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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Peanut Butter Brownies


"Your mom said I can have a peanut butter square as soon as they cool down!"

This recipe couldn't be easier! I love a good "Dump-it" recipe...and it seems most of those kinds of recipes for me involve peanut butter. Check out my Dump-It Cookies recipe here! Peanut butter gets a sordid rap because Peanuts take the number 3 spot in the "Top 6 Food Allergies" list. For those of us that are not so afflicted, we can enjoy this salty, creamy, nutty, protein-rich treat. Here's how to make the Easiest Ever Peanut Butter Brownies!

Disclaimer: Please be conscientious! If sharing these with friends, make sure they don't have any allergies to speak of! If you take these to a child's bake sale(someday in the future when such things are allowed), use a nut-free sunflower seed butter instead. It bakes just the same!

Peanut Butter Brownies

  • 4 oz all-purpose flour
  • 7 oz granulated sugar
  • 1.5 oz good quality dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp coconut milk powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Fat pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 c canola or peanut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp good vanilla
  • About 3/4 c of smooth peanut butter, room temperature
  • **Crushed or chopped peanuts, optional!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add all of your dry ingredients and whisk them together until entirely incorporated. If you decide to add in some crushed peanuts, or even some mini chocolate chips, you may do so now. You do this now because you want the mix-ins of choice to be coated with your flour mixture so that they don't sink too much to the bottom if you use a smaller pan. 

Mix together the eggs, oil, and vanilla with a fork or a pair of chopsticks. Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and dump in your wet stuff. Stir with a small, flexible spatula until everything is combined. Pour into a prepared brownie pan (a 9"x 9" or 13" x 9" will do just fine) that's been either lined with parchment paper or greased with either butter or oil. Spread your batter evenly. 

Drop dollops of peanut butter at regular intervals on the top of the batter and swirl it around in the desired pattern with either a small, sharp knife or a chopstick. If desired, you can make this ahead of time and let it hang out in the fridge until you're ready to bake. Otherwise, bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes, turn the oven off, then let sit for another 5 minutes in the residual heat. Let cool completely before slicing and enjoying.

While we're waiting for them to cool, allow me to tell you all about peanuts!

Peanuts grow underground, kind of like carrots or sweet potatoes. They're pretty plants, and grow in warm climates. China is one of the biggest producers of peanuts, and it makes sense because so much of Chinese cuisine is and can be made with peanuts. Even Li Ziqi, our Quarantine Queen, made a video all about the life of peanuts!

Peanuts have travelled a long way. They're native to the Western Hemisphere, or so they say, and are likely from South America. The Spaniards discovered the legumes during their colonization, brought some back, and likely helped get it all over the world with trade. They now grow all over the world where the weather allows it, from China to India to Africa to the Southern United States.

Why tell you all this? Why, to tell you all about my friends at the Georgia Peanuts Commission, of course!  I don't always make it, but I like to participate in the Foodiechats live-tweet party every Monday evening. This is where I was introduced to my new friends, and then got the idea to make a nice batch of peanut butter brownies! Make sure you stay tuned, as well, because I've got lots of fun peanut-related stuff coming...

When the brownies are cool enough, you can cut these into small cubes, store them in bags, and pop them in the freezer to use for milkshakes or ice cream sundae toppers. You can also just cut them in bigger squares and eat them straight with a glass of almond milk. No matter what you do, know that you're enjoying a beautiful snack that you've made yourself.

I hope you've enjoyed spending a piece of your afternoon with me. I know I love hanging out with all of you! Happy cooking and happy eating!