered on top. In culinary school, our chef instructor always told us if you're going to mix the nuts into a batter or dough, you should always toast them first to bring out the flavor. If they're going to be baked on top of something and (theoretically) will be toasted as part of the baking, there's no need to toast them. I ignore that direction because I always toast nuts first before using them, no matter how they're being used. It brings out their flavor and makes them a bit more crunchy. Can't trust that to happen if you put them on top of wet dough or a soft batter. Toast 'em first.

This recipe is from The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle, also another good baking book to have. Most, if not all, of the recipes I've tried from this book have turned out pretty well and it offers more than just the standard cookie or brownie. When you've made as many brownies and cookies as I have over the years, you'll want something a little different from the norm as well.

Peanut butter layer
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg

Brownie layer
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil so that the foil extends 2 inches beyond two opposite sides of the pan. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of the pan.
Make the peanut butter layer
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the peanut butter, sugar and egg at medium speed until blended, about 1 minute. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth or pat it into an even layer. Set aside.
Make the brownie layer
3. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugars, butter, chocolate and corn syrup. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 20 minutes, or until tepid.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
5. Whisk the eggs one at a time, into the cooled chocolate mixture, mixing well after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture until blended. Scrape the brownie batter over the peanut butter layer and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the peanuts evenly over the batter.
6. Bake the brownies for 45 to 52 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
7. Cool the brownies in the pan on a wire rack for 1 hour, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until chilled.
8. Using the ends of the foil as handles, lift the brownies out of the pan. Using a sharp knife, cut into 9 squares. Serve chilled.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.


  1. these look so yummy! I saw your blog link on yayas and just love your recipes! YUM, I would be in big (big being the key word here)trouble if I had all these goodies around my house...too delicious to resist...

  2. LOL, Lindsey, if you baked as much as I do, trust me, you'd be able to resist just fine. The more I bake, the less I eat. Of course, it also helps to give it away right away too :)