Thursday, January 5, 2012

Browned Butter Brownies with Peanut Butter Buttercream

I wanted to try a brownie that had a chocolate base but with a little more smokiness.  I think that these brownies fill this desire.  They are a perfect balance to the nuttiness of the Peanut Butter buttercream.  The recipes are simple and straightforward.

Browned Butter Brownies
Makes 24 single brownies or 12 layered brownies

Ingredients

10 Tbsp butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup of dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs (room temperature)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour

For the Peanut Butter Buttercream

6 Tbsp butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
pinch of salt

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat.  Continue cooking until butter has turned a golden-brown color.  It should smell a bit like caramel.   It will also have quite a bit of foam as you can see from the photo below.


Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sugar and the cocoa.  Use a spatula which I found easier th an a spoon or whisk.  Add the vanilla and stir again.  Beat the eggs and add slowly to the mixture while vigorously stirring so the eggs do not curdle.  Add the salt and flour and stir until just combined.

Line an 8 X 8 baking dish with parchement paper for a single layer of brownies or a 10 X 10 baking dish for layered brownies.  Bake brownies at 325 degrees for 20 minutes for 8 X 8 pan and 18 minutes for a 10 X 10 pan.  Allow to completely cool before adding frosting.

To make the frosting beat the softened butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter and salt until light and fluffy.  Spread over brownies.  If you are doing the layered brownies cut brownies in half and spread the bottom half with frosting, put the second layer of brownie on top and spread remaining frosting.

Put brownies into the refrigerator for 30 minutes before you slice.  This will allow the buttercream to set.  These brownies freeze well.  Slice and put on a tray in the freezer and then wrap.

As you can see from the photo below of the finished product I opted for the layered brownie.

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