These Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownie Sandwiches are a dessert riff on PB&J sandwiches. Fudgey brownies are paired with peanut butter ganache and raspberry ganache to make a sandwich that anyone would love to have in their lunchbox!
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two 9x13-inch baking pans with foil that extends up over the sides, and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine the chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds, until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Let cool until lukewarm.
Add the cocoa and sugar and whisk well. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Finally, add the vanilla extract and then the flour, and stir with a spatula until everything is combined.
Divide the batter equally between the two pans. If you want to use a scale, place about 32 oz of batter in each pan. Sprinkle half of the flaked sea salt generously over the top of each pan. Bake the pans for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool the brownies completely before assembly. While you wait for them to cool, prepare the ganaches.
To Make the Ganaches and Assemble:
To make the peanut butter ganache, combine the chopped chocolate and the cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Add the peanut butter and whisk it in. Press a layer of cling wrap on top of the ganache and keep it at room temperature until you’re ready to use it.
To make the raspberry ganache, puree the defrosted raspberries in a blender or food processor. Strain them through a fine wire mesh strainer to remove most of the seeds—a few stray seeds is okay! Pour the raspberry puree into a small saucepan and heat it over medium-low heat until it reduces down to 1/4 cup—this will give your ganache a very intense raspberry flavor.
Once the puree is down to 1/4 cup, add the 1/2 cup of cream and the powdered sugar and turn the heat to medium. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl nearby. Bring the cream/raspberry mixture to a simmer, then pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for 1 minute to soften the chocolate, then whisk together until smooth. Press a layer of cling wrap on top of the ganache and keep it at room temperature until you’re ready to use it.
Once the brownies are cool, scrape the peanut butter ganache on top of one of the brownie pans, and spread it into an even layer. Refrigerate the pan until the ganache is partially set, about 20 minutes. Pour the raspberry ganache on top of the peanut butter ganache, and again spread it into an even layer. Refrigerate the pan again to set the ganache until it is firm enough to support the weight of the second brownie layer, for about 20-30 minutes.
Remove the second brownie layer from the pan using the foil as handles, and peel the foil off the back. Carefully slide the second brownie on top of the ganache layer. Refrigerate the pan for several hours to make sure the brownies and ganache are firmly sealed together.
Remove the slab of brownie sandwich from the tray using the foil as handles. Cut them into small triangles (to mimic sandwiches) or squares. If you want to decorate the sides of the sandwiches like I did, melt the chocolate candy coating in the microwave. Mix the chopped peanuts and freeze-dried fruit together. Spread a thin layer of coating on the side of a triangle, and quickly press a thick layer of nuts and fruit onto the coating before it dries.
This recipe yields about 18 4x3-inch triangle “sandwiches.” They can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. For the best taste and texture, serve them either at room temperature or warmed for 10-15 seconds in the microwave.
If you want to substitute kosher salt for the sea salt, use only 3/4 tsp. I do not recommend using table salt instead. The brownie recipe was adapted from Food & Wine magazine.