I’ve been baking a lot in the last week or so, due to a combination of factors. Firstly, I’ve been feeling a little bit lonely – pretty much everybody I know has left St Andrews, though some will be back for Graduation in a few weeks. Spending time in the kitchen is the obvious way to keep myself occupied. There’s also a definite element of procrastination to it. I have several things I should be doing – sorting out the rest of my life (Graduation is in less than a month), slowly continuing to pack up the flat (I move out in a month or so, and I’ve acquired a lot of stuff during four years of university), making a start on the thorough clean that the flat is going to need (we’ve lived in the same flat for three years, including the summers, so that’ll be fun) – but well, I’m sure you’d pick baking, too. Thirdly, I was left with a lot of left over flour, sugar, butter, etc. by various people who’ve already moved out and didn’t want it to go to waste. So really, I just have to bake, if only to work my way through the 6kg of three different types of flour I currently have stored in my kitchen (I’m not exaggerating).
I came across a recipe for peanut butter brownies in the May 2011 issue of BBC Good Food, but hadn’t quite got round to trying it out yet, so I gave it a go the other day. The recipe conveniently finished off one of the 56 (ok, that’s a minor exaggeration) opened bags of self-raising flour that I have sitting around my kitchen at the moment and also used up most of a random spare jar of peanut butter that I had at the back of my cupboard, as well as making a slight dent in my epic chocolate reserves (seriously, if there’s ever a chocolate shortage, I could make a fortune on the black market. The same goes for butter – I seem to unintentionally stock-pile it for some odd reason). Hurrah for slowly getting through the food reserves!
The best bit about these brownies though, is that they are absolutely delicious and completely moreish. That’s all there really is to say. Though you have to be a serious lover of peanut butter, particularly of the crunchy variety. Since peanut butter is the main ingredient, I don’t really think you’d enjoy these so much if you’re not really a fan… Oh and you probably won’t enjoy them if you’re allergic to peanuts either (awkward?). But otherwise, they’re great! They’re also ridiculously easy, which might be an issue. Just typing the recipe up makes me want to go and bake another batch. Oh dear…
Peanut butter brownies
Makes 16 brownies
Recipe from BBC Good Food (May 2011)
As I said above, these are, quite frankly, super yummy and utterly moreish. That’s all I really have to say, except that they’re also super easy!
225g crunchy peanut butter
200g dark chocolate (at least 70%)
280g soft light brown sugar
100g self-raising flour
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C. Line a 19 x 25 cm brownie tin with baking paper.
2. Add 175g of the peanut butter, 150g of the chocolate (broken into squares) and all the sugar to a large saucepan and melt together over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has just melted.
3. Remove from the heat and briskly stir in the eggs one at a time using a wooden spoon or a spatula. Add the flour and stir until fully incorporated. Spread the batter into the prepared tin.
4. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 50g of peanut butter until runny. Drizzle the peanut butter over the top of the brownie batter. Bake for 25-30 mins until crusty on top but still fudgy in the middle.
5. Melt the remaining 50g of chocolate in a small saucepan and drizzle over the top of the brownie once it has been removed from the oven. Allow to cool in the tin before gently lifting the brownie out and cutting into squares (or cut in the tin if that’s easier – most of my baking tins are non-stick though so I can’t really do that).