Saturday, June 9, 2012

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

I am not a brownie snob. Not in the slightest. I will eat pretty much any variety of brownie. Brownies from a boxed mix? Yes please. Brownies displayed in grocery store bakeries with generic buttercream frosting? I'll take one. Little Debbie Cosmic Brownie two packs? Don't ask, just bring them. I don't discriminate.

The one issue I have with brownies is trying to photograph them well. As in, I can't often do it.

Brownies are simple and often unadorned. While cake is dressed up with frosting and muffins are topped with streusel, brownies are what they are. It is difficult (but not impossible) to take a good picture of a brownie.

Brownies make up for their plain appearance in a single bite. They are what would happen if chocolate cake and fudge were to spend a memorable night together.

In this scenario, a third party got involved.

Dot a sort-of-peanut butter-fudge on top of brownie batter and swirl.

Bake until just set and a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

From a certain angle, in the right lighting, they are most beautiful.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies (or Buckeye Brownies)
adapted from
*pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Stuff (brownie)
1¼ cups AP flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

(peanut butter fudge)
½ cup butter, unsalted and melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1½ cups peanut butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Make brownie batter: Over a double boiler, melt butter; add chocolate chips and espresso powder and stir until melted and glossy. Remove from heat and add sugars, whisking until smooth. Set chocolate mixture aside to cool. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Once the chocolate and butter mixture has cooled, temper in eggs and add vanilla. Fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined (do not overmix)
2. Make peanut butter fudge: Whisk all ingredients together until smooth
3. Pour brownie batter into a well greased 9x13 baking pan
4. Dot fudge on top of brownie batter and, using a chopstick or knife, swirl the peanut butter fudge into the brownie batter
5. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until brownies are just set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean

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