September 16, 2008

the best of both worlds

Although I would never reject a chocolate-mint, chocolate-raspberry, chocolate-coconut, chocolate-chocolate, or chocolate-caramel combination (you get the point, yes?), you'd have trouble convincing me that anything was better suited for chocolate than peanut butter.


It's a magical union (most unlike that of, say, Kenny Chesney and Renee Zellweger) to be sure. I can't quite describe exactly what makes them so perfect for each other, but their compatibility is undeniable.

Scads of peanut butter brownie recipes are floating around out there. Some are brownies with peanut butter chips, others are peanut butter blondies with chocolate chips. Some have a peanut butter swirl, others have an entire layer devoted to peanut butter. Frankly, any of those would please me but on a whim, I chose the latter.

I opted to blend two recipes for these brownies. For the chocolate portion, I referred to Kristin of The Kitchen Sink, in whom I have complete and total confidence. However, I wanted a more substantial peanut butter flavor, so instead of using her peanut butter swirls, I went with a recipe from Slashfood.


Honestly, I don't think it would be possible to screw up such magnificent ingredients, and even though I had a bit of trouble spreading the peanut butter portion onto the chocolate part, the end result was still delectable.

Doubly Delicious Brownies
(adapted from here, there, and everywhere)

Chocolate:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Peanut Butter:
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8x8-inch pan.

To make the chocolate portion, melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave (or the top of a double boiler, if you're fancy like that). Let cool slightly.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
Whisk the sugar into chocolate mixture. Add the eggs, and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir until well incorporated. Pour into prepared pan.

For the peanut butter part, beat together all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Spread as evenly as possible on top of the brownie batter in the pan.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs attached. Let cool, cut into bars, decide which flavor you want to hit your tastebuds first, and insert into mouth accordingly.

64 comments:

The Blonde Duck said...

Those are perfect! I could eat the peanut butter half, Ben could eat the chocolate half....a perfect dessert to share!

And in regards to your Monday post, where does one find the fabulous free pie traveling bus? I do believe I'd love to go eat everything--er, visit it.

Lori said...

your parenthetical comments totally crack me up! i imagine you saying them out of the side of your mouth, like some old black and white movie gangster. which then cracks me up, because that seems about as opposite of you as possible.

you're funny. oh, and these brownies are amazing. by the way.

L*Joy said...

honestly! how am I supposed to do anything today BESIDES make a batch of these? peanut butter and chocolate here I come.

Candy said...

Wow! What a great dessert!

Lorraine E said...

You are a wicked, wicked woman after my own heart (or heart attack depending on the view :P). That looks so densely rich and delicious, at first I thought it was a fudge!

Prudy said...

How long can I make it before I give in and make these brownies? I'm with you-peanut butter is a very close second to chocolate and when you put the two together, better than either separate. Can't wait to try these ones out.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Chocolate and peanut butter is that combination that would bring me to my knees. My kryptonite, I suppose. These brownies look awesome. I was never keen on the brownies with a token dash of pb chips--those are such a tease. These are very much my kind of brownies.

Lucy said...

Seems we're on the same path,(I've got one coming too) chocolate & peanut butter in my book it's the best of both worlds when they collide ;-) Yummy licious!!

May take the day off & get my free pie in Times Square, not exactly in my neighborhood, but a train ride away ;-)

Maria said...

Seriously! I love brownies and now you made them even better!! They look awesome!!

RhodeyGirl/Sabrina said...

wow those look reallllly amazing

kat said...

These would be my husbands favorite, he loves peanut butter & chocolate

Deborah said...

I agree - chocolate and peanut butter are the perfect companions. And these brownies look like pure heaven!

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

I have to agree. Peanut Butter and Chocolate were made for each other, and to see such a perfect union is such a tease!

Rayrena said...

Oh Yum! I love peanut butter and like chocolate and my husband loves chocolate and likes peanut butter. We're the proverbial "you got your chocolate in my peanut butter" couple :)

These looks so freakin' good. Do you think it would work to spread the PB layer first and pour the chocolate layer on top? I'm wondering the PB on the bottom might get too browned...

PaniniKathy said...

The best of both worlds indeed - positively scrumptious!

I didn't think I was at all fancy in the kitchen, but I do use a double-boiler - go me! :-)

Pam said...

I agree! Chocolate and peanut butter where meant to be together. These brownies look fantastic Grace.

fooddhoe said...

oh yeah pb and chocolate are one of my all-time favorite taste combos, these look super duper delicious...

Tiffany said...

Mmm. . . yum- those look ooey gooey delicious. I love peanut butter and chocolate together. Have you ever tried The Barefoot Contessa's recipe for chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting? It's pure heaven.

RecipeGirl said...

I'm with ya on the choc/pb pairing. It's all good. I've been known to dunk Hershey Bars in my jar of Skippy. Purely decadent treat :)

Dee Light said...

Those look wonderful. Peanut Butter and Chocolate are a mach made in heaven!!

Kristen said...

A match made in chocolate / pb heaven! My husband would love these. They look really rich!

Leslie said...

Love the Kenny and Renee slam!! LOL
These do sound out of the world!!

lisa said...

Fantastic. The texture looks perfect!

Melanie said...

Double yummy goodness...that's all I have to say.

Gloria (Canela) said...

Grace Really love these double brownies look so delicious! xxGloria

Pam said...

I should not be looking at this when dinner is still and hour away.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

That looks great! :) It is one of the best combinations known to the human palate!

Dawn said...

Obviously you know I'm totally in love with these and will have to make these. This combo is right up my culinary-craving-PB & chocolate-obessed alley. hello!

Marjie said...

Peanut butter and chocolate are like a little slice of heaven, aren't they?

Laura said...

Those look wonderful! I am not into most PB brownie recipes--and I don't know why--but that looks tremendous.

I couldn't comment on your Pushing Daisies post and just wanted to say I think you are my taste-in-tv twin. :)

Krysta said...

mmmm... wiping drool off my keyboard. i have to agree with you that chocolate and peanut butter are a magical union and it will last longer than most hollywood marriages.

Bunny said...

Look how moist they are!! This is the perfect brownie, how could you go wrong with this!

Sandy said...

I wonder if you'd come and bake my daughter's 12th bday cake this Fri? Hee Hee. Everything I see on your site is so delicous looking. Beautiful photos too.

Maddy said...

these look amazing! definitely have to try them out!

Jacque said...

Oh man, you've got me foaming at the mouth over that peanut butter layer. Looks delish!!

Lisa said...

Oh, that looks so good! I wish I had the will to bake today but we finally got our 90 degree weather and I'm enjoying your "Beat the Heat" recipes instead. But I do have this bookmarked...

Indigo said...

Admittedly I'm scared of real-life peanut butter (what, it's a scary thing), but I adore it in baking and am also firmly convinced that chocolate is good with everything (we agree on this point, that makes it a Fact).

Now I want your brownies. Pea- n- butties?

Kim said...

I am not sure I can hand a double delicous brownie? I can always count on you for a good laugh.

Robin Sue said...

These are perfect. Book marking for future potlucks. People seem to love peanut butter combos at potlucks. Or any time!

outnumberedlisa said...

I was just wondering what I was going to make for dessert for our Wednesday night supper tonight. Perfect!!!!! Everyone's going to love me!! Don't worry, I'll give you some credit. (o;

Lore said...

Love how you think Grace :D
It was a great idea putting these two recipes together, look the delicious bites it has produced!

Albany Jane said...

Now, you see, I am more of the "Everything goes with peanut butter" category. But I do think chocolate is a great combo. Mmmm.

Indranee said...

Wonderful brownies...visited your blog after a long time and I wasn't disappointed:)Have a great week ahead!

hot garlic said...

...Um, hello! Twist my arm! You have to know I completely agree with you on the PB and Choc, and these look FANTASTIC! The look like they are exuding moisture and flavor! Why am I doing this to myself to late at night?!

eatme_delicious said...

Oh man that looks so insanely good. I've been wanting to make peanut butter brownies for so long but I think I was looking more at the swirl recipes. I love the idea of a layer of peanut butter.

Ingrid said...

That is the best of both worlds. I am not overly fond of peanut butter or chocolate on their own but combined with other things...YUMMM!!!

I love when you can see the distinct layers in desserts!
~ingrid

noble pig said...

This is an amazing combo, there really is nothing better than these two flavors!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Oh my goodness, my heart stopped when I saw this!

These are so awesome!

Cate said...

My mouth is totally watering. Printing recipe now.

Bridgett said...

This is a perfect pairing of flavors in my opinion. It is much better than separate! Now I am craving one.

LyB said...

Hee! I love that last instruction at the end of the recipe! I'm usually not a big PB fan in this kind of recipe but I think it must be something about your pics that's making me want to make those brownies, like now! Oh, and "Here, There and Everywhere" is one of my favorite Beatles song. :)

Lori said...

That is like melt in your mouth lusciousness. It wouldnt last more than two days around here. WOW.

sara angel said...

Beautiful! They look so moist and tasty :)

Jaime said...

you know i love PB and chocolate too!! those layers look divine!

dobetter said...

Amazing texture. Wow, yum.

Brittany said...

Oooh! They look so chewy and deelish! I love chocolate and peanut butter. Particularly in ice cream form.

Am now dreaming of the brownie sundae that these two could turn into.

Nick said...

Hey, noone's trying to convince you otherwise, I wholeheartedly agree. To me, that peanut butter layer is better, what with the peanut butter and cream cheese. I wonder if I could just do two layers of that, but add cocoa powder to one of them?

Peabody said...

Yes, chocolate peanut butter is the way to go! Just ask my husband...I will have to make these for him.

Antonia said...

I have never liked the idea of combining peanut butter and chocolate (...although I heartily love both...) but I think that perhaps you may have cured me of this terrible affliction. Just one sight of your gorgeous brownies has me swooning - I really MUST give these a try. Wow!

Ann said...

You could not be more correct about chocolate and peanut butter and though I trust my husband implicitly, he'd probably be about ready to have an affair with you over this delectable post. It's gorgeousity.

Foodycat said...

This sounds good. Very good. But I have to disagree with you about chocmint. Any choc mint dessert is foul, which is strange given how delicious mint chocolates are.

Vera said...

Grace, these are amazing! I can easily imagine how wonderful they were!

Niki said...

Mmm, those look so decadent!

Jeanne said...

OMG, you are so talking my language... As a card-carrying member of Hershey's Peanut Butter Kisses Anonymous (sad but true) this sounds like a chunk of heaven. Bookmarked!