Monday, June 21, 2010

Peanut Butter Caramel Brownies

Yes, I've combined peanut butter, caramel and bittersweet chocolate. Is it too much? Is it sinful? Gluttony is a sin, right? Oh come on, that's not fair. If this is a sin, then bring on the flames.

These brownies are amazing. How should I describe them...? Maybe, rich, moist, fudgey, gooey, dense, chocolatey, absolutely delicious? They're really good. The peanut butter caramel is slightly sticky and chewy. Its texture is reminiscent of soft fudge.

For this recipe, I gently beat the sugar into the eggs instead of stirring the sugar into the melted chocolate and butter. Although I make brownies using both methods, this technique ensures that the sugar dissolves in the batter. The egg whites are mostly water and provide a good medium for dissolving sugar.

I've read a lot of recipes for brownies that instruct the baker to stir the sugar into the chocolate until it is "dissolved", but I have to disagree since chocolate has a relatively high fat content and contains very little water. So, such a high quantity of sugar that is used in a brownie recipe would never dissolve in a mixture of dark chocolate and butter, no matter how long you stirred.

I wonder if anyone ever followed one of these recipes and just never stopped stirring because they were waiting for the sugar to "dissolve". That would be a horrible way to lose and arm. Wait, maybe that would be a great story..."I lost my arm making brownies". Ha, funny. No?

Like I said, stirring sugar into chocolate still makes terrific brownies! It's just that depending on the recipe, it may lead to a thin crust of undissolved sugar on the bottom, and frankly, that's just not what I was going for in this recipe.

Without further delay, I present to you my Peanut Butter Caramel Brownies. Try not to eat half the batch immediately out of the oven like I did. I promise, you'll be even more rewarded if you wait until they cool to room temperature. Or, better yet, let them chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. For this recipe you will need to make a batch of luscious Salted Caramel Sauce, which can easily be made a week in advance and stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator. Just a warning, though....if you make it in advance, chances are slim to none that you'll have any left by the time you actually decide to make these brownies. So, gather the courage and will power now, because I'm almost certain you'll need it.

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