Peanut Butter Brownie Cake Squares ~ this little dessert is a cross between a brownie and a blondie, with a good dose of peanut butter frosting thrown in for good measure!
I had two (not one, but two) baking fails yesterday. This peanut butter brownie was supposed to be a peanut butter blondie. Don’t ask.
But here’s the interesting thing about kitchen failures. They sometimes work out well.
Really really well.
And from what I can tell it’s a common thing for a blondie to want to experiment with a different look now and then. A couple of weeks before my wedding I dyed my blonde hair black. It was supposed to be a ‘wash out‘ color, but of course it didn’t ‘wash out‘, and in all my wedding photos I’m brunette. That provided an endless source of hilarity for my daughters over the years.
If there’s one thing that I hope comes across in this blog it’s an open mind towards food. I’m pretty much of an equal opportunity eater. So while I was craving a blondie, with chunks of dark chocolate chips throughout, I got a delicious brownie, and that’s ok with me. And even though I usually prefer to cook with butter over shortening, I’m always up for an experiment when it comes to food. This brownie cake contains Crisco butter flavored shortening in both the cake and the frosting, and while it does yield a slightly different result than butter or oil, I like it in this cake.
The frosting is especially good, it has a creamy texture with a little hit of salt. The brownie is moist and dense. I think this is a keeper. And if you love the nutty chocolate combo in this recipe, you’ll probably also like my Easy Cashew Tiger Butter, and my Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 lb brown sugar (about 3 1/3 packed cups)
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 10 oz bag of Nestle Dark Chocolate Chips (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 pound confectioner's sugar (1/2 of a 2 pound bag)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- about 1/3 - 1/2 cup hot water
- Set oven to 350F
- In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl beat the shortening, peanut butter and sugar together for a couple of minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla for another couple of minutes.
- Heat the chocolate in the microwave just until melted. Heat for 30 seconds, then stir and heat at 15 second intervals stirring to melt fully. Don;t over heat. Cool slightly.
- Add the cooled chocolate to the bowl and beat until blended.
- Fold in the dry mixture, just until combined. Spread into a 9x12 inch pan and bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (but it will be damp) Don't over bake, as this is a brownie like cake.
- To make the frosting: Beat the sugar, peanut butter, shortening, salt and vanilla together, adding enough hot water to form a smooth, spreadable frosting. You can adjust by adding more sugar or more water as needed. Don't have it too thick or it won't spread nicely.
- Spread on the still warm cake, and let cool before slicing, if you can possibly wait.
- If you still prefer blondies, you can make it the way I intended to…don’t melt the chocolate chips, just fold them into the batter.
My rule of thumb for measuring the success of a recipe is to ask myself if I would make it again. Me to Self: Would you make this again? Self: Yes!
Would I dye my hair black again? No!