Friday, May 13, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

I should probably be talking about asparagus or something, right? Well, this girl, she can't live on lovely, local, seasonal produce alone. I'll be checking in with all of you on your local journey on early on in the week, but today is for me to show you what else is going on in my kitchen. Today, we're talking brownies, as in, "can't stop eating them" brownies.

If you bake well, or heck, even if you're a disastrous baker, friends come out of the woodwork. I mean, even a fallen cake is tasty, how could any combination of butter, sugar, and chocolate not be tasty? Most of my baking creations go to my friends at work. Several who peek over at my desk from day-to-day to see what I've brought in. This usually immediately follows a discussion with my husband at home where he tells me, "Do NOT bring any of that in, it's mine." Usually, I ignore him, there's a good reason though. Keep reading.

I made that mistake with these brownies. I believed him. I didn't bring any to work. Oh, how that was a mistake. You see, if that pan sits on my counter for a couple of days, this is what happens. I get up in the morning, make my coffee, I see that pan, covered with little foil, gleaming on the kitchen island. While I mindlessly start sipping coffee in my lack-of-sleep induced haze, my fingers start stretching. They tiptoe across the wooden cutting board, towards that pan, pick up the knife that's always nearby, and cut the smallest of squares. Brownies with coffee, hell's yeah.

But it doesn't end there.

Mid-morning comes, sun streaming through my kitchen windows beautifully, hitting than pan of brownies, making the foil shimmer like diamonds. I'm maybe working on a blog post, chatting with you all on Twitter, playing with pugs, or thinking (stress, "thinking" here) about cleaning the house. I see the sparkle, my fingers start stretching again. Suddenly, in my walk from the kitchen to the living room to stop a pug from eating paperwork left on the table (yes, they eat paper), I stop and cut off a tiny square.

You see a pattern here, right?

By the time I'm thinking of packing up a tiny square for dessert after my dinner at work, I'm horrified. I look down at that seemingly innocent baking pan, and a big chunk is missing. That's because the scene I described for you above, it keeps happening all morning.

So that is why, dear co-workers, you always get treats. Your producer has zero willpower. Love, Kimmy.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
Makes: 16 brownies
Adapted from: Ghiradelli

4 oz Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate (1 bar)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Peanut Butter Topping:
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used all-natural and local Teddie's. If using a commercial version, use sugar to taste)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Grease an 8x8 baking pan and set aside. In a double-boiler (or a heat-safe bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water), melt chocolate bar and butter over low heat, consistently stirring, until smooth. Take pan off the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Next, add your eggs and stir until combined. Now, in another bowl, sift (yes I mean it, sift it) together flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture. Finally, stir in your chocolate chips. Pour batter into the prepared pan and set aside.

In another bowl, combine your peanut butter, sugar and vanilla and stir until well-mixed. Now, taste the mixture. You can add more sugar if it's not sweet enough for you. Now, take the peanut butter mixture and pour it out on top of your brownie batter. Using a spatula, spread and swirl the peanut butter topping across the brownie batter.

Pop that pan in the oven, and bake about 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire baking rack before cutting.

North Shore Bloggers Consortium Weekend Picks 5/13-5/15

North Berwick Farmers' Market, Opening Day
Friday, May 13th, at North Berwick Town Hall Parking Lot, 21 Main Street North Berwick, Maine
Now, OK, I know this is outside the North Shore, but I'm always happy to give any farmers' market some love on opening day. I mean, this farmers' market has lobster, granola, honey, greens, duck eggs, the whole nine yards. Check them out, it sounds lovely. If you want more information, click here

Vintage Baseball
Saturday, May 14th, at Spencer-Little Farm (5 Little’s Lane Newbury, Mass)
11am -4pm / Free Admission
Watch the Essex Base Ball Club take on the Brooklyn Atlantics in this throwback game of baseball. It's played just like it was in the 1860's. You can bring a blanket, sample some Ipswich Ale and watch it unfold on a lovely spring afternoon.

Bouquets in Bloom, An Evening of Wine Tasting
Saturday, May 14th, at Newburyport City Hall, 60 Pleasant Street, Newburyport, MA
6pm-9:30pm / Tickets: $35 at the door, $30 in advance (for ticket info, click here)
Enjoy an evening of tasting different wines from all over. Various nibbles will be on hand from local chefs and Cabot Cheddar. There will be a live auction and plenty of yummy stuff to talk over. The proceeds from the evening are going to Yankee Homecoming, Newburyport's week-long summer celebration.  

Check out what Seth of Lynn Happens has found for you here.
North Shore Dish spices things up with their weekend picks here North Shore Dish
Choices from all over New England at The Two Palaverers.
The wonderful Jane Ward has some great ideas, over at Food and Fiction. Pin It


Belinda @zomppa said...

Brownies are my weakness. Lurrrrrrrrv brownies. Lurrrrv them a lot.

Michelle Collins said...

Chocolate + peanut butter = my favorite combination! These look great!