Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

I love brownies - especially fudgie chocolaty ones.  And that's what these are.  I've made them so many times (from MS' Martha Stewart's Cookies) and I love them so much.  Sadly, the book is falling apart and pages are falling out.  What to do?!  Slight panic and terror sets in. I gently tucked them back in their place and I know the end is near for this beloved book of mine.  Making these so many times doesn't stop me from trying new things with it.  I now use it as a base recipe and constantly change things up when I make them.  And I must say, what I did this time was a success.  They came out extra fudgie and oh so good. 

Now, if you're thinking "I can make brownies out of a box and they are great" you are so wrong my friend.  Try these and you will never go back to boxed brownies. I promise you - that good. The great thing with this recipe is that you don't even need to get out your mixer, all you need is a whisk.  Even better, right?!  The batter comes together quickly, and the hardest part of this is that you make a peanut butter filling as well.  I think you can handle it :)

I get the oven preheating and get both batters going.  I fill up my pan with most of the chocolate batter and then I put dollops of the peanut butter filling in the pan.  It's kinda fun, who doesn't like to play with their food?  Reminds me of childhood.  Once I'm done putting in the peanut butter filling I add the rest of the chocolate batter. 
it looks like a mess
And now comes the fun part.  I take my knife and swirl all that goodness together - trying to make a fun design so it will bake up pretty.  It never looks pretty no matter how I hard I try. 

swirled goodness

Into the oven it goes, and sadly they do bake for a long time - which is the only draw back from boxed brownies.  But they are so worth the wait!!  45 minutes later and here it is - brownie goodness

they taste better
than they look
My house smelled amazing all day thanks to these.  And they are always a hit with everyone - even people who aren't really fans of peanut butter will love these.  I highly suggest that you try these next time the urge to bake comes over you. 

Here is the recipe from MS's Cookies Cookbook

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
makes 9 large or 16 small

For the batter:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter an 8" square baking pan and line with parchment, allowing a 2" overhang.  Butter lining (not overhang)
  2. Make batter:  Put butter and chocolates in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted.  Let cool slightly.  Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Whisk granulated sugar into chocolate mixture.  Add eggs, and whisk until mixture is smooth.  Stir in vanilla.  Add flour mixture, stir until well combined.
  4. Make filling:  Stir together butter, confectioner's sugar, peanut butter, salt and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.
  5. Pour one-third of batter into prepared pan; spread evenly with a rubber spatula.  Drop dollops of peanut butter filling (about 1 tbsp each) on top of batter, spacing about 1" apart.  Drizzle remaining batter on top, and gently spread to fill pan.  Drop dollops of remaining peanut butter mixture on top.  Gently swirl peanut butter filling into batter with a butter knife, running the knife lengthwise and crosswise through layers.
  6. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 45 minutes.  Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes.  Life out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. 

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