Category Archives: brownies

Peanut Butter Blondies with Chocolate and Sea Salt – Football Food!

Today marks the first day of my favorite time of year – football season, which goes until the end of the holidays. I rarely  sit down to actually watch a game, but there is something I love about having it on in the background and my dear hubby enjoying watching his Alma Matter play their hearts out. The weather is starting to cool off, soon the leaves will be turning…it’s the best time of year!

And with football comes football food! I technically made these for a BBQ the day before, but they’d be great for game day. At a BBQ or any similar event you really need a food that is easy to pick up, no utensils needed. Smitten Kitchen saved the day yet again with these fabulous Peanut Butter Blondies with Chocolate Ganache.They are very easy and very addictive. Well, addictive if your favorite combination in the whole wide world is peanut butter and chocolate. And mine is. I hope yours is too.

The batter takes about 10 minutes to make, including gathering up your ingredients (remember, I am slow with this part). It looks just like cookie dough, and I think you could probably actually drop these and make cookies instead.

Then you bake anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes, depending on how you like your edges and how hot your oven is. After it cools completely, make the ganache. If you live in the Oven, aka the South, like me, you might want to put the blondies int he refrigerator to chill, otherwise you’ll be waiting all night. I needed to sleep, so that was not an option.

Pour the ganache on top, sprinkle with sea salt if you so desire. I think it would also be very tasty with some pretzels crushed on top for some added texture and that salty sweet taste. And would also make it more manly than “sea salt”.

And try very hard not to eat them all at once. Thankfully I gave most of mine away and am only left with a few little pieces.  Enjoy, and Go Team!

Peanut Butter Blondies with Chocolate Ganache

Courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

Blondies

  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used all natural, fresh ground, honey roasted from Earth Fare)
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (9 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, see note**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in middle. Butter a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan, then line bottom of pan with parchment paper and butter parchment.

Beat together butter, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, about five minutes. Then add peanut butter and beat until incorporated. Beat in whole eggs and egg yolk.

Reduce mixer sped to low, then mix in flour until almost combined. Add in chocolate chips and beat on low until combined. Batter will be very thick!

Bake until blondies are deep golden, puffed on top and a wooden pick inserted in center come out with some crumbs, about 35 to 45 minutes.

Cool completely in pan on a rack, about 1 1/2 hours. Chill if needed.

Ganache
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (9 ounces)**
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

*1 1/2 tsp of coarse sea salt for topping

Put chocolate chips  in a heatproof bowl.

Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan, then pour over chocolate chips and let mixture stand for one minute. Mix with a whisk starting slowly in small circles in the center, slowly working your way out as the chocolate and cream combine.

Gently whisk in butter until it is incorporated, chocolate is melted, and a smooth mixture forms.

Spread ganache on cooled brownies. Sprinkle with sea salt (or pretzels, or nothing at all). Let cool until set. This may take a while if it is hot and humid out, possibly overnight. Chill for a short while (30 minutes tops) if you need to speed things up. Ganache is best at room temperature though.

Slice and enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies (and a glass of milk, please)

Hello dear readers, if you are still there. I’ve had a long absence because I’ve been very busy moving into a new house with little time for anything but moving.  What better way to break the absence than with peanut butter brownies? Sounds good to me.

This recipe is an Ina Garten recipe. She never fails me. I think I add a few pounds just by looking at these brownies (yeah, that’s a whole pound of butter in the recipe) but  that is a small price to pay for these insanely delicious brownies.

This makes an entire half sheet of brownies, but I’m sure the recipe would be just fine cut in half. I made the whole recipe because we had guests in town. The brownies didn’t start to get dry until nearly a week after I made them. I kept them under a cake dome which made them visible every time I was in the kitchen. And therefore every time I was in the kitchen I had “just a nibble”. Don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of milk. You’ll need it.

Enjoy!

Peanut Swirl Brownies by Ina Garten

Ingredients

  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

2. Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

3. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the prepared sheet pan. Spoon the peanut butter over the top of the chocolate mixture and using a knife, swirl it through the chocolate mixture.

4. Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes more or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into large squares.

Note: I cooked mine for about 15 minutes first, then another 10 to 15. It will depend on your oven but brownies should be under baked, not over baked. A “clean” toothpick” means a few crumbs, not sparkling clean.

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Triple Chocolate Brownies

The other day I was browsing a magazine and came across a recipe for Chocolate tart. It looked amazing and immediately had me craving chocolate (big surprise, I know!). But I honestly was in no mood for the work a tart would require. However, I still needed to satisfy my chocolate craving. So I turned to my favorite brownie recipe, Martha Stewarts Double Chocolate Brownies. Yes, my title says Triple Chocolate. Well, I’ve made a few changes in the several times I’ve made these brownies. But the base is solid – always delicious and easy. So feel free to make your own changes as they suit you. After all, brownies can be a very personal thing!

Now what makes these triple chocolate? The three forms of chocolate in the brownies: semisweet chocolate, Dutch-process cocoa powder, and my addition, white chocolate. I know white chocolate isn’t technically a chocolate, but for all intensive purposes, we are counting it towards the “Triple” in the title. Here’s a summary of white chocolate, courtesy of Wikipedia. Basically, it is cocoa butter but no cocoa. And I personally still think it is delicious and makes a wonderful addition to these brownies. Add them if you like, or maybe add nuts if you like nuts in your brownies.

The other changes I made were adding 2 TB of coffee (a must in just about any chocolate recipe, in my opinion. Really enhances the chocolate), and for the first time, I sprinkled sea salt on the top, which I will be doing every time now. As Martha says, these bars are solid enough to take on a picnic, or to serve at the end of a dinner party. I’ve done that a couple times and they are always a hit.

The best way to eat this is with a scoop of ice cream – I prefer blackberry. It pairs perfectly with the chocolate. If you can’t find blackberry, then vanilla or coffee will work wonderfully! And of course, they are great all by themselves, no ice cream necessary.

One of the biggest reasons I love this recipe is because it is so easy to make. No need for a box mix when you have this recipe!

Triple Chocolate Brownies

Modified slightly from Martha Stewart Double Chocolate Brownies

  • 6 TB unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 6 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Guittard – remember to use good chocolate!)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 TB strong coffee, cooled
  • 3 oz white chocolate chips
  • Sea salt, as needed

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a buttered 8 inch square baking pan with parchment, allowing a 2 in overhang.

2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa powder in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering (not boiling!) water. Stir until butter and chocolate have melted. (Since you are melting the cocoa powder, there is no reason to sift. But normally, sift your cocoa powder!) Let cool slightly.

3.  Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Put sugar, eggs, vanilla, and coffee in mixer bowl and beat with paddle attachment (original recipe says whisk, I prefer the paddle for a denser brownie. If you’d like yours airier, then use the whisk) and mix until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture and mix until combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture. Mix until well combined, making sure to scrape the sides. Add white chocolate and mix just until combined.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan; spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake about 10 minutes, then lightly sprinkle some sea salt on the brownies. Put back into oven. Bake until cake tester inserted into brownies (not in the center or edges, but somewhere in between) comes out with a few crumbs but not wet, about 35 minutes. However, a little wet will just make for gooier brownies, so if that’s what you like, then by all means take take them out early!

Let cool as long as you can, and satisfy that chocolate craving. Yummy!

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