I Love Chocolate

by Stephanie Zonis


Milk Chocolate
Peanut Butter Brownies

24 brownies


Since I never had these as a kid, they're not quite a nostalgia food, but they should be. Chewy peanut butter brownies with milk chocolate chips are topped by more milk chocolate and chopped peanuts. Use creamy peanut butter here, as you should get enough crunch from the chopped peanuts. I have not tried to make this with an "all natural" peanut butter (the type that separates as it stands), so I don't know how well it would work. I use a sturdy, hand-held electric mixer to make the batter. You'll also need a cookie sheet or tray that is heatproof as well as longer and wider than your baking pan; this will be placed over the pan for a few minutes after baking to melt the milk chocolate for the topping.

These would be great for Super Bowl munching, a kid's birthday party, a bake sale—any informal occasion. Note, though, that they must stand for about 6 hours after baking before being cut; this gives the milk chocolate topping a chance to harden so they'll cut more neatly. The milk chocolate-peanut topping tends to crumble a bit, so serve these with napkins or on plates. These are for Jason, who is very fond of them.


1-1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. sifted baking powder
Pinch salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup (1stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs, graded "large"
1-1/2 cups (9 ozs.) milk chocolate chips

6 bars (1.55 oz. each) thin milk chocolate,
   cut up or broken into sections
1-1/4 cups dry roasted, unsalted peanuts,
   finely chopped
   (I "pulse" mine on-and-off in a
   food processor fitted with a steel blade)


Line a 13" by 9" by 2" baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side up, so that there is about an inch of overhang on each side; fold the overhang down on the outside of the pan. Set aside. Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In small bowl, combine sifted flour, sifted baking powder, and salt. With fork, mix well to blend. Set aside.

In large bowl, combine peanut butter, softened unsalted butter, sugars, and vanilla. With powerful, hand-held electric mixer, beat at medium speed until well-mixed and fluffy. Add eggs, two at a time, and beat in until creamy. Add flour mixture in two additions; at low speed, beat after each addition just until ingredients are combined. By hand, fold in milk chocolate chips.

Turn into prepared pan and spread level, then push batter slightly higher in corners. Bake in preheated oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center emerges with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Do not overbake.

Remove from oven to cooling rack. Immediately scatter sections of thin milk chocolate bars all over the top as evenly as possible. Cover pan of brownies with a larger pan or cookie sheet; let stand 4 to 5 minutes. Remove larger pan/cookie sheet; with back of large spoon, spread the melted milk chocolate evenly over the top of the brownies, stopping about 1/2" from each edge. Scatter the finely chopped peanuts over the melted milk chocolate as evenly as possible (this is a generous amount of peanuts, and they should cover the milk chocolate completely). With the back of a clean spoon, gently press the peanuts into the milk chocolate.

Cool completely at room temperature, then cover airtight. Allow to stand at least 6 hours before cutting. To cut, use a large, sharp, serrated knife. Remove brownie from pan (still in foil and uncut); gently peel back foil from sides. Trim about 1/2" from each side of the brownie. Now, cut the brownies into quarters along their 13" sides (you'll have quarters about 3-1/4" long by 9" wide); cut each quarter into sixths. You'll end up with twenty-four long, narrow "fingers". Store airtight at room temperature or in refrigerator for up to three days; freeze for longer storage. Allow to come to room temperature before eating.


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Copyright © 1999 Francesca Chocolate Productions. All Rights Reserved.

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This page created January 1999