Monday, January 14, 2008

Let's Kick Off The Week With A Brownie

A Peanut Butter brownie to be exact.

When I first saw this recipe on the CLBB I was very intrigued. It called for demerera sugar to be in the brownie, and to me, that sounded strange. I use demerera (or washed, raw) sugar for rolling cookies in or topping something because it's pretty, and it has a nice clean, sweet flavor as well. It's also a large-grained sugar, so using it in a brownie...well, it intrigued me. I filed it away for another day, but then recently I've been seeing it pop up in a few other places. Since I had a bag of Sugar In The Raw just sitting around waiting to be used, I decided to go ahead and try these brownies.

The only problem I had baking these brownies up came because I didn't have as much of the raw sugar as I had thought. I had just over a cup of the raw sugar, and since I already had my butter and peanut butter blended together, I needed to improvise. My first thought had been to use straight up granulated sugar, but when I went to grab it, the brown sugar caught my eye instead, and I decided that adding a little caramel flavor to the brownies couldn't be a bad thing. S0 my 2 1/2 cups demerera sugar became 1 cup demerera sugar, 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar. I did use the extra demerera to sprinkle on top too.

I had to bake my brownies about 10 minutes longer,but I am sure that was because adding brown sugar added more moisture to them. And let me tell you, I had a very hard time waiting to cut into these brownies! It did not help that Zander kept checking on them too- "Are they cool yet?" We didn't quite wait for them to chill all the way, but one bite into these peanut butter brownies, and we were besotted. Thick, chewy, caramelly, peanut-buttery, and crunchy from the raw sugar, these peanut butter brownies are all that AND the bag of chips. My little family of four managed to polish off an entire 9 x 13 pan in just three days...we literally could not stay away from them. These Demerera Topped Peanut Butter Brownies are definitely company worthy and swoon worthy. Don't let the demerera sugar scare you either. If you have it, use it. But you could also use turbinado sugar if that's what you have on hand, and I had great success using half brown sugar as well. I think you'd lose something if you used all brown sugar though, so make sure you use a sugar with some crunch. I need to make these again soon!

Demerera Topped Peanut Butter Brownies
1 cup peanut butter -- not natural PB
1/2 cup butter -- at room temperature
2 1/2 cup Demerera Washed Raw Sugar (I used Sugar In The Raw)
3 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks, to taste
4 tablespoons Demerera Washed Raw Sugar -- for topping

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a 9x13 pan with release foil or grease the pan.

Cream peanut butter, butter, and sugar until light in color. Add eggs and blend to combine. Add vanilla and blend well.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, soda, and salt. Add to peanut butter mixture and blend until just combined. Stir in chips, if using.

Scoop batter into prepared pan and smooth it out. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons demerera over the top. Bake 28-30 minutes. Brownies will sink slightly in the center while cooling. Cool completely before cutting.

**watch the bake time, I had to give mine an extra 10 minutes


Elisabeth said...

I've already bookmarked these to try from the thread on the CLBB - they look fantastic! Thanks!

swirlingnotions said...

Wow does this look good!!! Thanks for your thoughts on the different types of sugar. I've never thought about it all like that before. I baked a persimmon pudding this weekend while very distracted and sick and left out the baking soda . . . it turned out like one of those European jelly candies. Tasty, but nothing like a cake. It was an interesting lesson for me . . . I'm such a terrible baker!

JEP said...

Mmm..I like kicking-off the week with a brownie...especially a PB choc chip one:)

Erika W. said...

Elisabeth, they are as good as they look!

Lia- that's so sad about the pudding! I can just imagine feeling under the weather, wanting comfroting pudding and getting...jelled confection. I hope you're feeling better!

Jep- I'm thinking dark chocolate chips would take this into a really yummy place...

Claire said...

Mmmm...these look great! I've never used (or heard of) demura sugar, though I have seen Sugar in the Raw. I bet these were great. BTW, if you just can't wait for the brownies to cool, you can cut them with a plastic knife or lettuce knife without any pulling of the brownie.

Erika W. said...

Claire, they actually TASTED better cooled and cold. When we tasted them warm the peanut butter was really flat and they were just good. Once they'd cooled completely, the flavor really showed through. I've seen a few people eating them from the freezer- I may have to try that with the next batch.