Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies

Welcome back to another tasty year of The Brownie Project!

My goal this year is to be a bit more consistent with recipes ~ and let’s kick things off with one of my favorite flavor combinations:

Peanut Butter and Chocolate!

This recipe, which originally comes from the Food Network website, was something that caught my eye when I saw it on another blog several months ago ~ I was intrigued enough to make them but for reasons still unknown to me, they actually sat in my freezer for about two months.

Odd – yet it happened.

Anyway, I brought them out of cold storage to give to my nephew ~ as a “thank you” for helping me out last week ~ but alas, he has been busy working, my willpower ran out…………

And the rest is history ~ or should I say, the brownies are history. 🙂

These really are perfect in every way – the brownie has just the right amount of fudgy-ness, the peanut butter layer is smooth and a touch salty – and although I passed on the ganache topping, I really don’t think they needed it.

Of course, you may feel differently, but that’s your prerogative.

These are a definite keeper.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies – adapted from The Food Network

Brownie Layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Layer:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ganache Layer:
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom and sides of an 8 by 8-inch pan with cooking spray.

Brownies: microwave the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a microwavable bowl at high power until the butter is melted, about 2 minutes. Stir until combined, then mix in the vanilla extract. Meanwhile, beat the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and add in the chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate chunks. Spread the brownie mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until the brownies are set and a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean, about 22 to 28 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.

Peanut butter cookie dough: Add the butter and brown sugar to a large bowl and mix until creamy. Mix in the milk and the peanut butter, then stir in the flour and salt. Spread the peanut butter cookie dough evenly over the cooled brownies.

Ganache: In a small microwavable bowl, microwave the dark chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream, uncovered, on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Continue stirring until the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth. Spread the ganache over the peanut butter layer and sprinkle with the chopped peanuts. Refrigerate until the dough and ganache are set, about 1 hour. Cut into 16 squares and arrange on a serving platter to serve.