Friday, April 10, 2009

homecoming sweets

So the boyfriend has been gone for the past week.
Hanging around the snowy mountains and fishing in the icy lakes of Tennessee. Not entirely successful, though why do I have a feeling it’s because of that charming 27º weather..?
When I see his oh-so-lovely face on Friday, I will greet him with one big hug, many big kisses, and a plate of brownies. Loaded peanut butter brownies.

That are big bites of chocolate fabulous-ness hiding little bitty treasures and swirled with peanut butter.
See also: I took just about all I had in my pantry and threw it into the batter.
Brownies - like cookies (though, technically they are cookies) - are the perfect vehicle for anything and everything you may want to get rid of.
Got some extra walnuts on hand? Ok. Perhaps some chocolate or chocolate chips? Perfect. Marshmallow fluff and peanut butter? Why the hell not?
And this brownie recipe is divine. I’ve been using it for years and years and it’s such a hit every single time.
The main thing about brownies is to really mix everything by hand. It’s how I have always done it. Put away your electric mixers and stop being lazy for a second. It’s almost therapeutic: the whisking of the butter and sugar and the eggs and the gradual addition of the flour and cocoa.
For me, sometimes cooking is so much more about the process and the ritual and the calming sense of it all, than it is about the end product.
This is one big instance where that rings true.
Boyfriend will love them. Or, rather, he better.
If anything, I’m sure he’ll love the warmer weather he’ll be coming home to.
And hey, my kisses too!

Loaded Peanut Butter Brownies
Brownie base recipe from

3/4 cup butter, melted
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
½ t baking powder
½ t salt
1 pack of Reese's peanut butter cups, cut into cubes
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup chopped nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, etc.)
½ cup peanut butter (good quality peanut butter, not store brand stuff. it really makes a difference.)

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x9 square pan. (A 13x9 inch pan works ok, but I really wouldn’t recommend it.)
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar until combined. Add in eggs one at a time, whisking in after each addition.
3. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add into the butter-egg mixture, whisking slowly to combine.
4. Sprinkle a little flour over the nuts, peanut butter cups, and chocolate chips to keep them from sinking to the bottom. Gently fold them in. Pour batter into pan.
5. Place the peanut butter in a small bowl and microwave to loosen up, about 10 seconds. Pour over batter and, with a toothpick, swirl around.
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The recipe calls for 40-45 minutes, but it never takes me that long. Keep an eye on them. Your oven may vary.

These are pretty fabulous all on their own. But, hey, a little vanilla ice cream never hurt anybody.

No comments: