Friday, January 12, 2007

Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

Remember when I pointed out a few weeks ago that cashew butter could be used to make extra-chewy cookies? It turns out that the very same property carries over to brownies, although this time I used peanut butter instead of cashew butter for something a little bit different.
Besides - who doesn't like the combination of peanut butter and chocolate? It wouldn't be such a popular pairing in the candy world if it wasn't well-liked.
These brownies use both peanut butter and cocoa for a tasty twist on a favorite. The texture is wonderful, as they are chewy and rich without being extremely wet or heavy, as some "fudgy" brownies tend to be. They also keep quite nicely and taste just as good on the second day as they did on the first. I can't vouch for the third day because I suspect that they won't last that long.
I really recommend including the chocolate chips in this recipe because the brownies themselves are not super chocolaty and the chips will keep chocoholics content, but if you want to go really peanut-buttery with this one, try using peanut butter chips instead. You can also try using other nut butters, although your results may vary slightly from mine if you use a natural nut butter, since I used a regular brand.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup all pupose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9x9-in square pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the foil with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and peanut butter until smooth, then beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
In a small bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder. Mix in to peanut butter mixture at a low speed, stopping when just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and scrape batter into pan, spreading into an even layer.
Bake for 26-29 minutes, until set. Edges should feel slightly firm and the center should not look wet or jiggly.
Cool on a wire rack and lit brownies out with the foil when ready to slice.
Makes 16 brownies.