Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Yes, you read that correctly, not just chocolate, not just chocolate and peanut butter, but chocolate and peanut butter and salt. A.Maze.Ing. Need I say more? I didn't think so...

Inspired by Martha Stewart's peanut butter swirl brownies, I upped the ante and threw in a few twists of my own. Read it, bake it, eat it, and enjoy. With love from my kitchen to yours:

1 1/2 stick of butter
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2/3 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter *
3 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon salt

*chunky or smooth, your choice! I usually go with smooth.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Grease a baking pan, line it with parchment paper hanging over the sides of the pan, grease the parchment paper.

3. Place 1 stick of butter with the 1/2 cup milk chocolate and 1/2 cup dark chocolate in a pot over the stove. Melt and mix together, stirring constantly so as not to burn. Let cool slightly because you're about to add some eggs...

4. Add 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, 3 eggs, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Whisk together to combine.

5. Add 2/3 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

6. In a separate bowl melt 1/2 stick of butter. Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 3/4 cup peanut butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix to combine.

7. Separate the peanut butter mixture into four parts. Using one part of the mixture, drop dollops into the greased parchment-lined pan.

8. Pour 1/3 of the chocolate mixture on top of the peanut butter drops. Then repeat step 7.

9. Pour the second 3rd of the chocolate mixture on top of the peanut butter drops and then sprinkle 1/4 cup of the milk and dark chocolate chips on top of the brownie layer. Repeat step 7.

10. Pour the remaining chocolate mixture on top of the peanut butter drops and then repeat step 7 with the remaining peanut butter mix.

11. To make swirls atop the brownies, take a butter knife and slowly make a zigzag from one end of the pan to the other with about 1/2 inch of the knife in the mixture, moving from the top of the pan to the bottom, soft as an artist's paintbrush.*

12. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of milk and dark chocolate chips on top of the brownies.

13. Place pan in the oven and cook at 325 for 30 minutes.

14. Remove from oven and sprinkle the top with the remaining salt. Cook for another 15-20 minutes.

15. Let sit for 15 minutes. It's okay if the brownies do not appear completely solid as they will continue to cook and you do want them to be a little gooey.

* While swirls look pretty, it's the clumpy peanut butter bites that have the taste buds in pure harmonic bliss. Feel free to omit the swirl altogether if you wish.