While last week’s chocolate marble cake may not have been ‘sweet enough’ for some, I don’t think a lack of sugar is something this week’s baking can be faulted for. There was plenty of sugar, a lot of chocolate, a lot of peanut butter and by the end of the day, a boyfriend who didn’t feel so well! It was my younger brother’s 21st this week and by way of a cake he requested a brownie/cookie combination. I must admit, I was a touch unsure how well cookies baked into brownies would work, but he was the boss and so I baked brownies with cookie in, and with peanut butter cups in (to push the boat out even further) and it worked, it really worked. My only regret was not adding even more cookie into my brownie!
I messed around with an array of brownie recipes to come up with my own version; a risky business, this experimenting, occasionally ending in tears, sometimes a little door slamming. Fortunately the risk taking paid off and I managed to produce a brownie I was really pleased with. Not too dense and cloying in a ‘sticks to the roof of your mouth and requires a cold glass of milk to wash down’ way, but a nice fudgy cakey not too sickly balance. A slightly dangerous balance, I have decided, as it’s not rich enough to force you to stop after one piece. Instead one piece leads to ‘oooo, I might just have a
tiny corner, half a piece, whole piece more’ thoughts. These brownies were sweet, but not too sweet, chocolatey, but not too rich and shot through with little slightly salty bursts of peanut butter and chunks of chewy cookie. Without wanting to blow my own trumpet too loudly…they weren’t half bad.
The cookies I baked to go in the brownie were Joy the Baker’s peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. Now these cookies really work. They’re not your super squidgy, soft, slightly under baked in the middle cookies, but have a nice crunch encasing a chewy centre. They’re sweet and they’re peanutty. And they totally work broken up and mixed into brownie batter.
Chocolate peanut butter cookie brownies
- 150g butter cut into roughly 2cm cubes
- 200g dark chocolate broken into chunks
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 75g light soft brown sugar
- 75g caster sugar
- 70g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3 Reese’s peanut butter cups roughly chopped or one small bag of mini cups.
- 6 peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, roughly broken (I used this recipe)
- Line a 20x25x4cm tray with baking paper so that it comes up the side and overhangs them slightly. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
- Gently melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of just simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally until melted and well combined.
- In a large bowl whisk the eggs using a hand blender for 2-3mins on medium to high speed until thick, frothy and about doubled in volume. Add vanilla extract and the sugars and whisk again on medium-high speed for several minutes until well combined and starting to stiffen slightly.
- Pour in the melted chocolate and butter mixture and gently fold into the egg-sugar mix until combined.
- Mix together the flour and baking powder then sift over the egg mixture. Fold in gently until combined, stopping as soon as no streaks of flour are visible.
- Gently stir in the chopped peanut butter cups and most of the broken up cookies (reserving some to scatter over the top).
- Pour the mix into the tin, gently smooth level with a spatula, then scatter the reserved cookie pieces over the top.
- Bake in the oven for about 25mins until the top has started to firm and crisp and the brownie feels set but still squidgy underneath. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for about 15mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.