I know this looks like I’m on a brownie binge, but I’m actually embarking on a PB binge. I have this “tub” of PB in my fridge, unopened and left behind by my cousin Vinay. Since I’m not a big fan of PB sandwiches and I don’t actually consume a lot of bread, I’ve been meaning to embark on a PB cooking binge for quite a few weeks now. As much as I love PB, I can’t eat it straight out of the jar. I have to have something with it, or use it as part of a larger recipe for something. So what better start to this PB madness than brownies!
I used this brownie recipe as a base and modified it for the PB Brownie, or PB Blondie if you will.
Here’s what I used:
100 gms butter (if you are using unsalted, then add a pinch of salt to the flour)
100 gms peanut butter (I had Kraft Natural Creamy but you can use any regular brand like Skippy, Sundrop, Fun Food or even home-made or organic. Also, using creamy or crunchy is a personal preference and I don’t think will affect the flavour.)
1-1/3 cup powdered sugar (I feel like brown sugar would have been a better choice but I didn’t have any at that point)
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
50 gms semi-sweet chocolate chips (this is totally optional)
For the topping:
1/4 cup milk
100 gms chocolate vermicelli (only because I ran out of chips and was too lazy to chop regular chocolate – but you please try to use chips or chopped chocolate)
1 tbsp butter
Here’s how I made them:
Began with admiring my jar/ tub of PB (I still have 650 gms to finish by-the-way)…
Then I turned on my oven to 150 C and prepared an 8″x8″ pan with butter, paper, butter and flour.
Placing the butter, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl, I beat them using the electric beater on high speed for about 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
Adding the peanut butter, I beat the mixture on medium for another minute until well combined…
I added the eggs and beat for another 30-40 seconds on low…
Then I retired the beater, added the flour and combined using a wooden spoon…
Lastly, I added the chocolate chips and mixed them up with the wooden spoon…
Spooning the mixture into the prepared pan, I leveled and smoothed the top with the back of the spoon…
I popped the pan into the pre-heated oven for 35 minutes (originally 25 but I thought they needed an extra 10 minutes), until the toothpick came out clean. I allowed the brownies to cool in the pan for almost an hour and a half.
While the brownies were baking, I decided to make the topping. Originally I intended to make a chocolate ganache, but I didn’t have any cream at home. So I decided to make the same recipe with milk. It was delicious, just not as rich or thick. If you do have cream then use it instead. The method is exactly the same.
I brought the milk to a boil in a steel saucepan on medium heat. As soon as the milk came to a boil, I turned off the heat and added the chocolate vermicelli.
After letting it rest for a minute, I used a balloon whisk to whisk the mixture until the chocolate melted and combined with the milk. Then I added the butter and whisked some more until the butter had melted and combined with the chocolate-milk mixture. Don’t worry if it looks like it hasn’t come together properly or that it’s too runny. It will come together. I promise.
I don’t have a picture of the butter melted and combined so I hope you can imagine it!
Allowing the mixture to cool slightly, almost until room temperature, I transferred it to a glass dish. You can even use a steel one. Avoid plastic or ceramic as it needs to be placed on an ice bath and we need good heat/ cold conducting material! Placing it over another bowl filled with ice, I whisked the hell out of it for a few minutes – taking short breaks to rest my poor arm – until it thickened and came together.
This is a good stage to stop if you want to make a chocolate sauce – to use on ice-cream or on pancakes etc – but I wanted it a little more on the spreadable side. So I whisked on until it thickened some more…
I put this away in the fridge so it could chill (pun intended) until the brownies were done and cool enough to top. Here are the baked brownies, which I then lifted up (using the butter paper as handles) and placed on a cutting board.
Using an icing knife (I can’ t find my offset spatulas for the life of me, so I used this big flat knife instead), I spread the topping evenly over the top of the brownies…
Cutting them into 2″ squares (resulting in 16 brownies), AK & I promptly devoured 2 each and stashed the rest into an airtight container and stored them in the fridge. Since this was last night, I expect at least half of them will be gone by the time I reach home today! In an ideal world, they would last in the fridge for about 4-5 days… Let me know if you can manage to resist them for so long!
- The brownies would do well enough even without topping.
- You can use some warmed Nutella or Fudge Sauce out of a jar instead of making the chocolate topping.
- If you’re a big fan of PB&J sandwiches, then omit the chocolate chips from the batter and top the brownies with a nice thick layer of your fave jam/jelly/preserve once cool!
- This ganache would go even better than the one above, if chocolate is what does it for you.