Tuesday, August 12, 2008

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Craving Quest, Part 1

Last night Alex had a craving for something sweet. Even though we had chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, chocolate cookies, and donuts in the house, none of these where good enough to quench the craving. At the end of the night he was so frustrated with not being able to satisfy his sweet tooth that he asked me what I was planning on baking tomorrow (Tuesday). Since he never asks me what I plan on baking I figured this question came from a man desperate for something that will quiet his need for sweets. I asked him what he was craving and he said something chocolate-y, maybe even a brownie. So my quest began and I looked through my books to find the perfect recipe. Part of being the perfect recipe included me having all the ingredients already on hand. The first one I saw was for a brownie. It wasn't just any brownie, it was a peanut butter brownie. Alex cannot resist sweets with peanut butter so I knew this recipe would be a good choice. And I felt that the chocolate chunks would be a good way to incorporate the chocolate he was craving

This brownie is incredibly moist. It tastes very similar to a blondie but better. Much better. I like this brownie because it has the consistency of a good brownie without the traditional chocolate taste. It's what I had expected a blondie to be. Hopefully Alex agrees with me, but luckily for him, there is a part 2 to this quest of mine.

Milk Chocolate Chunk and Peanut Butter Brownies

Source: Carole Bloom's The Essential Baker
Makes 16 2-inch squares

3 oz (6 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup natural-style, chunky peanut butter
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 oz milk chocolate, chopped into small chunks

Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Line the baking pan with aluminum foil and grease the inside of the foil.

Place the butter in a large bowl and beat the butter on medium speed until it's fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the peanut butter and cream together. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula.

Add the sugar to the mixture and cream together.

One at a time, add the eggs to the peanut butter mixture and beat well after each addition. Add the vanilla and blend completely.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture in two stages and stir together thoroughly.

Add the chocolate chunks to the batter and stir to distribute evenly.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly. Bake the brownies for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly moist.

Remove pan from the oven and cool completely on a rack. Lift the brownies from the pan with the aluminum foil and carefully peal the foil away from the sides. Cut into 4 equal-sized rows in each direction.

Fresh out the oven.

Sliced Up.


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