I am immune to peanut butter’s common charms. If I couldn’t have another peanut butter cup for the rest of my life, I’d be just fine. But add peanut butter to a cookie, a cake or these brownies, and you’ll have to fight me for the last crumb. It’s something about the way peanut butter blends with other ingredients that changes the game for me. Here it plays middleman to dark chocolate brownies and luscious dark chocolate glaze. It’s a riff on a classic match made better with salted peanuts in the brownies and nutmeg in the frosting. These little twists and the dark chocolate — use your favorite eat-out-of-hand chocolate — make these a touch more sophisticated than the usual brownies. Think of them as strivers, working to transcend the brownie class and jump into the world of gâteaux. They’d make it, if only could they tamp down their fun factor.
So I might not agree with Dorie about peanut butter cups (I can’t buy them because I just eat them until they are gone!). Sadly for me this week, I had exactly the right amount of almond butter that needed using up and also some bits and pieces of almonds so I figured instead of making the peanut butter/ peanut version, I’d just switch out the peanut factor for the almond butter and almonds.
Also, I’d realised that this was a huge amount of brownies so figured I could just halve the recipe and bake in a 4.5 x 13-inch loaf tin (instead of a 9 x 13-inch tray) for a half batch. Hmmm, this is where things went wonky. My brownies were not flat and brownie-like. It was a lot of batter and baked up to be a high loaf shape (with a domed top). Also, this took nearly 50 minutes for a toothpick to come out with only a few moist crumbs attached to it (per the recipe directions), not the 30 minutes in the recipe. Hmmm.
As you can see, my “brownies” are a bit fudge-like in the centre but the bottoms are cooked a bit more and the top, because it was not flat, kind of collapsed in the middle as it was being frosted. I did my best to keep them together but it wasn’t easy.
The taste? SO GOOD (if a little sweet. Dorie calls for the kind of peanut butter that has added sugar (I think, she says “not natural or old fashioned”) and I used natural almond butter with no added sugar and found the fudgey layer VERY sweet. Not sure I would add more sugar here if I make them again. Dorie’s full recipe says it makes 32 but they are VERY rich so I’d suggest even more (especially if they are proper brownie-height, not a loaf height LOL!).
Verdict? Loved the concept, wish I had managed to make them properly!
Get the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s Peanut Butter and Fudge Brownies on p 36 of Dorie’s Cookies!
Want more cookie recipes? Buy Dorie’s Cookies on Amazon (this link should bring you to the Amazon store geographically closest to you) or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Then join us over on Tuesdays with Dorie and bake your way through the book!
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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “Dorie’s Cookies” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.
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