So how are those New Year’s Resolutions coming? Been hitting the gym twice a day, have you? Just saying no to carbs of all shapes and sizes? Enjoying your thrice-daily egg white and protein powder omelets?
Yeah, me too. High five!
Oh wait, except I didn’t make any resolutions, I’ve been skipping workouts more this past month than anytime in the last six years, and I’m getting my protein in the form of layered peanut butter brownies. That’s totally a thing.
Even if you did make the resolutionest of New Year’s resolutions, I’m pretty sure these brownies are exempt. They have eggs, see? Eggs are good for you. They also have a lot of heart-healthy dark chocolate, and they get their protein from their high nut content. They’re so virtuous they make broccoli look like a sinful indulgence.
If you’re not buying my healthy spiel (and I’m assuming anyone over the age of eight is not) then at least believe me when I tell you these make cheating on your resolution completely worthwhile. They start with a fudgy brownie base, studded with chopped salted peanuts. Then comes a thick layer of peanut butter frosting, topped by a shiny chocolate ganache glaze.
They’re rich. They’re intense. They’re guaranteed to win you friends, get you a promotion, and possibly get you into political office this fall.
And if none of that happens, well, you have a really good brownie recipe that will help you drown your sorrows. It’s win-win.
- 6 oz (1-1/2 sticks) butter
- 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 1-1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 13x9 baking pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add both chocolates, then melt the butter and chocolates together, stirring constantly while they melt to prevent them from overheating. Once the chocolate and butter are melted, remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. The mixture will be grainy. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. As you add the eggs, the batter will gradually smooth out and lose the grainy texture. After the last egg has been fully incorporated, the batter should be shiny and smooth.
- Add the flour and stir it in with a spatula until no dry streaks remain. Finally, stir in the chopped peanuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Bake in the 325 degree oven for 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Combine the softened butter and peanut butter together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until combined and fluffy. Sift in the powdered sugar, then add the salt, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. If it seems too stiff, add a bit more milk until it has a smooth frosting-like texture. Scrape the peanut butter frosting onto the cooled brownies. Spread it into an even layer. Refrigerate the brownies while you prepare the chocolate glaze.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the cream into a small saucepan and heat it over medium heat until it is almost boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and gently whisk it together until the chocolate is completely melted and your ganache is shiny and smooth.
- Add the room temperature butter and whisk it into the ganache until fully incorporated. Pour the glaze over the peanut butter layer and spread it to the edges. Refrigerate the brownies until the glaze is completely set, about 1 hour.
- To serve, remove the brownies from the pan using the foil as handles. Cut into small squares. Store Layered Peanut Butter Brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.