Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fluffernutter Brownies - From Failure to Fantastic!

I had wanted to get this posted days ago, but then the flu happened in our house, and my time has not been my own.  So I apologize for not being able to be a more regular poster.  That will be my New Year's resolution...

Hopefully you're not sick of brownie recipes yet, because I have another one for you.  :-) And, fair warning, I have a couple of recipes you can make using up brownies, so stay tuned.  I had a lot of brownies to use up after that whole brownie experiment thing...

I didn't intend to make brownies, but sometimes things don't go your way and you need to take a different direction.  Such as today.  I had attempted to make peanut butter fudge, a recipe I saw in my latest Penzey's spice catalog (seriously, sign up for their mailing list, even if it's just for the recipes).  I should have known.  I am not very patient, and making candy takes patience. So, after letting it set up for 2 days in the fridge, I wasn't sure what I ended up with, but it wasn't fudge.  What I got was some really delicious, fluffy, peanut buttery goo that was too good to throw away. I actually made myself sick taste-testing the "fudge" to ensure that a) it tasted good, and b) it actually wasn't fudge.

Here's what I had. Clearly too soft to be fudge.

What was I going to do with this stuff?  One of my all time favorite flavor combinations is peanut butter and chocolate, so I thought, "Why not swirl some of this into brownies?" So that's what I did.

You need to make enough brownie batter for a 9x13 inch pan, so I doubled my favorite brownie recipe (nothing healthy about these, despite my previous attempts).  This is a recipe from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook and super simple. You can, however, use a box mix (I won't judge) to keep it simple, since you'll be putting in some time on the the peanut butter fudge.

Here's my go-to brownie recipe. I love it because you make it in one pan and it is incredibly simple.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Brownies

1 cup butter
12 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa (or about 1/2 cup)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

Fluffernutter Filling
(If you want the same consistency that I had, cook for 5 minutes, and don't use a candy thermometer. If you want to actually make the peanut butter fudge, then use a candy thermometer to make sure you get to the soft ball stage.)

Grease a 9x13 inch pan and preheat oven to 325 (F).

Combine butter and cocoa in a 3 qt. saucepan.  Heat over low heat, stirring, until butter is melted and cocoa is completely blended in until smooth.  Set aside to cool (about 5 minutes).

When cocoa is lukewarm, beat in sugar and vanilla. Then beat in eggs, one at a time. Add the flour and salt, beat until combined.

Pour brownie batter into prepared pan, then drop blobs of filling (I only used about half of the recipe) onto brownie batter, then use a knife to swirl the two together.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (when a toothpick is inserted near the center, it should come out with a few bits of crumbs clinging to it).

I hope you enjoy these!  They are delicious!  And, in the spirit of the season, I gave the brownies as thank yous for our trash and recycling guys.  I hope they like them!

I still have to figure out what to do with the other half of that failed peanut butter fudge...

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