Two great things become one…

PB&J and Brownies, that is! I may be new at food blogging, but I have taken note of the various fun events going on in this little world, and I decide to take Myriam’s (Once Upon a Tart) Browniebabe event as an opportunity 1) participate in my first blogging event and 2) create something special for my dad’s 50th birthday party. My mom and I have been brainstorming a menu that involves all of dad’s favorite foods, one of which just happens to be the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I’ll admit, I am not a big pb&j eater, and never really was, although lately the idea of putting a new spin on the nostalgic, sweet and salty, fruity and nutty combo has really gotten to me. I’ve already done peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies, so I figured why not brownies? I was also inspired by a scrumptious peanut butter and jelly chocolate truffle snuck inside a box of chocolates given to me by Joelen during my visit to Chicago, so I knew the combination was a winner.

For my brownie base, I knew I wanted a very dense, fudgy layer. I called upon a tried and true favorite: Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies. The only problem (and I’m not sure it’s really a problem for the true brownie lover) is that this recipe makes a full 13″x 18.5″ pan. This was a little too much for my needs, so I cut the recipe in half.

For the peanut butter component, I didn’t want to go with something overly sweet, as I really wanted the peanut butter taste to come through the richness of the chocolate and sugary jam. I also wanted something quite soft and chewy. I tweaked a popular 3-ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe by cutting the sugar in half, and adding some flour and baking powder so it would hold it’s own within the brownie. For the jam layer, I went with something to compliment both the peanut butter and the chocolate: raspberry. Finally, another brownie layer was added on top. The result? Well, you must first of all not be afraid of very rich desserts in order to enjoy this. Fudgy, peanutty, fruity, sink-your-teeth-in and wash-it-down-with-a-glass-of-milk goodness!

Brownie Layer
1/2 lb unsalted butter
1/2 lb plus 6oz semisweet chocolate chips, divided
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tbsp instant coffee or espresso powder
1 tbsp real vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9″x13″ baking pan with parchment paper.

Melt together the butter, 1/2 pound chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Beat together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.

Stir together 1/2 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture and stir till just combined. Remove 1 cup of the batter to reserve for the top of the brownies. Toss 6 ounces of chocolate chips with 1 tbsp flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Scrape into prepared pan and spread evenly.

Peanut butter layer
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp real vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

In medium bowl, beat sugar and eggs till thick and creamy, then beat in peanut butter. Stir in vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add in 2-3 additions, mixing in completely before adding the next. Drop in large spoonfuls over brownie batter.

Jelly Layer
1 jar seedless raspberry preserves, melted to a pourable consistency

Pour melted preserves over and in between peanut butter dollops.

Take reserved brownie batter and pipe all over peanut butter and jelly.
Bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven. Cool on cooling rack to room temperature, then chill for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares. These are rich, so don’t be afraid to cut them on the small side!
Serve to Dad on his 50th birthday with a tall glass of milk :)

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3 Responses to “Two great things become one…”

  1. 1

    Melissa — June 6, 2007 @ 2:46 pm Reply

    how creative! they look really good and i don’t even like jelly.

  2. 2

    Amira — May 26, 2011 @ 2:29 am Reply

    These look amazing. I'm drooling right now LOL. One question though: Do you think I can replace all the flour or just partially with brown rice flour or almond meals.

  3. 3

    Cara — May 26, 2011 @ 2:32 am Reply

    Thanks, Amira! Are you following a gluten-free diet? If so, I think the brown rice flour would work fine in the peanut butter mixture. For the brownie base, I might just go with your favorite gluten free brownie recipe. Please note, I am not gluten free (I just often make things that happen to be gluten free!) so I don't have a ton of experience.

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