Peanut Butter Brownies

I used to think I didn’t like brownies. I was wrong. I just didn’t like lots of the brownies I’d tasted. They were too sweet or too chocolatey or so gooey that they always left me feeling a bit sick.

Over the years, I’ve come to realise my ideal brownie. She’s on the cakey side and not too sweet. If I’m honest, she’s a bit salty (rather like myself). That’s why the recipe I’m about to share with you is one of my favourites.

The peanut butter balances the chocolate beautifully and lends a savouriness that make this brownie particularly moreish. It really is a winning combination rather like peanut butter and jelly. At least à mon avis.  

Part of what I didn’t understand for years about brownies is that they serve a specific purpose. They are neither cake nor cookies. In a sense, they’re perfect for the person who wants a smackerel of something sweet but can’t be bothered to bake and frost a cake. They’re for the impatient and greedy who still want nice things to eat.

I hope you enjoy them.

prebake

Ingredients:

115 g unsalted butter

100 g light brown sugar

100 g caster or granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

65 g flour

35 g cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

4 tbsp + 2 tsp natural peanut butter (I use crunchy, but use smooth if you like)

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to Gas4/350F/180C.

Melt 115 g unsalted butter.

Mix it with 1/2 c light brown sugar and 1/2 c caster sugar.

Add the 2 eggs and the vanilla.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

Stir in 4 tbsp of crunchy peanut butter.

Pour the batter into a greased lined square pan.

Drop the remaining 2 tsp of peanut butter randomly on top of the batter.

Use a butter knife to swirl the peanut butter through the batter. It will have a nice marbled look.

Sprinkle with a bit of extra salt if you desire, then bake for approximately 25 minutes.

Allow the brownies to cool in the pan before lifting them out, cutting, and serving.

Miss Hampton’s Peanut Buttah Pie

Miss Hampton was the grandmother of a friend of mine.  I never met her but from what I understand, she was a Southern belle so beautiful and fiery Margaret Mitchell couldn’t have conceived of her if she tried.  Legend has it that each night on the family farm, she would stand on the porch in her peignoir with curlers in her hair and a menthol dangling from her lips and a shotgun in hand.  There she’d fire a few shells as a warning to all potential intruders.  She also never cooked.  Which is why she’d make this pie.  “It requires no cookin’.  Just an icebox and a vodka and Coke plus a pack of Kools to pass the time.”

Ingredients:

You can use graham cracker or chocolate pie crusts ready made.

8oz. cream cheese

2 c. milk

¼ c. powdered sugar

1 c. crunchy peanut butter

2 cartons Cool Whip

Method:

Let cream cheese soften.  Put all ingredients in a large bowl and blend.  Pour filling into pie crusts.  Chill (helpful heresy–put in freezer for a quick solidification)

*Makes 2 pies