double chocolate peanut butter brownies

July 24, 2008


TASTE Archives

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You read right: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, smooth and crunchy peanut butter are supplemented by chocolate wafer cookies, graham cracker crumbs and old fashioned oats to make these dense, but crunchy-topped brownies. My relationship to these squares is one of a mother to an accidental babe. At first, they seemed cursed by the seed of carelessness. Later, they made me prouder than I could have ever dreamed. Now that this recipe is in my life, I can’t imagine myself without it. What happened was this: in a rush to get to the gym and dinner on time, I made a near-fatal error while throwing together some of Martha Stewart’s no bake chocolate and peanut butter oatmeal bars. (Her cookie of the month, for those of you without a LIVING subscription.) In a hurry, I mistook my flour Mason jar for my confectioner' s sugar Mason jar. After thoroughly mixing 1 ¼ cups of flour into my no-bake mix of pulverized chocolate wafers, oats and graham cracker crumbs, I realized that the powder around the edge of my mixing bowl had nothing of the sweetness of powdered sugar. It had no sweetness at all. It barely had any taste. I almost screamed: I' d used up the entire box of Teddy Grahams for my chocolate crumbs and had no oats left. Now they were tainted with flour. There was no plan B: until I thought a bit about everything I' ve learned from these last few months of baking. “This is going to work,”I told myself. With or without child support from the cookie maven' s recipe. I would have to go it alone. And so I went…right to the fridge for some butter and eggs. These babies would be baked after all. And then I would cool them and continue with the recipe as planned. So, I mixed my wet ingredients separately, melting the butter down a bit beforehand so it would be easier to mix into the mass of flour, oats and cookie crumbs. I added a dash of salt and baking powder to the dry ingredients, too, then mixed dry and wet in a nice big bowl. I greased a 9 x 13 inch pan and pressed the mixture along the bottom. It baked for 12 minutes or so on 350. For the second part of the recipe, I melted 1 cup of chunky peanut butter, ¾ c smooth peanut butter and a stick of salted butter. When they were smooth, I pulled out the baking brownies and poured the peanut butter-butter over. Then, I mixed the butters into the dough, allowing the liquid mixture to seep into all parts of the mostly-baked dry mixture. Next, I melted 10 oz bittersweet chocolate and poured it over the top. I put the mixture in the fridge, covered it with foil, and went on with my evening as planned. When I got back from dinner a few hours later, the dough had thoroughly cooled and a nice chocolate shell was perched on top. I then melted 3 tbsp of smooth peanut butter and drizzled it over the top. On top of that went 3 oz of melted milk chocolate. (In the process I discovered that if you get chocolate too hot, it congeals. To fix this, I turned the heat down and added a bit of heavy cream to smooth it out again.) Before I put the mixture into the fridge to cool overnight, I crushed about ½ c salted peanuts and sprinkled them on top. Martha, why didn' t you think of that?

You can use the original recipe from LIVING (I will probably do a TASTE comparison soon myself.)

Or, you can use mine, which goes a little something like this—though please feel free to improvise.

Grease 9 x 13 incher. Pre-heat oven to 350.

2 c smashed chocolate cookies (I used Teddy Grahams)
1 c old fashioned oats
½ c smashed graham crackers
1 ¼ all purp. Folour
¼ tsp salt; and baking powder
2 sticks salted butter
1 c crunchy peanut butter (plus 3 tbsp for drizzle)
¾ c smooth peanut butter
10 oz semi-sweet dark chocolate
4 oz milk chocolate
½ c peanuts, salted, smashed

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly *Melt a stick of butter, and let it cool a bit. Mix 2 eggs in a separate bowl. When butter has cooled enough not to scramble your eggs, mix them together. * Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. * Press into baking dish and bake about 12 minutes. * Melt all peanut butter (save 3 tbsp smooth for drizzle) with 1 stick of butter. * Mix liquid into semi-baked brownies after 12 minutes in the oven. * Melt 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate and pour over mixture. * Cool for at least 45 minutes. * When cool, melt remaining peanut butter and drizzle over brownies * Do the same with the milk chocolate. * Sprinkle with peanuts.* Let cool as long as you can. * Good luck with that *
→ Note: Some of the dark chocolate crust may lift off of the brownies as you cut into them, so be gentle, especially with those in the corners. If you do lose any to crumbling, make yourself a bowl of ice cream and sprinkle your brownie bits on top. No brownie bit left behind.

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