I wanted to make something extra special for my Mummy this year for Mother's Day.
But it needed to be sturdy enough to ship from my tiny Manhattan apartment to my parent's beautiful home nestled snugly between the sky, the mountains and the green pasture where the cows graze lazily throughout the day.
Lemon flavored desserts are usually on my mind around Mother's Day and, while I had lots of dessert ideas using lemon, nothing was really inspiring me.
And then, flipping through my endless, but never complete, collection of cookbooks, I discovered this recipe.
The funny thing is, my mother could take or leave chocolate. It just isn't something she craves.
But, when you create the deadly combination of chocolate and peanut butter? Well, that's a whole different story.
For the woman who loves Reese's Peanut Butter cups so much she used to steal them from her own children's Halloween candy stash (don't lie Mum, I forgive you), I couldn't imagine a better treat for Mother's Day.
[print_this]Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
adapted from Cookies by Martha Stewart
makes 16 brownies
The addition of peanut butter to the standard brownie is a delicious, although deadly combination. I cut these brownies into small squares, as they are quite rich.
For the brownies:
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, such as Guittard 61%
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, such as Guittard 72%
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly-brewed coffee, cooled
For the peanut butter filling:
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare an 8" square cake pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment, allowing a 2" overhang. Lightly spray parchment with non-stick spray.
Combine butter, bittersweet chocolate and semisweet chocolate in heatproof bowl, set over pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. When melted, remove from simmering water and wipe bottom of bowl with towel to remove condensaion. Allow to cool slightly.
While chocolate is melting, prepare peanut butter filling. Place melted butter, confectioner's sugar, peanut butter, kosher salt and vanilla extract in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Paddle on medium speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Set filling aside.
When chocolate has cooled slightly, pour into a clean bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, add sugar in a slow, steady stream. Paddle until combined, about 1 minute.
While chocolate and sugar are mixing, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
When chocolate and sugar have fully combined, with the mixer still on low speed, add eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add vanilla extract until combined.
Turn off mixer and add flour mixture to chocolate mixture. Paddle on low speed until just combined.
Pour 1/3 of brownie batter into prepared pan. Spread evenly with small off-set spatula. Drop 1 tablespoon of peanut butter filling over brownie batter, spacing about 1" apart. Pour remaining brownie batter into pan. Drop remaining peanut butter filling, in 1 tablespoon dollops, on top of brownie batter.
Using a butter knife, gently swirl peanut butter and chocolate mixtures together.
Bake until a cake tester inserted into center emerges with just a few crumbs, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes. Using parchment overhang, remove brownies from pan and allow to cool completely on cooling rack.
Cut into 1" squares and store in airtight container at room temperature.[/print_this]