Saturday, February 28, 2009

Birthday Brownies

Zach's birthday was on Thursday. His new work schedule has him working late, so he doesn't get home until well after midnight and is asleep when I leave for work, so while I didn't "see" him on his actual birthday I knew I wanted to stay up and do something special for him that night.

He has a soft spot in his heart for all things peanut butter and chocolate. Especially peanut butter brownies. So I spent a good part of my day finding the perfect recipe.

I've never made brownies from scratch before, so I had no idea what to expect. I stumbled across this recipe from Ina Garten. While I find her personality to be really annoying, she does tend to make really good food, so I checked it out.. All 60 some-odd reviews were really good, so I printed the recipe and headed to the grocery store.

It was there that I really took a good look at what all went into these bad boys. If you can't really visualize what 1 pound 12 oz of chocolate and 1 pound of butter looks like, here's a visual:
Holy fat grams! This is by far, the most unhealthy thing I'd ever made!!! I knew right then that I wouldn't be making these but only for special occasions! So away I went!

Peanut Swirl Browni
from Ina Garten - Food Network
  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules (I cut this down to 2, but could have even gone less than that, the flavor was strong)
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I warmed in the microwave for about 30 seconds to be smooth enough to swirl)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the prepared sheet pan. Spoon the peanut butter over the top of the chocolate mixture and using a knife, swirl it through the chocolate mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes more or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into large squares.

I have to say these are the most dense and rich brownies I have ever had. I think that next time I'll nix the peanut butter swirl and substitute peanut butter chips for the 12 oz chocolate chips. The extra chocolate is definitely good, but super, super rich. Zach, of course, loved them!

They made an absolute ton. My guess is that the finished pan weighed at least seven pounds! I cut up all the brownies the next day and wrapped them individually. Froze half, gave some to my parents and the rest are sitting in my fridge, begging for a tall glass of milk!


Happy Birthday, Zach!

1 comment:

ZSS said...

I have a soft spot in my heart, and my belly!!

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Greenwood, Missouri, United States