Thursday, June 23, 2011

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
Have I mentioned that I have a summer job? Well, I do. I'm working as an Executive Assistant for a social media marketing company in North Park. It's delightful because 1) I work with my friends, 2) I can walk to work, and 3) it's part-time. The best is probably #3 because I have free time to move to a new apartment, apply to jobs, and BAKE! I can imagine that all of you are most excited about the third one as well. :) My summer goal is post once a week, so let's see if I can do it!

After our staff meeting on Monday morning, I realized that these next few weeks are going to be really busy at work for my coworkers, so I have even more of a reason to bake. Baked goods make everything and everyone better, right? Right. So get ready for a lot more baking than these past few months have seen. :)

So, these delicious Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies are yet another Brown Eyed Baker creation that I discovered. I found them in May and couldn't wait to get to the kitchen to whip some up for myself. As any regular reader of this blog knows, I adore any combination of peanut butter and chocolate. Well, these brownies come a delicious, fudgy, dense brownie with an even more incredible, creamy, sweet peanut butter swirl. I love brownies, peanut butter, and anything with a marbled, swirly topping.

I struggled in finding the right amount of the right chocolate at the right price. The original recipe called for dark chocolate, but wasn't specific about what kind exactly. Bittersweet? Hershey's Special Dark? What should I use? I ended up buying 3 bars of extra dark chocolate that has 78% cacao. I also added a little more espresso powder and vanilla because I think you just can't have too much of either.
Mmm 78% Cacao....delicious!

The peanut butter swirl is sweet and rich, and reminds me so much of the wonderful peanut butter frosting I've made or the peanut butter cup bars. Something about peanut butter and powdered sugar whisked together with butter and extra vanilla just makes me weak in the knees. It is that good, I promise. I had so much fun with the swirling too. I expected the swirl to go deeper and be more pronounced throughout the whole pan, not just the top.

The brownie took longer to cook than I expected, but the end result was magnificant. There is a lot of chocolate brownie, so I might consider cuttng the brownie recipe in half next time...but we'll see. Anyway, the edges of this brownie are crisp, baked, and perfect--simply an amazing crust. The center is gooey and chocolatey, like biting into a piece of rich fudge. The peanut butter swirl swoops in at just the right moment and brings the brownie together, making it utterly irresistible. I sincerely hope you enjoy these!!

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

For the Brownies:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11½ ounces dark chocolate, coarsely  chopped (I used bars with 78% cacao)
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Peanut Butter Swirl:
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1½ cups creamy peanut butter
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
All of this recipe was made by KitchenAid was used!
Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth.
So much chocolatey, buttery, espresso goodness!

Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
Chocolate and sugars, oh my!!

This whisk got a workout, as did my arm. :)
Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
Do not overbeat the batter! :)
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Gently fold in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula.

These brownies look good enough already and we haven't even made the peanut butter swirl!
In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the peanut butter swirl ingredients.
Sweet, creamy, delicious. YUM!
Using a spoon, place dollops of the peanut butter mixture all over the top of the brownie batter.
Before the swirling took place...
Using a butter knife, swirl the chocolate and peanut butter, running the knife crosswise and lengthwise through the batters.
And after! How gorgeous is this!?!
Bake in the center of the oven for 30-40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then cut into squares and serve.
A whole pan of delicious Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies!
Here you can see how thick the brownies are, and see the crust on the bottom that I was talking about earlier.

This shot really shows the moist, gooey center.

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.
Thanks for reading!!
<3 Buttercup

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