Peanut Butter Brownies

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Last night I had the pleasure of hosting the planning committee of the 2015 Guilford Green Foundation Gala. After almost a year of planning, the Gala committee became a little like family. Constant text messages, jokes, witty (and snarky) banter plus a whole lotta work. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the results of our efforts. And, relieved that it’s behind us.

In honor of our hard work, we all gathered on Mendenhall for a no-business dinner. I made a spread of easy make-ahead dishes for an easy Monday night dinner party. I’ll share the recipes this week and will kick off the series with these most delicious Peanut Butter Brownies from Smitten Kitchen. Like the gala, they are time intensive but totally rewarding. Here is the recipe and a little recap video with the entire team!

Peanut Butter Brownies from Smitten Kitchen 
Adapted from Butterwood Desserts, West Falls, New York via Gourmet, October 2007

Makes 32 brownies, more or less, depending on how you cut them

For brownies
2 sticks (1/2 pound or 225 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups (350 grams) sugar
1 cup (255 grams) creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces or 255 grams) bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon table salt, see note**

For ganache
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces or 255 grams) bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
1 tablespoon (15 grams) unsalted butter, softened

Make brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in middle. Butter a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan, then line bottom of pan with parchment paper and butter parchment.

Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, then add peanut butter and beat until incorporated. Beat in whole eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Reduce mixer sped to low, then mix in flour until just combined.

Mix in chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups) then spread batter in baking pan, smoothing top. (It will be thick, almost like cookie batter.)

Bake until brownies are deep golden, puffed on top and a wooden pick inserted in center come out with some crumbs adhering, 40 to 45 minutes.

Cool completely in pan on a rack, about 1 1/2 hours.

Make ganache: Put chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups) in a heatproof bowl.

Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan, then pour over chocolate chips and let mixture stand for one minute.

Gently whisk in butter until it is incorporated, chocolate is melted, and a smooth mixture forms.

Spread ganache on cooled brownies and let stand until set, about 15 minutes.

Brownies keep in one layer in an airtight container three days, and we hope much longer if hidden waaay in the back of the freezer.

 

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