Fudgy Brownies with Peanut Butter Buttercream
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Fudgy Brownies with Peanut Butter Buttercream – These are the fudgiest, densest, and richest brownies you’ll ever bite into, and they’re so easy to make.
If you’re a fan of fudgy, rich, dense brownies these are for you. And if you’re a peanut butter fan, even better.
If you like cakey or dry brownies, move on. These moist fudge bombs won’t be your thing.
The brownies are so fast and simple to make, and they’re as easy as using a boxed mix, but taste infinitely better.
They’re made in one bowl and the batter comes together with a whisk in minutes. You don’t need to drag out a mixer or dirty anything other than one bowl.
To make them, simply combine butter and your favorite dark or bittersweet chocolate and melt them together in the microwave. Stir in sugar, eggs, a splash of espresso or coffee if you’d like, a dash of vanilla, and flour. That’s it.
Before stirring in the eggs, and then flour, the batter is very granular, and that’s normal. I like to add a couple tablespoons of previously brewed coffee because it brings out and enhances the flavor of the chocolate, and I promise it doesn’t make the finished brownies taste like coffee. After adding the flour, don’t overmix or that will cause gluten development, which results in tougher and cakier brownies.
Pour the batter into a pan and bake for about 30 minutes. The center should be set, not jiggly, and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out mostly clean. Don’t over-bake because you want to keep these fudgy.
Just look at that thick, fudgy slab of chocolate. With almost as much frosting as brownie. Yes, please.
While the brownies are cooling, make the peanut butter buttercream. The peanut butter flavor is very pronounced, but if you prefer traditional vanilla buttercream or cream cheese frosting, both are lovely on these brownies if for some crazy reason you don’t like peanut butter or frosting. However, I cannot relate. I wrote a cookbook with 100 recipes that use peanut butter.
Incorporate the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Start with 1 1/2 cups at first, and work you way up to about 2 cups. I use 2 cups because I like the frosting to be thicker, denser, and not quite as fluffy for the brownies as I would use on a cupcake. I don’t bother sifting first, but some people are sifting sticklers. I’m not one of those people and let my stand mixer do the work for me.
And for most types of baking and frosting-making, the good old-fashioned stuff really is my preference because it whips, blends, bakes, fluffs into, and just produces a better-textured finished product. For frosting, don’t use a natural peanut butter with oil may want to separate out a few hours later, and the frosting turns into a broken mess.
Spread the frosting over the cooled brownies. Make sure they’re fully cooled so they don’t melt the frosting.
Then add sprinkles or non-pareils. I used Trader Joe’s cocoa beads. They love to bounce around, and days later, I’m still stepping on them.
Sprinkles are optional, but not really. Not for me anyway.
The brownies are beyond rich and moist. Dark, intense, and they’re uber-fudgy with zero cakiness. I like cakes, and I like brownies. But no cake in my brownies.
The edges have a bit of chewiness and the center is tender, soft, and the perfect fudgy texture for leaving teeth marks. Chomp.
The peanut butter buttercream is velvety smooth and the perfect compliment to the brownies. It’s sweet; the way all frosting should be, but the natural saltiness of the peanut butter cuts some of the sweet.
Chocolate and peanut butter is one of the best flavor combinations on earth. I never tire of it.
For the Brownies
- 6 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate or dark chocolate, chopped coarsely (such as Baker’s brand semi-sweet chocolate, or I use a 72% Pound Plus Bar from Trader Joe’s)
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons espresso or brewed coffee, any temperature; optional but recommended
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
For the Peanut Butter Buttercream
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I recommend Jif or Skippy, not a fancy high-end or natural peanut butter because they separate and your frosting results could be compromised)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
- sprinkles, optional
- For the Brownies - Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-by-9-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and chocolate and heat on high power to melt, about 60 to 90 seconds. Stop to sir, and heat in 10-second bursts until the mixture has melted and can be stirred smooth. Add the sugars and whisk to combine; batter will seem granular. Add the optional coffee, vanilla, and whisk to incorporate. Add the eggs and whisk vigorously to incorporate. Stir in the flour, optional salt, stirring until just incorporated; don’t overmix. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes, or until center is just set and not jiggly, edges have pulled away slightly from sides of pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. My perfect baking time is about 28 minutes based on my oven and climate (dry). Keep these gooey and don’t overbake; brownies will continue to firm up as they cool. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour before frosting them or before slicing and serving.
- For the Peanut Butter Buttercream - Combine peanut butter and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed to soften and blend, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, optional salt (cuts some of the sweetness), and beat to incorporate and until frosting is smooth and fluffy. Add more confectioners’ sugar based on desired thickness (I use 2 cups so frosting is thicker and more paste-like). Frost the brownies, add optional sprinkles, slice, and serve.
- Brownies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few hours (or longer depending on your comfort level with buttercream frosting at room temp), but I prefer them chilled and store them in the refrigerator. Brownies will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I’ve successfully made them, frosted them, froze them, and thawed them with success, up to 3 months later.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 521Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 115mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 3gSugar: 47gProtein: 7g
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