Fudgy Salty Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
Recipe type: Dessert
- 1¼ sticks unsalted butter, plus more, softened, for pan
- 1 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1⅓ cups sugar
- 1¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Peanut Butter Buttercream Layer:
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (don't use old-fashioned or natural)
- ½ stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1¼ tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups salted cocktail peanuts
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Brownie Batter: Melt butter in medium or large sized heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. In a separate bowl, whisk sea salt, sugar and cocoa powder until lumps are out of the cocoa. Whisk the cocoa, sea salt and sugar mixture into into the melted butter until the sugar has fully dissolved. At this point, the mixture should look like fudge and pull away from the bowl into a ball. Take the pot off the stove and set on hotplate or dishtowel on the counter. Allow the fudge mixture to cool - until it is no longer hot, just warm.
- While your fudgy mixture is cooling, line the sides and bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Leave about 4 inches overhanging on the two ends - to use as handles to remove the brownies from the pan in one piece - just make sure you have enough hanging over the edges that you feel you will have a nice grip to remove the brownies. Grease the foil or parchment paper well.
- Stir vanilla into the cooled fudge mixture to help loosen it up. Add eggs into the mixture one at a time, adding the second egg after the first is fully incorporated. The batter should be shiny and well blended. Add you flour and stir it until it is fully incorporated. Once the mixture looks fully blended, beat the batter vigorously for at least 45 to 50 strokes. Doing so will make the brownies chewy. Now, fold in the chocolate chips - your mixture should now be very thick. Spread your brownie batter evenly into the lined and greased pan with an offset spatula, or your greased hands.
- Place pan into the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes - this should produce a nice crust. Remove from oven and place on dishtowel or rack to cool. While the brownies are cooling we're going to make the butter cream and ganache!
- Buttercream: Mix together butter and peanut butter in your stand mixer until they are completely blended. Turn your kitchen mixer down to a lower speed and slowly add your powdered sugar and fine sea salt. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn mixer back to medium speed and add milk and vanilla - keep mixing until it is fully blended.
- Scoop up your buttercream with a spoon and plop it on to your cooled brownies. Spread it evenly with the flat side of a butter knife to cover the entire surface. Spread peanuts over the butter cream and press them into the buttercream, giving the ganache something to hang on to. Be sure they're pressed in enough that your ganache will be able to cover them completely.
- Ganache: Melt the chocolate chips and butter together in a sauce pan over low eat while stirring constantly. Allow ganache to cool slightly (10 minutes or so). Pour the ganache evenly over the peanut butter buttercream layer. Smooth the ganache with the flat side of a butter knife - be sure to cover the buttercream and peanuts completely.
- Chill the brownies in the refrigerator until the toppings have had time to set (1 to 2 hours). Remove from refrigerator, lift the ends of the liner (remember we left some overhanging to pick it up?) - pick up your Fudgy Salty Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies and place on cutting board. Cut into desired size pieces - ENJOY!
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Prep: 30 minutes
Inactive: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
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Thank you to FoodNetwork for this recipe.