(special thanks to tester m, my food stylist.)
i ate these for breakfast. i ate these for lunch. i ate these for dinner. i ate these for dessert. that, my friends, is how yummy these are. so yummy, i contemplated blending them up and drinking them. ok.. maybe not. that could be strange, but most likely still fantastic.
i made these for my book club, because they are demanding. and in this case, they demanded baked goods. afraid of possible book chuckage at my head if i came treatless, i complied. and while searching for the perfect recipe, i came across this on smitten kitchen (in case you couldn’t tell, i am currently smitten with this particular site. har har.) now, tester m loves peanut butter. like only one food you could eat for the rest of your life love. so i decided to make these in her honor. because i love her. and she’s real pretty. and she leaves fun magazines in my room for me to read. of course, as soon as i made these… she informed me that she has decided to go gluten-free for the next few weeks. i cried. then i sucked it up, and laughed at her as she gave them a good sniff, like those people on diets who smell donuts while drinking water so that they can pretend like they are actually eating it.
unfortunately, i do not have a photo of what you’ll need for this particular project. why, you ask?
boys. and their grilling. (please don’t judge the baby tiny grill…) while the girls were inside baking up a storm, a slew of boys were running about grilling on the back porch. yea, we like to keep the stereotypes alive at casa d’achy bakey. the flurry of activity stressed me out a little bit. our grillers kept trying to sample, so i was forced to beat them back with my spatula. which is a lot of work, let me tell ya.
so… what you’ll need: (imagine photo above. it’s a really great photo. you are pretty much salivating as the ingredients pop out of the web page at you.) for blondie: 2 sticks unsalted butter (softened), 1 3/4 cups sugar, 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 2 large eggs, 1 large egg yolk, 2 tsps pure vanilla extract, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips; for ganache: 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 tblsp unsalted butter (softened)
blondie building: (somtimes i like to build brownies, rather than make or bake them.)
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the middle. butter a 13×9 baking pan. line bottom of pan with parchment paper and then butter the parchment.
my lovely friend at cuisine heart taught me this little trick.
2. beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light anf fluffy. add peanut butter, and beat until incorporated.
beat in whole eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. reduce mixer speed to low, and mix in flour until just combined.
3. mix in chocolate chips.
spread batter in baking pan and smooth the top. (it comes out thick, like cookie batter. also, you should keep your spatula on hand, because at this point, if there are any pesky boys/roommates about, you will need to wack them with it to protect your creation.)
4. bake for about 40-45 minutes, until brownies are a deep golden color, puffed on top, and your toothpick comes out with just some crumbs sticking to it. cool in pan on a rack for about 1 1/2 hours.
(again, watch your blondie baby. i literally had to chase a griller down the hall as he was actually stealing it!!)
time for the ganache! this was my first time making ganache, and i have to tell you, not nearly as scary as i thought it would be. easy peasy!
1. put chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl.
2. bring cream to a boil in a small sauce pan, then pour over the chocolate chips and let mixture stand for 1 minute.
3. gently whisk in butter until it is incorporated, chocolate is melted, and a smooth mixture forms.
(we begin our mixing…)
(yup, still mixing…)
4. spread ganache on cooled blondies and let stand until set… should be about 15 minutes. although i popped them in the fridge for a little bit too just to make them extra super duper set…
and voila! time to feed them to your friends and loved ones (and book clubs!) and feel their adoration.
the verdict: i think there is nothing more to say. if the robbery attempts haven’t convinced you to grab your apron this very second…
tester w: “mmmmmmm” literally no words. pretty much just a bunch of mmms and half closed eyes.
tester m: “they sure do smell good!” harumph. what a week to become gluten-free.
tester nic: “man, i wish i didn’t hate peanut butter!!”