It’s been one of those weeks, guys. One of those weeks that drains you of everything you have-all your energy, all your brainpower, all your emotions. This week I experienced my first corporate restructuring; my first set of lay offs. I’m fine, I was spared, but I waited, tense and anxious, along with everyone else through a week of ominous goings-ons that culminated in the loss of a lot of good people. People I loved and people I appreciated. I know that I’m one of the lucky ones and that I have no right to moan about how hard this week has been. But it was hard. And I am spent. Recently Geni at Sweet and Crumby said that when you cant right all the things that are wrong, you should turn to chocolate and peanut butter (I’m paraphrasing, obvi). I can’t agree more.
These brownies. Are. Amazing. They’re more fudge than brownie since the whole pan contains 1 cup of flour and no leavener. The salted peanuts are KEY, cutting into the super sweetness that comes from the peanut butter frosting. These are for chocolate and peanut butter lovers ONLY. They would be wasted on anyone else. If you don’t worship the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, then please leave them for the rest of us.
I’ve always been a fudgy (rather than cakey) brownie person myself, so I love, love, loved the texture of these. They may actually deserve a taste test sans the fancy decorations because I have a hunch that they’re fantastic all on their own. I mean, I don’t think they’re as good as my go-to recipe, but I’m not sure….I was distracted by the peanut buttery goodness. Some one should do a side by side comparison for me.
I brought these into the office at the beginning of the week thinking that we all may have needed a pick-me-up. Of all the things I’ve brought into the office, I think these disappeared the most quickly, and perhaps with the most praises. I don’t want you to misunderstand me. I’m not making light of the situation at work and I’m not claiming that brownies can make up for any of it. But I also know that food is comfort and we all need some of that, sometimes. I need some now; I’m just too soft for all of this. Lucky for me I had the foresight to freeze a few, because I see a friday night of brownies and wine in my future.
Fudgy Peanut Butter Brownies with Salted Peanuts
Adapted (barely) from Bon Appétit.
There are a couple steps here, but they’re really, really easy.
3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
7 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
4 lg eggs
1 c all purpose flour
1 c roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Frosting and ganache
1 c chunky peanut butter (do not use natural or old-fashioned)
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided, room temperature
3/4 c powdered sugar
1/8 t salt
1 T whole milk (I forgot this-it didn’t matter)
1 t vanilla extract
7 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 T light corn syrup
- Heat oven to 325°F. Line 13″x9″x2″ metal baking pan with foil, leaving overhang on all edges; grease foil
- In a large heavy saucepan, melt 3/4 c butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth
- Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk in eggs one at a time. Stir in nuts
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake ~30 min or until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached
- Place on rack and cool completely
- In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter and 1/4 c butter together with an electric mixer
- Add the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla, beating until well combined. Set aside
- When the brownies are cool spread the peanut butter frosting evenly over them
- In a small heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate, 1/4 c butter and corn syrup over medium heat, stirring until smooth
- Immediately pour ganache over frosting and spread with a knife or offset spatula
- Let brownies chill in fridge until set (~1.5 hours) Using the foil as a sling, remove them from the pan and slice into your desired number of squares
- Let ’em come to room temperature before you eat them! I know it’s hard, but just do it!!