Chewy Double Chocolate, Double Peanut Brownies

If there is a birthday party, I bringing a baked good to it. A few months ago, I asked my friend what he’d like for his birthday. “Any peanut butter and chocolate combo,” was the reply. Now, what I didn’t realize (and what he thought I knew) was that he doesn’t have a sweet tooth.

This could have been one of those birthday gifts you don’t want to receive again. Fortunately, the fudgy brownies—dotted with peanut butter and chocolate chips, plus peanuts topped with flaky sea salt—were an ace.

Now these can be in your kitchen. Or, share the deliciousness and take them to a birthday celebration.

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Double Chocolate, Double Peanut Brownies | Credit: Melanie Cohen

Chewy Double Peanut, Double Chocolate Brownies

slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • ½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup peanut butter chips
  • Sea salt

Instructions

  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving about a one-inch overhang on all sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. (If using a glass pan, reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees F and bake for the same amount of time.)
  2. Whisk cocoa powder and boiling water together in a large bowl until smooth. Add the unsweetened chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted. Whisk in the melted butter and oil (mixture may look curdled—don’t worry, you’re good). Add the eggs, yolks and vanilla extract, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the sugar until fully incorporated. Add the flour and salt and mix with a rubber spatula until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and the peanut butter chips.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Coat batter evenly with crushed peanuts. Sprinkle sea salt over peanuts. Bake until a toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 1½ hours.
  4. Using the foil overhang, lift the brownies from pan. Place the brownies on the wire rack and cool completely, about 1 additional hour. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days.
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Double Chocolate, Double Peanut Brownies | Credit: Melanie Cohen

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Connie’s Mom’s Mint Bars

Sometimes, even bakers do not want to turn the oven on. Maybe it’s because you baked 22 dozen cookies the weekend before and gave away your half, forgetting you had a cookie swap in seven days. (Guilty.)

This no bake mint bars recipe is for those times. Or, really, any time you have a mint craving.

The bottom layer is a mixture of chocolate, coconut, nuts and sweetened condensed milk. The cool minty part (my favorite) makes up the middle. It’s topped with chocolate mixture that’s as intense as ganache, but not as firm.

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Layered mint bars, aerial shot

The first time I ate these, I was smitten. Sorry peppermint patties, we need to take a break.

This recipe is courtesy of my friend Connie’s mom. Connie tucked them into my goody bag after the aforementioned cookie-making marathon. I ate one and immediately wanted the recipe. They’re a welcome addition to this baking blog.

Thanks, Connie’s mom!

Connie’s Mom’s Mint Bars

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Mint Layer

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • red or green food coloring (optional)

Ganache

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • remainder of can of sweetened condensed milk

 Instructions

  1. For the crust: melt unsweetened chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and butter together. Stir in graham cracker crumbs, coconut and chopped walnuts or pecans. Press firmly in bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish. Chill 15 minutes.
  2. For the mint layer: beat powdered sugar, cream cheese and butter together until smooth; stir in peppermint extract and a few drops of food coloring (optional). Spread over chilled crust and chill 45 minutes.
  3. For the ganache: melt chocolate with remainder of the 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk. Spread over chilled mint layer and chill 1-2 hours. Cut into small bars and keep refrigerated.
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All the pretty layers of mint bars