I love chocolate and peanut butter - I love them individually and I adore them together. When I was a kid, my poor mom never knew what to give me for lunch, or breakfast for that matter. I didn't like sandwiches, I definitely had no interest in peanut butter and jelly. There was a time I got to have milkshakes for breakfast, because hey, there is protein in there - especially when they're low on the ice cream and big on the milk. I was not easy. I'm still not easy when it comes to food, but I have made some important realizations about myself when it comes to food:
* I cannot eat sugar or white flour before dinner, or I'll be exhausted and without energy the rest of the day (maybe a small cookie, but no cake for breakfast for me, even white rice at lunch wreaks havoc with my blood sugar).
* I need my food (meals at least) to be warm. If I eat cold pizza, it barely registers, but if I have the same amount of pizza warm, it's a meal! Why is that? There has to be a scientific reason.
* I need to eat every 3-4 hours, or my head feels like it's going to explode!
* I am definitely a foodie.
What is the point of all these brilliant observations? Well, I'm definitely a happier person knowing all of this. And, perhaps more importantly, I now realize that I love peanut butter and jelly, as long as it's on whole wheat bread (or a whole wheat bagel) that has been toasted! So delicious! I eat half a whole wheat bagel (toasted!) with peanut butter and raspberry jam almost every day.
One happy consequence of this new discovery? I always have peanut butter in the house, jars and jars, and can whip up a batch of either of these delicious confections. They're like peanut butter cups, but way better.
Chocolate Brownie/Cake (adapted from King Arthur Flour):
2 sticks (8 ounces) butter
3/4 cup (2 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs
2 cups (14 ounces) sugar
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 10" x 15" pan with baking spray. (You can use a 9 x 13, but the cake will be thicker.)
Melt the butter, stir in the cocoa powder. Cover, and set aside to cool.
Beat the eggs for 3 minutes (REALLY, no cheating!), then gradually add the sugar, beating 2 to 3 minutes more. Stir in the butter/chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the flour and salt until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Start
Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely.
Peanut butter filling (from Zoe Bakes):
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Beat together all of the ingredients until smooth.
To Assemble the Cakes:
Use a biscuit cutter to cut out small circles of cake. Mine are 2," but that yields a very intense serving. A little smaller might be better.
Gather three cake circles for each serving. Top two of the three circles with a generous dollop of peanut butter filling. Place one of the peanut butter topped circles on the other. Top with the final cake circle. Dust with powdered sugar immediately before serving.
*This dessert is so easy, and really good. My friend (also my go-to chocolate-peanut butter recipe tester) declared this to be possibly her favorite dessert ever!
The filling for these macarons is the same as above. The shells are a Pierre Herme recipe - coming soon!