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RATHER BE COOKING

Brownies have a nice surprise inside

Posted on March 17, 2022

ColumnsFoodRecipesLife
The peanut butter layer in these loaf pan buckeye brownies puts the dessert over the top.

Lisa Boykin Batts | Times

The peanut butter layer in these loaf pan buckeye brownies puts the dessert over the top.

lisa@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7810

Lisa Boykin Batts

Lisa Boykin Batts

When my sister recommends a recipe, I usually try it.

Susan recently told me about a Martha Stewart brownie recipe she loved and told me I needed to try it too. But I did something wrong and got discouraged when I made it the first time and then forgot about the recipe for loaf-pan buckeye brownies. When she mentioned a few weeks later that she had made the recipe again, I decided to try again and to read the recipe more carefully this time.

I love a good brownie. It’s one of my favorite treats. This recipe adds a new flavor twist with the addition of a peanut butter layer — reminiscent of the favorite buckeye candies that have a peanut butter middle.

As the recipe name implies, these brownies are made in a loaf pan. The recipe doesn’t make a lot, but it was a perfect number of brownies for my husband and me to enjoy over several days. And when you remove the brownies from the pan, it’s so easy to cut them in serving sizes.

The brownies take more than a few minutes to mix up because you have to make both the brownie batter and the peanut butter middle. But it’s worth the work. I promise.

I followed the recipe almost exactly (after misreading the directions the first time) and even used whole milk instead of skim because I had some in the refrigerator from my granddaughter’s recent visit. But I used semisweet chocolate chips instead of bittersweet because it’s what I had in my pantry, and it’s what I prefer. And I cut back some on the sugar now with almost all recipes.

I even melted the butter and chocolate chips in a makeshift double boiler, even though I usually save that trouble and use the microwave.

These brownies are so good. The brownies are nice and chewy, and the peanut butter layer makes them feel more special somehow. My husband and I loved them, and I will be making them again.

The next time, the one thing I will do differently is to follow the recipe instructions for preparing the pan with parchment paper. I just sprayed the pan and didn’t wait for the brownies to completely cool and they didn’t easily come out of the pan. I’m very impatient when it comes to chocolate.

Lisa Boykin Batts has been writing a weekly food column since 2001. Her column includes recipes she and her family enjoy.

Loaf Pan Buckeye Brownies

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/3 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for pan

2 tablespoons whole milk

1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch of kosher salt

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, divided (I used semi-sweet)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl.

In a small, heavy saucepan, heat peanut butter, 1 tablespoon butter, milk and pinch of salt over medium-low, stirring often, until just melted and combined. Pour over confectioners’ sugar and stir to combine.

Butter a standard (8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch) loaf pan and line with parchment, leaving a slight overhang on long sides. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter and 2/3 cup chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl set over (but not in) a pot of simmering water, stirring until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add granulated sugar; whisk vigorously 1 minute. Whisk in egg vigorously until mixture is glossy, another 1 minute.

Whisk in cocoa, vanilla and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Fold in flour and remaining 1/3 cup chocolate chips. Dollop half of brownie batter into prepared pan and spread with a spoon or offset spatula to reach edges. Dollop peanut butter mixture over top and spread in an even layer. Top with remaining brownie batter and spread to reach edges.

Bake until center is set and edges pull away from pan, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely, about 1 hour, before lifting out of pan and slicing. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or refrigerated up to 3 days.

— Martha Stewart

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