The varieties are endless. Chewy, fudgy, cakey, with marshmallows, without nuts, with chocolate pieces, with our without cocoa, recipes abound. Today I’m sharing brownies with peanut butter and praline peanuts. Topped with a peanut butter swirl and sprinkle of peanuts plus chocolate chips these brownies are divine!
Serve with some vanilla ice cream or a scoop of vanilla gelato and your taste buds will dance and be salivating for seconds.
Peanut Butter Brownies
(Canadian Living 2017) Makes approximately 16.
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease 9-inch square baking plan.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup crunchy or smooth peanut butter
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup praline peanuts (or roasted peanuts)
2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. praline peanuts (or roasted peanuts)
2 tbsp. chocolate chips
In a small saucepan, stir together butter, peanut butter and chocolate over low heat until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
In large bowl, whisk together sugar with eggs. Whisk in chocolate mixture.
In small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and baking powder; fold into chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in peanuts. Scrape into prepared pan and spread evenly.
For topping, dollop peanut butter by teaspoonful over top of batter and with a knife tip or skewer, gently swirl to create a marble effect. Sprinkle with peanuts and chocolate chips.
Bake until tooth pick inserted in centre comes out with a few crumbs attached, approximately 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan and cut into squares.
Cinnamon jam loaf. The name alone makes my mouth water. A perfect accompaniment to morning tea or afternoon coffee. Something to give you that ‘belly hug’ on a cold winter day in Ontario or a smile if you’re fortunate enough to be sitting outside in the sunshine somewhere south.
Another wonderful recipe from Bake from Scratch, the Comfort Issue, this no mixer required loaf received rave reviews at my house!
A nut streusel elevates this simple loaf by adding crunchy sweetness and if you wish add a little sugar glaze. This will keep for several days (should it last that long) well wrapped and you can always freeze any extras.
Cinnamon Jam Loaf
Makes 1 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf. Preheat oven to 350F. Line loaf pan with parchment paper.
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup jam (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, etc.)
In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, sour cream, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, whisking just until combined.
Spoon 1/3 of batter into prepared loaf pan and top with 1/4 cup of jam, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Spoon another 1/3 of batter and top with remaining jam and top with remaining batter.
Sprinkle with Nut Streusel (recipe below) and bake for 30 minutes. Tent with foil and bake another 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes then remove from pan and cool on rack completely.
Drizzle with sugar glaze – combine 1 cup icing sugar with 2 tablespoons milk or cream until smooth.
1/2 cup chopped sliced almonds (pecans, walnuts or nut of choice)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
In a small bowl, stir together nuts, flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt. Using your fingertips, cut in butter until pea-size crumbs remain. Squeeze mixture into small and large clumps and sprinkle all over top of Cinnamon Jam loaf before baking.
Banana Bread, such a simple and easy recipe, with variations abounding.
Sarah Kieffer’s recipes never disappoint and her Banana Bread recipe is no exception. The light texture, not to sweet flavour, dark flecks of ripe banana and the moistness of this bread are sure to make it’s way into your heart and belly. It is now my ‘Go To’ recipe and after you give it a whirl I bet it will be your ‘Go To’ as well.
Sarah’s recipe calls for 1/2 cup of toasted and chopped pecan halves but I subbed in 1/2 cup butterscotch chips plus 1/2 cup of walnuts. If you prefer chocolate chips go ahead and add them in or leave out any additions. Make sure your bananas are nice and ripe and have your butter and eggs at room temperature for best results.
This delicious recipe is from Sarah’s The Vanilla Bean Baking Book.
Grease an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan and line with overhanging parchment paper for easy removal. Preheat oven to 350F.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
1 cup ripe bananas, mashed (approximately 3)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and pecans.
In a medium bowl combine bananas, sour cream and vanilla.
In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium until creamy. Add the sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Add the eggs and mix on medium until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until almost incorporated. Add the banana mixture and mix on low until combined.
Scrape down sides of bowl and finish mixing with spatula until completely combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 45 to 55 minutes until the top is dark brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool 20 minutes and remove from pan to cool completely.
The Rolling Stones sing about it, companies make billions of dollars off it, and advertisers convince us daily of it. What is it? Satisfaction!
Without even realizing it we are constantly being brainwashed to be dissatisfied with ourselves. Business is booming because we are convinced we cannot possibly reach our potential without more stuff.
The newest running shoe will make us jump higher and despite the fact we have no athletic ability we can become a super star. The big brush mascara will make our eyes so incredible we will mesmerize everyone we meet and be hired for some incredible job somewhere. Don’t have the latest colour palate on your walls, in your shoe selection or your clothes, why how lame are you? Not having the right colour jacket may impact your ability to secure an apartment rental. Everyday someone, who will make money and benefit from making us feel less than perfect, will convince us we are not enough. Not enough for ourselves and not enough for others and if we happen to be content and satisfied we must not be enlightened enough to know we are lacking. Wow, how sad, I probably don’t even realize how bad off I must be because I’ve been feeling pretty happy lately. Does this mean I’m really lacking in more areas of my life than the average Joe. OMG, maybe I should have bought those plaid pants. Plaid is in this year, right? If I have new pants I’ll be more interesting, right?
My therapy for problems of the world (first world) such as this, why chocolate or caramel or peanutbutter or butter or, any combination resulting in a dessert! Whip yourself up some sweet satisfaction in the form of Black Cocoa Brownies and when enjoying one or three make a mental list of all the things you’re content with. Number 1 should be the fact you made such amazing brownies.
Improving ourselves is never a negative but not enjoying or embracing what we are in the quest for the unattainable seems sad and a waste of precious time. Time that, perhaps, might be spent in the kitchen baking up today’s recipe from the July/August 2018 Bake from Scratch magazine.
Black Cocoa Brownies
(Black Cocoa is Ultra-Dutch process black cocoa which means the cocoa beans have been rinsed in an alkaline solution, eliminating its natural acidity, darkening the colour and making the flavour more concentrated. Black cocoa has been processed to the most extreme.)
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 13×9-inch pan and line with parchment paper. Have an overhang on the sides to easily lift brownies out of pan.
2 1/2 cups dark chocolate morsels, divided
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup black cocoa powder
2 tsp kosher salt
5 eggs, large
1 tbsp vanilla extract
In top of a double boiler, melt 1 1/3 cups chocolate with the butter until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir occasionally while melting. Turn off heat and whisk in sugars. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt.
In a small bowl whisk the eggs. Add half of beaten egg to cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Whisk in remaining egg and vanilla.
Fold in flour mixture until only a few streaks of flour remain. Fold in remaining chocolate pieces.
Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for approximately 25 minutes until toothpick inserted in centre has only a few crumbs. Cool competely in pan before removing to cut.
In the brilliant book BakeClass they refer to today’s recipe as a ‘cake’, perhaps becuase it is so light and airy, but I’d classify it as more of a loaf or bread. Mostly because it bakes in a loaf pan and has a drizzling of icing not a layer of icing piled on top.
Looking for quick, easy and minimal dishes plus light, moist and sweet, here is a winner. No mixer required and you can make it at the last minute and not worry about room temperature butter since you use a saucepan! Yup, a saucepan!
If you have self-rising flour in your pantry you won’t even need a measuring spoon. No self-rising flour?? No worries, measure 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt into a dry 1-cup measure and top with all-purpose flour. Make sure to give a good mix before adding to the recipe.
This comes together quickly so make sure your oven is preheated to 325F and your 9×5-inch loaf pan is greased and lined with parchment paper (with an overhang for easy removal).
Pecans would be my first preference for this loaf but walnuts would work great or a combination of pecans and walnuts. Just bake it up next time you require a simple tea cake or a suppliment with your afternoon coffee. Oven’s on you say?! Then let’s get started!
Caramel Pecan Cake
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and line 9×5-inch loaf pan.
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 3/4 ounces butter, cubed
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, room temperature
3/4 cup, rough chopped pecans
1 cup self-rising flour
1/4 toasted whole pecans – for garnish
1 tbsp golden corn syrup – for garnish to drizzle
Mix together: 1 tbsp water, 2 tbsp golden corn syrup and 1 1/2 cups icing sugar until thick but pourable. Add a little more water if necessary. Set aside for cooled cake.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt together the butter, brown sugar and milk, until the butter just melts. Make sure it is not too hot. Remove from heat and let cool if necessary.
With a wooden spoon or whisk, stir in the egg and pecans. Add the flour and stir until just combined.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface with offset spatula or back of spoon Bake approximatley 35 minutes or until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan. Once cool, spoon on with Caramel Icing then drizzle on syrup and garnish with remaining pecans.
Peanut butter cookies are always a hit and these are no exception. With the holidays upon us this recipe would be a great addition to your cookie tray for the peanut butter lover in your family.
From ‘littleepicurean’ Maryanne Cabrerea’s recipe (Holiday Cookies 2017 Bake From Scratch) the only switch up I made was to add in dark chocolate chips and honey-roasted peanuts to the batter, omitting rolling the cookies in the 2 sugars and the dipping step as well. I also used a fork lightly dipped in flour to slightly flatten my cookies for the signature ‘peanut butter’ look. In my house the cookie half dipped in the chocolate would be consumed and the ‘bare’ cookie would be left on the tray. When no one was looking of course!
Give it a try either way but make sure to bake these up sometime soon!
Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1/2teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2cups all-ppurpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup icing sugar
8 ounces dark chocolate (72% cocoa), chopped
1/2 cup honey-roasted peanuts
In large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter, brown sugar and peanut butter until creamy, scraping down sides of bowl and beating for 3-4 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, soda, baking powder and salt.
With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture until just combined.
Place the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and the 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar in small bowls. Use a medium scoop (1 1/2 tablespoon size) scoop out dough and roll first in granulated sugar then in confectioners sugar and place about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared trays.
Bake until edges are set and cookies are cracked on top. Let cool completely.
Melt chocolate in microwave in 30-second intervals stirring after each until melted and smooth. Let cool slightly for about 3-5 minutes. Dip half of each cookie in chocolate and lay on parchment lined pan. Sprinkle with chopped honey-roasted peanuts. Repeat until all cookies are dipped and garnished. Cookies will set up in approximately 10 minutes.
Now sit down and relax and let the holidays begin!