Peanut Butter Brownies

Yet another variation of my decadent brownies. These will be going to our Think Local Umpqua AMIBA (American Independent Business Alliance) workshop at Umpqua Community College tonight. Unlike the Marionberry-Walnut or Caramel-Pecan versions, these do not have dark chocolate chips scattered throughout the batter, but rather a peanut butter topping (think Reese's Peanut Butter cups) strewn all over the surface before baking. Would have been simpler to use a bag of peanut butter chips, but they include a whole lot of ingredients I would rather not eat!

Peanut Butter Brownies

These are best made a day or two in advance and refrigerated before cutting. They freeze well too!

1 cup (9 oz) chunky natural-style peanut butter
4 Tablespoons (2 oz) butter, very soft or melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (8 oz) powdered sugar
1 pound unsalted butter
8 ounces unsweetened cbaking hocolate
4 cups (1# 12 oz) sugar
8 large farm fresh local eggs (1#1oz in the shell)
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups (12 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
milk chocolate chips (optional, for drizzling on top after baking)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I bake these on a baking stone on the center rack.

Line a 12 by 17 inch "jelly-roll" half-sheet pan or two 9 by 13 pans with parchment or grease and flour them well.

Stir together the peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until you have a crumbly mass. Set aside.

Melt the unsalted butter and unsweetened chocolate together over very low heat, stirring until smooth. Turn off heat, stir in sugar and let sit for about 5 minutes until sugar melts. Whisk together the 8 eggs, salt and vanilla in a very large bowl. Gradually whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and stir until it becomes glossy.

Gently stir in the flour, mixing just until all the flour is incorporated. Pour into prepared pan(s). Crumble peanut butter topping evenly over the top. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. Do not overbake!

Let cool completely on a wire rack. If desired, when cool, drizzle the top with melted milk chocolate before cutting into bars. These are best made a day in advance and refrigerated overnight before cutting. They will firm up considerably. They also freeze well. Makes 24 large or 48 small brownies.

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