Layers Of Goodness

Tuck one of these peanut butter-topped brownies into your Purim packages this year.

Jewish Week Online Columnist
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If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That saying probably wasn't meant to apply to the heavenly combination of peanut butter and chocolate, but it works just the same. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were invented in 1928, and the combo has simply stuck around.

Here in Israel, Reese's products aren't readily available (except expensive imports), and there's no real local equivalent that combines peanut butter and chocolate. So I have to create my own ways to get a peanut butter and chocolate fix! These brownies, with their fudgy chewy bottom, topping of creamy peanut butter and chocolate shell, are a perfect substitution for the famous candy. Maybe even better! And they are easy to make pareve.

They are also a serious crowd pleaser, and would be a welcome addition to any Mishloach Manot basket you send this Purim. That is, if you manage not to eat them all yourself.

Amy Spiro is a journalist and writer based in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Jerusalem Culinary Institute's baking and pastry track, a regular writer for The Jerusalem Post and blogs at bakingandmistaking.com. She also holds a BA in Journalism and Politics from NYU.

Ingredients: 
150g semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs plus one egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
175g semisweet or milk chocolate, finely chopped OR 1 cup chocolate chips
Recipe Steps: 
In a large bowl melt the chocolate and butter together until completely combined. Add in the coffee and sugars and whisk until all incorporated. Add in the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition until fully mixed. Stir in the vanilla.
Add in the flour, salt and cocoa powder and fold in until just incorporated, do not overmix. Pour the batter into a greased 9x13" pan - it is a fairly thin layer, so spread it out to make sure it is even.
Bake on 350 F for 18-24 minutes or until tests done - be careful not to overbake. Let cool for at least 20 minutes.
Mix together the peanut butter and sugar, and zap it in the microwave for about 30 seconds until is is a smooth, spreadable consistency. Spread the mixture evenly on top of the brownies.
Chill the brownies at least 30 minutes until cool to the touch. Melt the chocolate and carefully spread over the peanut butter. Let set, then cut and enjoy!