Saturday, 29 January 2011

Weekend Baking: Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

This recipe (minus the peanut butter cups) is from a book I fell in love with while job-hunting one day. 

I wandered into this adorable cookware store called Chocolate Mousse, on Robson - I think it was, in an effort to calm the pre-interview nerves.

Sadly, no one hired me that day but, I did go home and order that book off eBay so my day roaming around Downtown Vancouver wasn't a complete waste : )

I'm not sure that Alice Medrich would approve of my tampering with her brownies in such a trailer trash manner but I had all this candy in the house (the nice people at Hershey's Chocolate World were just giving it away!) and I couldn't help myself. 

With or without the peanut butter cups, these brownies are really yummy and super easy to boot.


Adapted from Bittersweet by Alice Medrich 

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks, 5 ounces or 141 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (9 7/8 ounces, 280 grams) sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 7/8 ounces, 82 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup (66 grams, 2 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
10 or 12 mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, halved

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. 
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes is Medrich’s suggestion but it took me at least 10 minutes longer to get them set. Let cool completely on a rack. 
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares. 

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