Friday, December 7, 2012

Ultimate Peanut Butter Brownies



National brownie day is December 8th, what better way to show your love than baking the “Ultimate Peanut Butter Brownie.”These are moist squares of chewy chocolaty brownie, satiny peanut butter cream, and a luscious chocolate icing over the top. And without crunchy peanuts, these truffle-like brownies are as smooth as silk.

Makes 16 Servings

Ingredients

For The Brownie Layer:
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (see note above)
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup ( about 3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

 For The Peanut Butter Layer:
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

 For The Ganache Layer:
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

 

Directions

  1. Make brownie layer: Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 8- by 8-inch baking pan and line with 8- by 14-inch piece of parchment paper, allowing both ends to overhang the edge of the pan.
  2. In microwave or over pan of barely simmering water, heat chocolate and butter, stirring, until melted and smooth. Whisk in sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Whisk in peanut butter, eggs, yolk, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Sift flour and cocoa powder into small bowl. Stir into chocolate mixture until completely combined. Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until just set and toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely before topping with peanut butter layer.
  4. Meanwhile, make peanut butter layer: In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or hand held mixer), beat peanut butter and butter on medium low speed until creamy. Beat in confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth and creamy. Spoon into pan over brownies and smooth the top. Chill while making ganache topping.
  5. Make the ganache topping: Place chocolate, sugar, and peanut butter in medium bowl. Heat cream in microwave or on stove until just simmering. Whisk into chocolate mixture until smooth. Pour over peanut butter layer (see note above). Chill until firm, 2 to 3 hours.
  6. To cut, run sharp knife along inside edge of pan. Grab parchment paper, lift brownies out of pan, and place on work surface. Use a large hot, wet knife to cut into squares.

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