Sunday, October 10, 2010

Not So Scary Brownies

There's nothing scary about these brownies. In fact I used to be down right petrified to make brownies because I've often heard that you mustn't over-stir the batter which can cause the brownies to come out flat and gummy. It all sounded so risky... and scary. I never counted how many stirs it took me to whip up the batter, and the brownies still baked up nice and fat, and not the least bit gummy. 

The ribbons of smooth peanut butter and dense dark chocolate make these brownies incredibly delectable. The only thing scary about this recipe is seeing the empty brownie pan after everyone has had their share. 

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
Recipe from: Mom's Big Book of Cookies


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup peanut butter, at room temperature {Be sure to use Jiff or Skippy here. All-natural peanut butter will separate and make the brownies greasy.}

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, making sure the foil is tucked into all the corners and there is at least 1 inch overhanging the top of the pan on all sides.

Put 1 inch water in the bottom of a double boiler or medium-size saucepan and bring to a bare simmer. Combine the butter and chocolate in the top of the double boiler or in a stainless-steel bowl set on top of the simmering water, making sure that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat, whisking occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted. Set aside to cool slightly.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small mixing bowl.

Whisk together the sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl. With a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate mixture and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Drop the peanut butter in 10 dollops on top of the batter. Gently run a knife through the batter in several figure-eight patterns to marble it. Bake brownies until they are just set in the center, 25 to 35 minutes {my batch took 40 minutes). Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Grasping the overhanging foil on either side of the pan, lift out the brownies and place them on a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares. Brownies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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