Sunday, January 24, 2010

Unchocolate Brownies

Tonight was one of those nights where brownies just sound good. I haven't cooked or baked a lot lately since we are trying to get the house ready for the bean. I have been cooking mostly easy, convenience meals (baked chicken breasts, spaghetti and sausages, ready-made frozen lasagna) which is fine, just not blogger friendly.

Never fear, a day off is here! I didn't have much to do today which meant I was free to cook and bake. While I made an easy dinner (baked chicken, mashed taters and beans), I wanted something a little more special for dessert. Enter the brownie. If you notice, that is a trend in my blog. It's my go-to dessert mostly because it's easy and so delicious.

The funny thing with this recipe was that I was halfway through making them when I realized there was no chocolate in them! Blasphemy! Oh, but I improvised. The recipe called for 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts, which we didn't have. So the next best thing? Chocolate chips! I did get my chocolate fix after all.

These brownies were easy to prepare and mighty tasty. I ate one slightly warm from the oven with a glass of milk. They were much more rich than normal and I think this is due to the use of brown sugar rather than the regular white. I like that there is very little butter. It makes me feel less guilty for eating one....err two. Not that peanut butter is very waistline friendly, but oh well. I am 37 weeks pregnant. At this point, I don't much care about the food I am consuming.

I would definitely recommend these brownies. If you want to add peanuts instead of the chocolate chips, feel free. If you are like me, you need a little chocolate, and what goes better with peanut butter than chocolate? NOTHING! The recipe doesn't specify, but I suppose for some extra crunch, you could use chunky peanut butter. I used creamy since Jason is pretty territorial over who eats his chunky peanut butter. He probably would have forgiven me pretty quickly after he tasted these beauties though.

Peanut Butter Brownies

1/2 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped (or chocolate chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the peanut butter and the butter. Add the brown sugar, vanilla and eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the butter mixture and mix well until blended. Stir in the peanuts (or chocolate chips).

3. Spread batter evenly into pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack and cut into 2-inch squares.