February 13, 2012

Best Peanut Butter Brownies

These brownies are so rich, fudgy, and intensely chocolatey. You'll want to bake yourself a batch as a weekly gift to yourself... I say this only from experience, since I have been completely helpless against the temptation to make bake multiple batches for my own enjoyment over the past couple of weeks.

I have simply become dependent on my nightly fix of this moist, gooey brownie.

Thankfully, they only taste like they are require the labor of love! They're simple and quick to make....Knowing that I won't lose an entire evening with my head spent in the oven or washing a million bowls is even more reason to delight in treating myself to these regularly.

There's chocolate bursting out of every bite and a little bit goes a very long way. Since I love peanut butter so, much I felt that it could only get better if I added a mix of savory and salty swirl over every sweet cocoa bite.

The original recipe uses toasted walnuts stirred into the batter, and then sprinkled on top of the brownies... But I think that the creamy peanut butter topping makes them more decadent and satisfying. Peanut butter and chocolate in a brownie this good are a dream come true. Bake them for yourself, and I hope you will agree!

Best Peanut Butter Brownies: adapted from Cooking Light
* use the best quality cocoa powder and chocolate chips you can
cooking spray and 1 T. cocoa powder
3/4 cup flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1/3 cup 2% milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 t. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x9 baking pan with cooking spray and dust with 1 T. cocoa powder. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Combine 1/2 cup chocolate chips and milk in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave at  high 30 seconds, stir, then microwave another 30 seconds. Stir in butter, vanilla, and eggs. Add the milk mixture and 1/2 cup chocolate chips to the flour mixture. Stir to combine.
Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Then spoon the peanut butter over the batter and use a knife to cut and swirl the peanut butter through and over the top of the brownie batter. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack and cut into 16 brownies.

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