Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

White Chocolate PB Chocolate Chip Brownies

HOLY MOLY! That’s all there is to say. And I guess I could tell the story of how these beauties came to be…

Work week #2 came to an end on Friday, and since I’d been promising baked goodies to all of my coworkers from day 1, I felt obliged to follow through. Secretly though, I really just wanted to bake. But Thursday night was one of those nights I felt absolutely zero inspiration. I couldn’t think of what I wanted to make, I felt bored with bookies and brownies and breads, and I didn’t even really feel like moving from the couch!

But since the week was so busy, I had 305 unread posts in my Google Reader, so I just HAD to get through those, and that fueled my fire in the way that only thinking and reading about food can do. After getting through about 200 posts, I had a strong idea of what to make, had confirmed with a reliable source that it was a good idea (provided he received some of the final result), and so these brownies were born. White Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies with Chocolate Chips, to be exact.

I’ve been stuck in a major cookie/brownie/bar rut lately. The majority of the time when I bake, I’m baking just for my family (or for an event), so I have no reason to make cakes and pies and tarts — they just want to be able to grab a cookie or a brownie or a bar for an easy dessert on the go. And really, there’s nothing wrong with any of those things, but I crave a challenge, and rarely get it. But Thursday night, I knew I’d have to settle for something simple, and these brownies seemed exciting enough to make the cut.

 

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies

Ingredients
1 cup of good quality chopped white chocolate (I used Ghiradelli. White chocolate can be fussy.)
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, cut into pieces (this makes it easier to melt)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/4-1/3 cup of smooth peanut butter (Or chunky, if you prefer)
1 1/4 cups of unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup bittersweet chunks or chopped chocolate

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 inch pan with foil, allowing the it to hang over the edge for easy removal. Lightly grease or spray the foil.
Place the butter in a saucepan (or a heatproof bowl over simmering water, to be more careful), and melt over low-medium heat. Once the butter has melted, remove it from the heat and add the chopped white chocolate. Keep stirring until the chocolate softens. If you need to, place the bowl over the simmering water again but be careful not to scorch the mixture — white chocolate can be very finicky. Stir in the sugar until well blended. Add the vanilla and salt. Mix well. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the peanut butter and mix until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Stir into the egg mixture. Stir in 3/4 cup of the chocolate chunks. (Just a note — if you don’t cool the batter enough, it’ll melt your chocolate chunks — this happened ti me a bit, and if you’re careful it looks pretty, but if not it could just get messy.) Spoon the batter into a greased 9×9 inch pan, and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chunks over the top.Bake the brownies for about 25 minutes, until they’re light golden brown and the edges pull just slightly away from the pan. Remove from the oven, and cool completely before cutting. Makes about 12-16 brownies, depending on how you cut them. I made 16, and wish I’d made 12 — or maybe even 9! They are SO GOOD!!

This recipe is a keeper — I brought the leftovers to a work party over the weekend, and to a few friends as well. Everyone that tried them loved them, an ultimate success! I’ve never made anything like these with a melted white chocolate base, but it gives these brownies a really dense and rich texture and taste. I quite liked it — I don’t think the white chocolate is identifiable, but it makes the peanut butter subtler, smoother, and oh-so-delicious.
I’m craving baking, and unbelievably have NO DESSERTS IN MY APARTMENT (which is absolutely unacceptable), so I’ll be back in the kitchen soon — hopefully tomorrow! Another regular recipe is next up, someone at work asked for banana bread. But this weekend for the 4th, I have a request for something custard-based, so that will be exciting! I’m thinking cream puffs, eclairs, mini cheesecakes, etc. The options are limitless!
With love, and sugar. Enjoy!
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