Today, @klfair came over for an afternoon of blogging and brownies. One of our mutual Twitter acquaintances tweeted a photo of a peanut butter Twix bar yesterday, and I haven't been able to get that devastating combination off my mind: peanut butter and chocolate.
My usual brownie pick is Alice Medrich's Cocoa Brownies, but they are too rich and sinful to add anything else, and always come out thin and fudgy. What you really need is a cake-y brownie to stand up to the peanut butter icing. Boxed brownies work well for this, but I'd purchased cocoa powder and eggs earlier this week, so I searched for a recipe.
Alton Brown's Cocoa Brownies looked like a winner... until we weighed the butter. The recipe called for 8 ounces. That's nearly an entire 250g stick! We backed off.
Everyday Brownies by Nigella Lawson was our next find. Comparing the amount of butter here to the Alice Medrich recipe, it seemed more...reasonable? Each calls for about 140g, or 5 ounces. Also in its favour, Nigella's brownies use 4 eggs, and I had already beaten four in preparation for the discarded Alton Brown recipe.
We mixed everything together and debated over the tinfoil in the brownie tin. In the end, we sprayed the foil with canola before putting the batter in, and that seemed to work. Make sure you overlap the sides of the tray so you can lift out the brownies when they're done.
I chopped six squares of Plaistowe premium dark chocolate, very small - it sort of made shavings on its own - and that was the last ingredient to go into the saucepan. I've never made brownie batter in a saucepan before. Into the oven they went... Once the brownies have cooled, you can mix up the peanut butter icing. I've been doing this for years with my mom and sister in Canada, but it seems Australia is not as "into" the peanut butter and chocolate combo. For shame!
PB icing (butter optional, in my opinion). I used smooth but ran out, and added about two tablespoons of crunchy, which accounts for the bumps you see in the photo. (Do not use natural peanut butter.)
If you want to be extra decadent, melt some chocolate and fling it across the frosted brownies.
So! Now that @klfair and I have done the hard work of choosing recipes for you - go forth and bake!