Sarah: Breaker of Translucent Wings Memorial Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
It was just another ordinary day in playwriting class. Clustered together in the basement room, the students shuffled their papers and poised their pencils for another in-class writing assignment. Suddenly, our peaceful haven of creativity was disrupted by the dull buzz of an uninvited intruder: Musca domestica, the common housefly. Incredibly annoying, not to mention unsanitary, this winged, garbage-dwelling insect has no place at my table. After a few of my own feeble attempts at swatting the little bugger away, I realized a hero could emerge from the crowded table of students. "I will bake cookies for whoever kills the fly." The offer of baked-good worked as a motivating bounty and within three seconds the fly's crumpled body fell to the floor. The victor? Sarah, a clever brunette with a sardonic wit and an impressive collection of Woot tee-shirts. When I asked what kind of cookie she was interested in, she requested brownies. No problem. I developed the chocolate and peanut butter combination in honor of Sarah: Breaker of Translucent Wings and to our fallen and worthy foe who gave his life so that we could enjoy an afternoon snack.
- 2 1/2 sticks room temperature butter (plus 1 Tbsp.), divided
- 2 c. sugar
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- 1 c. cocoa powder
- 5 eggs, divided
- 1 c. creamy peanut butter
- 1 1/4 c. flour, divided
- 2 Tbsp. vanilla, divided
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil. Butter lightly with 1 Tbsp. of butter. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350˚ F. In a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan, melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter over medium heat. When butter is melted, add sugar and cook over medium, stirring frequently, until ingredients are well combined and the surface looks shiny, about 3-4 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in cocoa powder and 1 Tbsp. vanilla until thoroughly combined. Add three eggs, one at a time, whisking ingredients together after each addition. Whisk in 1 c. flour and baking powder.
Spread brownie batter into prepared baking pan and bake in oven for 15 minutes.While brownie layer in baking place peanut butter, powdered sugar, and remaining stick of butter into a large mixing bowl and cream ingredients thoroughly with an electric mixer. Add 2 eggs, 1 Tbsp. vanilla, and remaining flour and beat thoroughly with mixer. Set aside until brownie layer has baked for fifteen minutes. Remove brownies from oven and carefully spread and even layer of the peanut butter mixture on top. Evenly distribute the chocolate chips on top on the peanut butter layer.
Return to oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes longer until the brownies are baked through and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting into 2" squares. Eat!