I finally got tired of looking at cookbooks and food magazines half neatly organized and half piled haphazardly on my bookshelves. My sister in law was nice enough to organize them for me while I was on bed rest with my son, Alex, last year. But, I got a bunch of new cookbooks and magazines and I totally screwed it up. So, I decided to take on the big project of reorganizing my cookbooks by category so I could get them off the floor, my dresser, in my car, behind the couch, and wherever else they were and onto the shelves where they belong. Now I can easily find a particular book I am looking for and bonus- I found a bunch of cookbooks that I kind of forgot I had. Yay for new recipes! One of those books was Fearless Baking by Elinor Klivans and while flipping through it I found a recipe for bars described as an inside out peanut butter cup. Umm…sold! The recipe calls for you to make a simple peanut butter cookie batter, spread part of it into a pan, cover it with broken milk chocolate bars and spread it with the remaining peanut butter batter. So, here is another easy recipe that requires no fancy kitchen gadgets- only a spatula. I don’t know about you, but peanut butter and chocolate is a combination I never grow tired of. If you love brownies and you love peanut butter cups, you have to know the combination of the two has to be fabulous. You’re still not sure? There is only one way to find out…
Peanut Butter Brownies Stuffed With Milk Chocolate
Yield: a 9 x9 pan or 7 x 11 pan of brownies
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ pound (1 stick) very soft unsalted butter
1 cup smooth peanut butter, room temperature
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces milk chocolate, such as Lindt or Dove Bar, broken into about ½” pieces (I used Callebaut)
Position the oven rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 325˚F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch square or 11 x 7 baking pan. (I lined the pan with foil first, then sprayed it with Pam)
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt onto a piece of wax paper or into a small bowl. Set aside.
Put the butter and peanut butter in a large bowl and stir with a large spoon until they are blended together. You may see a few specks of butter- that’s okay. Stir in the brown sugar and granulated sugar, mixing until they are incorporated and there is no loose sugar. Stirring vigorously, beat in the eggs and vanilla until the mixture looks smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir just until it is incorporated and there is no loose flour. Spread about two thirds of the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly with a thin metal spatula or a nonsharp table knife. Scatter the milk chocolate pieces evenly over the batter. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter over the milk chocolate, using a rubber spatula to scrape all of the batter from the bowl. Use a thin metal spatula or the table knife to spread the batter evenly over the chocolate. Be patient and spread carefully, this is harder than it looks The chocolate will be covered, but may show through the batter.
Bake for about 35 minutes until the top feels firm when gently touched and the edges are light brown. Inserting a toothpick as a test doesn’t work because the warm milk chocolate clings to the toothpick. Cool the brownies thoroughly in the pan for about 1 hour. Cut the brownies into pieces and use a thin metal spatula to remove them from the pan. Wrap individual brownies in plastic wrap and store at room temperature up to 3 days.
Individual brownies can be wrapped in plastic wrap then heavy aluminum foil and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost the wrapped brownies as needed.