Oh, friends. If heaven is a dessert, I have found it. These dense, fudgy brownies are spectacular themselves, but when paired with a peanut butter swirl? I've achieved nirvana.
My friend and coworker Sharon is leaving the country next week, making a major and courageous move. She is always asking me to make peanut butter and chocolate goodies for the office, something I have indulged in the past. And these - well I think she hit the motherlode with these.
The brownie recipe is a famed one from the Baked cookbook, and it did not disappoint. Rich, chewy, and a perfect pair to the peanut butter I decided to add on top - these were a hit around the office. The cookbook offers some strict suggestions, some of which I followed - like using room temperature eggs, and some of which I didn't - like using a double boiler. I also swapped instant coffee for the espresso powder, since the latter isn't something I ever keep on hand.
I also totally started the batter out in a bowl that just wasn't big enough, and had to switch halfway through. Apparently, I never learn. Either way these were easy, one bowl, and oh-so-delicious.
B'hatzlacha Sharon! You will be missed.
Recipe: (adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)
11 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
1 tsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsps dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup peanut butter
In a (very) large bowl, melt the chocolate, butter and espresso powder and mix together until smooth.
Whisk in the sugars until completely combined.
Add 3 of the eggs and whisk until combined, then add the remaining 2, plus the vanilla.
Whisk until all the ingredients are just mixed - don't overbeat.
Sprinkle the flour, cocoa powder and salt on top of the chocolate mixture.
Using a spatula, fold the mixture in until just a few streaks of white remain.
Pour the batter into a greased 9x13" metal or glass pan.
Microwave the peanut butter about 30 seconds, until smooth and slightly runny.
Dollop tablespoons over the batter, and use a knife or spatula to swirl it in to the batter.
Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Do not overbake!