My coworker, Justin, loves my Peanut Butter Brownies. So for his birthday I figured I’d just whip up a quick pan.
I love the Ghirardelli brownie recipe on their Sweet Ground Chocolate can (simple, but fancier and chocolatey-er than a box mix), and usually I just layer nine Ghirardelli Peanut Butter Squares in the middle (so you put down half the batter, then the squares, then the rest of the batter).
The problem? I couldn’t find the Peanut Butter Squares freaking anywhere! Are they seasonal? Are they sold out? Did Ghirardelli stop making their tastiest squares of all? I don’t know. Even Amazon didn’t have them, which pretty much means they don’t exist.
It looked like I would have to improvise.
I had a couple of box mixes around, so I decided to save my fancy Sweet Ground Chocolate for another occasion and use one of those.
Going through my baking shelves I saw that I happened to have a bag of Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that I had planned to use as the center of a cookie. But I didn’t need cookies as much as I needed brownies, so I decided to break them open.
I wound up with a pan of brownies that looked like this before I poured the rest of the batter in:
Just to be on the safe side, I decided to do a second pan of brownies, but this time with a more adult taste. So out came Ed Engoron’s Chocolatique cookbook . (I completely love their truffles. They come in fun, nostalgic flavors, like Boston Creme Pie and Peanut Butter & Jelly, which is far more my style than Lavender Grapefruit or shmancy stuff like that.)
I’d drooled over the recipes but hadn’t dived in to try anything yet, mostly because all of the recipes are based on a ganache, which you have to make up ahead of time. But a couple of days before I’d made the ganache, figuring that once I had that I’d be all set to bake.
Ed’s Best “Got Milk” Brownies looked like a good place to start, and I don’t think you can go wrong when you start with a rich, fudgy ganache that makes your mouth water at the first sniff.
The recipe was simple to follow, except for the part where you’re supposed to let them cool before cutting and eating. I can never wait that long to have just a little bite.
At the office the next day I set out both types of brownies. The Peanut Butter Brownies disappeared first, but largely because that’s what the birthday boy wanted, and I think he had a few just for breakfast.
Most people agreed that the Chocolatique brownies were richer and had a deeper chocolate flavor, but some just preferred the idea of a brownie that was full of mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
So which brownie would your coworkers choose? Probably one of each, so it’s a good thing they’re so easy to make.