Friday, July 31, 2009

Peanut Butter Brownies

As I've mentioned before, my father loves ice cream. So much so, my brother and sister-in-law bought my mom and me (they already have one) ice cream makers for Christmas this year so that we could stage our first annual ice cream making competition in honor of Dad. Everyone came through with great flavors ranging from Ethan Awake Awake Java Chip and Salty Dawg (salted caramel and a nod to Jersey accents) to Dad's a Peach. We decided that a cake was unnecessary, but that there needed to be something to put candles in so that my nephew Cooper and his Pops could blow them out. I decided to make Dorie Greenspan's peanut butter brownies. I've had my eye on them for a while and will definitely make them again. They provided a fine backdrop for the birthday candles and for the array of ice cream flavors, but are perfectly delicious and very satisfying on their own.

Peanut Butter Brownies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

1 cup chunky peanut butter (do not use natural or old-fashioned)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped


  • Preheat to 325 and position rack in center of oven. Line a 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with foil or parchment, leaving long overhang, and lightly butter.
  • Place 3/4 cup butter in large saucepan. Add both chocolates and stir over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in sugar, vanilla and salt, then eggs, 1 at a time. Fold in flour, then nuts.
  • Pour and spread in prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Place pan on rack and cool.
frosting and ganache
  • Using electric mixer, beat peanut butter and 1/4 cup butter in medium bowl to blend. Beat in powdered sugar, salt and nutmeg, then milk and vanilla.
  • Spread frosting over brownies.
  • Stir chocolate and remaining 1/4 cup butter in small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Drop ganache over frosting and spread to cover. Chill until set, about 1 1/2 hours. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.
  • Using foil or parchment as an aid, transfer brownie to work surface and cut into squares. Bring to room temperature and serve.
  • Enjoy!

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