Sunday, September 14, 2008

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Sandra would be proud....

A friend of mine decided we needed to have a "family" dinner this past week. We used to have them all the time in college, but then we got real jobs and stopped living in the same buildings. You would think it would not be that tough for us to do more of these dinner since I live a total of 1.5 miles away, but alas our busy schedules often complicate things. The new goal if for us to have a "family" dinner once a month rotating who hosts. As I am the baker of the group I know I needed to bring something. The host was making a vanilla cake which I did not want to overshadow so I decided I would go with a brownie. Now there are many, many brownie recipes out there and I have tried many of them. I have come to the realization that my favorite brownie is not actually a recipe I have tried of even one a friend has served, but it is Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix. When it comes to brownies I strongly believe these are the best so I use then in any brownie recipe I make. If you have your favorite recipe or mix I recommend you use it in this recipe.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
adapted from Martha Stewart

Brownie Batter:
Your favorite brownie recipe or mix (I used
Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix)

Peanut Butter Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.

Make brownie batter according to recipe or mix directions.

Make filling: Stir together butter, confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.

Pour one-third of brownie batter into prepared pan, and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Place dollops of filling (about 1 tablespoon each) about 1 inch apart on top of batter. Drizzle remaining brownie batter on top, and gently spread to fill pan. Place dollops of remaining filling on top.

With a butter knife, gently swirl filling into batter, running knife lengthwise and crosswise through layers. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 45 minutes (the peanut butter may still be wet). Let cool slightly in pan, about 15minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

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