No Chatting During Bake Day!

So I’m singing away as I’m dancing around my kitchen this morning, happily baking peanut butter-chocolate brownies (Paul’s birthday request a week late because I caught a gnarly cold last weekend).  All is going well, and as I’m melting the pound of butter and pound of chocolate together (that’s right, Ina Garten does not mess around), my friend called.  We’re talking it up as I stir away, enjoying our conversation immensely.  I begin to measure out other ingredients, and decide I should get off of the phone before I make some major mistake.  So I bid my friend farewell and refocus on baking (and dancing).

This recipe is coming together beautifully, and as I pop it into the oven I’m thinking to myself, “Well, this went well.”  Then as I turn around, out of the corner of my eye, I see an orange object sitting on the counter… the package of unsweetened chocolate that should have been melted into the butter/chocolate mixture earlier.

It’s resting there ever so peacefully as if to taunt me saying, “Ha!  You thought you had this one in the bag!”  I took no longer than one second to think to myself how I could correct this, then immediately decided that it couldn’t be done and thought, “Ah, it’ll be fine.”

Remarkably, the brownies (which are more like a cake) were great.  They definitely would have had a more rich texture and taste with the additional chocolate, so keep those important 6 ounces in there.  But none the less, not too bad!

I am a huge fan of Ina Garten.  I used to love watching her show on Food Network as I graded papers (or let’s be honest, napped on a Saturday afternoon).  I would listen to and watch how she would make everything look so lovely with no effort at all.  She’s just adorably charming.

I’ve made a few of her recipes, loving how she uses simple, whole ingredients.  Now, be warned, her recipes may call for 12,000 ingredients and measuring out large amounts at that, but they are easy to follow and always turn out great.  She definitely doesn’t shy away from indulgence.   I love that about her.  Go forth and indulge!

Peanut Swirl Brownies (care of Ina Garten)

Peanut Butter Brownies

Note:  In making these again, I would divide the batter.  Pour half of the batter into the pan, spreading it out evenly.  Then spread out the 3/4 cup peanut butter.  Pour the rest of the batter on top.  Take a knife and swirl the peanut butter throughout the batter.  Doing this will distribute the peanut butter into the brownie more.

1 pound unsalted butter, 1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (divided), 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, 6 extra-large eggs, 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules, 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract, 2 1/4 cups sugar, 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the prepared sheet pan. Spoon the peanut butter over the top of the chocolate mixture and using a knife, swirl it through the chocolate mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes more or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into large squares.

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