Peanut Butter Brownies

Our kitchen designer, S, for our renovation project was AMAZING. Granted, we had to “break up” with two designers before finding her, but boy are we glad we did! She had so much patience with us me and my indecisiveness. And she tackled our kitchen with all it’s funky angles and obstacles as a challenge not a burden. It was her last minute idea to put a countertop over our radiator to almost double our counter space in the room. We owe her. Big time. But how do you thank someone for all their hard work and patience? In an attempt to show our gratitude, I did what I do best. I baked for her.

The day we went to deliver these brownies, S said she was so glad we love the kitchen and that this is what makes her day. Happy customers coming in smiling say they love the design she came up with. If anyone in the Boston area is looking for a kitchen designer, let me know, because she was awesome.

And now, on to the brownies. I had some leftover frosting from the Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes and I wanted to incorporate that frosting into the treat for S. Then I decided that I’d stick with the chocolate-peanut-butter theme but make brownies. Now ever since I made these Oreo Brownies, an Ina Garten recipe, I’ve been in love with the brownies. I also made them into Brownie Pops for Hubby’s mom’s surprise birthday party. The brownies are delicious. But I decided I’d try a new brownie recipe just to mix things up.

I asked around and decided on this recipe from What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen. These brownies do not disappoint! They’ve got a great texture. Be sure to follow the tip in the recipe to get the nice shiny top to your brownies. I mixed some chocolate-peanut-butter swirled chips into the brownie batter prior to cooking.

Once the brownies were fully cooled, I spread about a 1/2 cup of the leftover frosting onto the brownies. I also had some leftover ganache in the fridge, so I decided to slather that over the peanut butter frosting.

These brownies are very rich and tasty. The peanut butter flavor was not overwhelming, but more of a subtle flavor mixed with the delicious chocolateness of the brownies. Hubby didn’t want to actually deliver these to S because he wanted to eat the entire batch himself.

Don’t forget to enter in my 2nd blogiversary giveaway by midnight on August 13th!

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Perfect Brownies

Yield: 16 brownies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder, optional
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
2 large eggs
3/4 cups flour
1 cups chocolate chips - I used chocolate-peanut-butter swirl chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 8x8 pan

In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat briefly, just until it's hot, but not bubbling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.

Transfer the sugar mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, if you've heated it in a saucepan. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla.

Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth.

Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth.

Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 8x8 pan.

Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.

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14 Responses to “Harry Potter Cupcakes”

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    1
    clstar — August 4, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    OMG, I am in love with these cupcakes! They’re so awesome! I love HP, and I made owl cupcakes when the movie came out. I might need to give these a try before going to see the IMAX 3D movie.

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    thegreatpantryraid — August 4, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    How cute are those?! And i was wondering how you got the lettering so perfect – thanks for the step-by-step. Lol – I just dragged DH to the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry – I’m sure he’ll be happy when the final movie comes out and he doesn’t have to hear about it anymore!

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    3
    thecookingnurse — August 4, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Great job, how lucky are your friends?

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    Jen — August 4, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I’m so jealous! My two sisters are going to the exhibit this weekend. I thought about flying to Chicago to join them. Luckily I found out the exhibit is coming here in October. Whew!

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    5
    Erin — August 4, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    These look fabulous! You did such a great job on them!

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    Katie — August 4, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    WOW JEN!! Those are fantastic!! Better than professional! Seriously, what talent you have to make those! 🙂

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    Jen — August 4, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Aw thanks Katie – you’re making me blush.

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    Ingrid — August 4, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    I hate when cupcakes do that to me too. Instead of baking up they bake out! 🙁

    Love your Harry Potter cupcake toppers! Very cute and creative!
    ~ingrid

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    9
    Manda — August 4, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Hi Jen! A friend of mine forwarded me your page for HP Cupcakes and I just wanted to drop in and say that I think they’re awesome and I want to run home now and try to create some fun hp themed cakes! I had done some in the past–cauldron cakes if you will, by buying mini cauldrons and cutting the bottom off so the tops sat just on the cakes and then used a bit of green frosting on the inside. You should join up with the HP-MA crew! We’ve been organizing some meet-ups for Boston Fans!

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    10
    Jen — August 4, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Sounds awesome Manda.

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    nutmegnanny — August 5, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Oh my goodness, what adorable little cupcakes!

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    annieseats — August 6, 2009 at 1:25 am

    So so cute! And yeah, those “HPs” must have taken FOREVER. I have a fabulous vanilla cupcake recipe that never fails me here: http://annies-eats.com/2008/07/18/vanilla-cupcakes/. Also, I recently made Dorie’s perfect party cake into cupcakes and had great results with that as well.

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    13
    bcallegra — August 7, 2009 at 12:47 am

    I love your HP cupcakes! I too am a huge Harry Potter fan but I have to admit, I don’t think I’d be patient enough to make cupcakes and toppings as cute as yours!

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    14
    Karin — April 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    These are so awesome!! I wish I would have seen them and did some of these with the HP cake I did!!

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