November 20, 2010

Peanut Butter Streusel Brownies

I am on the fence about the way my Peanut Butter Streusel Brownies turned out. I admit it... I have never made brownies from scratch. They have always come from a box. I was asked to bring a dessert for a Thanksgiving dinner we are invited to by Mr. Sideline Chef's supervisor. Ugh! The supervisor's wife and I speak often via Facebook and she knew I was trying out these brownies and encouraged me to bring these. If the recipe turned out I'd be able to sigh a breath of relief knowing that I had one less thing to worry about that day and solely focus on my next biggest task of what to wear.

The original recipe stated to lay foil into the pan I was using and then pour my batter onto it to bake. Any other time I have made brownies before I never had to do this. Being a recipe follower and not a gut instinct follower when it comes to kitchen ventures I did what the instructions told me to do.

At the 50 minute mark my toothpick came out with a few moist crumbs. I let the brownies cool on a wire rack still on the foil for an hour. I bathed the kid while they cooled. The smell of brownies baking and cooling for 2 hours was pure torture. I would of rather been hung by my fingernails than smell them for another minute longer without getting a taste. I rushed my itty bitty to put his bath toys away, whisked him out of the bath, and slipped him into his jammies.

16 servings. 16 servings. I swear I understand serving sizes but brownies are my "Achilles Heel". I only half jokingly say that my itty bitty is made up of spicy and sweet because when I was pregnant food couldn't have been spicy enough and brownies would be made and ate in one night, boxes of cereal and gallons of milk devoured, baby shower cake for breakfast... insert Mr. Sideline Chef's disgust understanding of pregancy cravings here and add 50 pounds to my 4'11" frame. No bueno.

I got the short end of the stick when it came to the full 16 servings. What had happened was... when I went to cut into the brownies starting at, in my opinion, the best part of the brownie, the edges, I couldn't even cut through!!! The damn edges were hard as rocks. Damn it all to hell. Luckily the center was still fudgy peanut buttery deliciousness. Not my favorite part but a close second to the crisp edges. I ended up with 4 brownies. What the fudge?

Yesterday morning I sent my friend to work with a plate of the edges... not the hard parts... I went to the garage and pulled out Mr. Sideline Chef's chisel set... joking. I cut off the hard parts from those 12 servings and gave her a plate of 12 half servings to share with her coworkers. I received a text telling me everyone raved over them. If only they knew.

Another thing that didn't quite turn out but was still successful in the end, if that makes sense, the peanut butter streusel topping. The recipe stated that my topping would be crumbly. Never saw that happen. It was more of a frosting texture but was incredibly tasty. When I bit into the brownie it tasted like a peanut butter cup! Heaven!

Time for a recipe redo minus the foil, my nemesis. The recipe will be a keeper as long as without foil they turn out just right edges this time around.

I changed the name. They called them So Good Brownies and a variation for the topping included the Peanut Butter Streusel. My name just gets to the point. and Southern Living, August 2009
Makes 16 servings

Stars of the Show:

  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate baking squares
  • 3/4 cup butter - I ran out of butter and substituted with vegetable oil.
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
And Action:

Preheat oven to 350°. *Not sure if this next step is the one we should all skip or not. Testing the theory is still in progress.* Line bottom and side of an 8 inch pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over the sides and lightly grease.

Microwave (I did this over the stove top instead.) chocolate squares and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until smooth and melted stirring at 30 second intervals. Stir in the sugars. Add 1 egg at a time, stirring until just blended. Stir in the flour, vanilla extract, and salt.

Pour mixture into prepared pan.

Now for the Peanut Butter Streusel:

Stars of the Show:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter - I had to use vegetable oil and now realize this is the reason it probably didn't crumble.
  • 1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1/8 tsp salt
And Continuing on with the Action:

Combine the Streusel ingredients together until blended and crumbly. Sprinkle the mixture over the batter. Bake for 50-54 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack for 1 hour. Lift brownies from pan using the foil as handles. Gently remove foil and cut into 16 squares.


Alexandria said...

OMG!!! I am a chocoholic. This looks heavenly!! Its amazing how reading a recipe and following never really works all too well. I'm glad that after chiseling off the edges you were able to share these. :)

Pretend Chef said...

Alexandria - They were heavenly! I just think they would have been more heavenly with a little bit of crisp edges.

ping said...

Haha! Good story that. I actually enjoy reading the blurbs rather than the actual recipes. And I do enjoy the way you write!

Pretend Chef said...

Ping - I am a very sarcastic person by nature... ask my mother who I reduced to tears on numerous occasions before learning to ask her first thing in the morning if she was having a sensitive day. I appreciate the compliment!

~Lisa~ said...

I know what you mean about eating while pregnant. I ate so much. Food couldn't taste any better. Your brownies look good to me.

Andrea said...

Okay, I know this post is nearly 2 years old, but via the wonders of Google, I found it today while looking at the original recipe reviews. Did you make these again without the foil? Were the edges better that way??? Inquiring minds want to know! :-)

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