Peanut Butter Buckeye Brownies

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Peanut Butter Buckeye Brownies by twocarolines.com

Us Caroline’s obviously enjoy sweets, but the area where we display the most alarming lack of self control is in the “peanut butter/ chocolate” category.  We have posted a number of desserts with this combo such as our Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cake, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Peanut Pretzel Brittle….the fact that there are quite a few more is making me wonder if we should ease up on the peanut butter chocolate desserts…..yeah, not going to happen.  These Peanut Butter Buckeye Brownies are a King Family Classic made originally from our matriarch Joyce King and then repeatedly enjoyed by our sister Kristin’s family and mine (CK 2.0) who can only make them on occasion because of the aforementioned lack of control around perfect peanut butter chocolate combo’s like this one.  If you also want to eat ALL of the peanut butter chocolate desserts maybe make these for a crowd, because they are insanely irresistible.

Brownie Layer (these are Kristin’s Brownies – more detailed instructions on that link):

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Buckeye Brownies by twocarolines.com

1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Peanut Butter Layer:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter (room temp or softened)
8 ounces creamy peanut butter (I find the Jiff/Skippy variety work best because they don’t separate, but you could try using all natural peanut butter if you’d like)

Chocolate Ganache Layer:
2 cups chocolate chips
10 tablespoons butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 – spray or butter a 9×13 pyrex dish.  Mix all the ingredients for the brownie layer and spread into your prepared pan.  Bake for about 23-26 minutes and let cool.
2.  For the peanut butter layer, mix the butter and peanut butter until well combined then mix in the powdered sugar until it’s all combined.  I use a stand mixer because this layer gets thick so it would be tough to mix by hand.  Spread on top of your brownie layer and try to even it out pushing it into the corners etc.  Put in the fridge to cool about an hour.
3.  To make the chocolate ganache layer (it’s not really ganache, but we are going to go ahead and call it that because we’re fancy) melt the butter and chocolate chips in a saucepan until totally combined then spread over the peanut butter layer.  It will harden as the chocolate cools.  Serve at room temperature.  Side note this dessert freezes nicely, just let it come up to room temp before serving.  Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Spelt Brownies

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Spelt brownies by twocarolines.com

Oh Brownies, with your fudgy, chewy, gooey, crunchy edged, chocolatey goodness, you have my heart.  Like most chocolate lovers, I’m just a general fan, however I have decided the last few years that box brownies are a waste of my time, especially when they are so easy to make from scratch, it literally takes 2 extra minutes to make delicious brownies with ingredients in your pantry now, but those super easy ones are for another day.  These ones aren’t hard, but you will need to chop some chocolate which I know takes a minute, and you need to buy some spelt flour, which is what gives them such an other worldly flavor.  BELIEVE ME, the reward for your efforts is so amazing you will make these again and again.  They are so over the top chocolatey because of the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder, plus the spelt gives them an almost nutty flavor that contrasts with the little bit of coarse salt to make your mouth go absolutely bonkers.  Of all the many brownies I love, these are my favorite, seriously, #1, hands down.  Make them this minute and let us know what you think!

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, plus more for pan
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably 70 percent cacao, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup spelt flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly brush an 8-inch square baking pan with butter or cooking spray. Line with parchment, leaving a slight overhang on 2 sides. Butter or spray parchment.

  2. Place butter and 6 ounces of the chocolate (about 1 1/4 cups) in a large heatproof bowl. (reserve 3 ounces or about 1/3 a cup chocolate to put in your batter at the end) I use a pyrex in the microwave heating on defrost for 4 minutes or 30 seconds at a time at full power until the chocolate looses it’s shape and you can whisk it all smooth.  Remove from heat and whisk in sugars. Whisk in eggs, 1 at a time, until combined. Whisk in cocoa and salt, then fold in flour until combined. Last add the leftover chopped chocolate which adds just one more layer of chocolate gooey goodness.

  3. Pour batter into pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs, about 35 minutes – if you like your brownies extra gooey take it out closer to 31-2. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Lift out brownies with parchment overhang. Cut into 16 squares and enjoy!

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Dark chocolate spelt brownies by twocarolines

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Dark-Chocolate Spelt Brownies.