Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownies
Swapping childhood stories with the fiancée proves never to be dull. She'll tell me of her lamb, Mike, who she loved and befriended and connected with on a spiritual level, and who then became Easter dinner. I'll tell her of the time I was the test dummy for a homemade zip-line in the backyard, then fell 5 feet to my own death. Very similar childhoods. Very relatable for both parties.
She can tell me about Mike, or the donkey she used to ride down hills in her grandmother's village, she can even tell me how she's never seen half of the Disney movies I grew up on, but nothing will surprise me as much as when she tells me THEY DON'T HAVE PEANUT BUTTER IN GREECE.
Forget Lion King and a pre-baked ham from the supermarket on Easter...how does one go through a childhood without the creamy goodness of crushed nuts on white bread, on bananas, on apples, by the spoonful when nobody's looking?! It just simply cannot be done! Bottom line, we had a lot of work to do here.
First thing's first. We had to buy a Reeses. Americans, ya feel me on this one: Impressed.
Then I gave her her first bite of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich: Not impressed.
The cabinets were going bare, except for an abundance of tortillas. Peanut butter and banana quesadilla?: Impressed.
Some days when I'm really fed up with writing about credit card debt, I can feel a union between my entrepreneurial and my restless sides beginning to form into an Oprah moment:
Peanut butter aside for a minute, let's talk about last year's birthday cupcakes from a box. Funfetti from the aisles of Target. Hopelessly sloppy purple frosting, concocted from a jar of white and a few drops of food coloring. She was appreciative, yes, but she also wanted to make sure I didn't pay someone to make them: Slightly less than impressed. This year's homemade peanut butter stuffed brownies, however, were a home run. And the reason we've had to sign up for so many weekend races in August.
Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownies
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Dash of salt
PEANUT BUTTER FILLING:
- 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a 9x9 inch square baking pan with a little olive oil. Wipe clean with a paper towel to remove excess.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and chocolate chips, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour into large mixing bowl. Allow to slightly cool for about 10 minutes.
Next comes the peanut butter. In a medium bowl, beat the peanut butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla, and milk together until combined. We used chunky peanut butter, but creamy works just as well.
Whisk granulated sugar and brown sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth after each one. Add vanilla, then gently fold in the flour and salt.
Pour half of the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan. Make sure you covered the pan completely, then add all of peanut butter mixture on top. Pour the remaining brownie batter on top.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
Has there ever been a greater marriage than peanut butter and chocolate?