Peanut Butter & Chocolate Brownies

Peanut Butter Brownies 4

Much like marmite I find peanut butter is very much a “you either love it or you hate it” kind of spread. Of the lovers, some like it crunchy, others prefer it smooth, but whatever the texture preference, all will be glad to hear that today is National Peanut Butter Lovers Day.

In celebration, many may simply run to the toaster to make warm peanut butter on toast, but with baking what I’m known for, it was only right that I used peanut butter in some form of kitchen creation.

I’m no stranger to baking with peanut butter as you will see from some of my previous posts, but there is one thing missing and that’s the chocolate brownie. As soon as I got the idea in my head it wasn’t long before the warm chocolatey, peanut buttery slab of heaven was ready to be tasted. Needless to say it didn’t last the hour and 30 minutes it took to make: I never knew I was friends so many peanut butter lovers. It seems I chose well!

Peanut Butter Brownies 2

Peanut Butter Brownies


Makes 16 squares

Preparation time | 30 minutes

Baking time | 1 hour


Brownie batter

115g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan

160g good-quality dark chocolate chocolate, coarsely chopped

85g all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

150g granulated sugar

3 large free-range eggs

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

 

Peanut filling

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

65g confectioners’ sugar

100g smooth peanut butter

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a greased 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides.

To create the batter, put butter and chocolate in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water and stir until melted.

While this cools whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl, and set aside.

Then add the sugar and eggs into the cooled chocolate mixture, whisking to combine. (remember to ensure the chocolate is cool so the eggs don’t begin to cook). Stir in the vanilla then add the flour mixture folding until well incorporated.

For the peanut filling, stir together butter, icing sugar, peanut butter and vanilla into a bowl until smooth.

Pour 1/3 of the chocolate batter into the prepared pan spreading evenly into the corners. Place 4-6 spoonfuls about 1 inch apart on top of the batter. Follow this process with the remaining chocolate batter and place the rest of the peanut filling on top.

With a butter knife, gently swirl the filling into batter, starting from the top corner and running the knife lengthways in an ‘S’ shape. Bake for about 45 minutes then let it cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies and let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Coconut Macaroons

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I’ve always been intrigued by these tiny coconut bites. In fact you may be shocked to hear that until the day I made these, I had never actually tried one. As a coconut lover there really isn’t much not to like. They’re sweet, moist with a chewy inside and crunchy crisp exterior, then made all the more sweet when dunked in a generous amount of dark chocolate.

Not to be confused with macarons, which are a little trickier to master, these macaroons are almost embarrassingly easy to make. So as long as you have some shredded coconut stashed away and a few eggs that you don’t mind separating, then a batch of 40 can be yours in less than 40 minutes.

This recipe is for one of your most basic macaroons, but there are countless ways you can jazz things up, such as adding nuts, chocolate or dried fruit into the batter. I’m thinking pistachios and cranberries next.

How do you make your Macaroons?

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Makes 40

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Baking Time: 20-25 minutes


400g Desiccated Coconut

196ml Condensed Milk

2 Large Egg Whites

1tsp Vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

200g Dark Chocolate


Preheat the oven to 190C/374F and line 2 trays with baking parchment.

Pour desiccated coconut into a bowl and combine with the condensed milk.

In a separate bowl with a freestanding mixer, whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form.

Fold the egg whites to the coconut mixture until fully incorporated.

Using a teaspoon scoops rounds of the mixture onto the baking tray, spacing them 1-inch apart. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they are brown on the edges. Leave to cool fully.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water then dip in the macaroons. Drizzle any remaining chocolate across the top then place the tray in the fridge to cool fully.

These are perfect teatime treats at anytime of the day!