Peanut Butter Brownie Cake Squares

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.

Peanut Butter Brownie Cake Squares

Ingredients

  • 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)
    frosting
  • 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

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the cooled chocolate to the bowl and beat until blended.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Spread on the still warm cake, and let cool before slicing, if you can possibly wait.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/peanut-butter-brownie-cake-squares/

Notes:

  • 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!

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    grace
    August 16, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    disaster averted, hooray! these look really amazing, sue. that peanut butter frosting is welcome to top anything, as far as i’m concerned.

  • Reply
    Hillary Miller
    August 14, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Hi Sue,
    Based on your delicious Peanut Butter Brownie Cake Squares photos, we’d like to invite you to submit your food photos on a food photography site called http://www.foodporn.net so our readers can enjoy your creations.
    It is absolutely free and fun to make others hungry!
    Thanks :)

  • Reply
    Tricia
    August 13, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Why does your kitchen disaster look so much better than all mine put together? Ok you didn’t say it was a disaster – I’m referring to my kitchen disasters which are usually not edible, much less blog-able! Very nice idea. Chocolate and peanut butter are my favorite couple in the whole world!

  • Reply
    Dom at Belleau Kitchen
    August 13, 2012 at 8:30 am

    um… fail?… um YES!!!! to baking them again… at my house, next weekend????

  • Reply
    Brownieville Girl
    August 13, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I much prefer brownies to blondies – so no fail from this corner!!

    They look delicious and I love the idea of the peanut butter frosting – yummm!

  • Reply
    Nantucket Daffodil
    August 12, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Oh. My. Goodness. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    August 12, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Ahh if only all failures could turn out so good! This is definitely one to make again.

  • Reply
    Zethan
    August 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Saw this last night and Had to make them ^.^ SO worth baking at 11pm at night! Thank You for sharing with us! Side note Black hair isn’t always bad, I have mousy brown hair normaly but black looks good on me. I’m sure there is a color that will look good for you!

  • Reply
    Erica
    August 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Those brownies look amazing!!!I hate those days and that is one of the reasons……..I don’t love baking :)

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    August 12, 2012 at 2:58 am

    your brownies look fabulous – but sorry about TWO kitchen fails in one day. Ive been there and HATE those days but you salvaged it. My next post is going to be blondies AND in about 10 days I have another post – for PB blondies. No fail, super easy. If you’re in desperate need to make them NOW, email me and I’ll send you the recipe :)

  • Reply
    Amy
    August 12, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Haha! While I like to think I’m open-minded too about most things in general, I definitely am not adventurous enough to dye my hair at all a few weeks before my (theoretical) wedding! Loved how you ended this post, haha.

  • Reply
    Tabitha
    August 11, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I’ve never tasted a blondie, we don’t have them here, this looks delicious.
    My wedding was in December, hubs had called off our wedding in October ( big fat rotter ) and I had headed off to the Caribbean to heal my heart, in our pics, I am nut brown next to his peely wally white, I look like a different ethnicity in my wedding pics.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      August 11, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      Oh Tabs we have to talk. First of all, you have to taste a blondie, I’ll post a recipe for one soon just for you. Second, MY husband pulled a similar stunt. Now I know what to call him!

  • Reply
    Linda A. Thompson Ditch
    August 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Well, the brownies look wonderful, but I’m dying to know what went wrong with the origional recipe! Feel like sharing, so the rest of us don’t make the same mistakes? ;)

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      August 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      Ok Linda, I’ll tell you if you promise not to tell anyone ;) This is pretty bad, I warn you!
      I completely forgot to add the dry ingredients into the batter. I put it in the oven, and after about 5 minutes realized what I had done. Since I already had one failure that day, I was determined to salvage this one in any way possible, so I yanked it out of the oven, folded the flour into the batter right there in the hot pan, frantically smoothed it out again as best as I could, and shoved it back into the oven to continue cooking.
      I told you it was bad…:)

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      August 12, 2012 at 2:06 am

      no, that’s good, that’s very, very good!

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