Now that we have almost recovered from the
trauma disappointment of a Super Bowl loss by the Niners, we can reflect on the positives from last Sunday. And there were plenty of positives: friends, family, cocktails and some very good food. Our friends all brought good cheer and some very tasty snacks and drinks (thanks guys!). The Kentucky Royale was the featured cocktail (along with some Scofflaws and cold beer) and we even got some exploding / fermenting probiotic hot sauce that splattered on the ceiling when we opened it (somewhat aptly named “Sunny Bang”, website here). Happily no one was hurt, and good times were had by all (even me, after I finished wiping down the ceiling…seriously).
One of the highlights of the day came at dessert. We will post a few of the things we served, but will start with these Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies. Oh boy are these good. And they taste just like you would expect, with deep chocolate, peanut butter and some extra zip from salt. What’s not to like? But then you also get some texture and crunch from the pretzels and pieces of peanuts, and that’s what takes these brownies over the top. And they even taste good with a beer.
Carolyn made these brownies from a King Arthur Flour recipe. And as you may know, we are big fans of King Arthur Flour recipes. Why? Because they almost always work and they give recipes by volume and weight- a good thing for the home baker. We did adapt the recipe somewhat for our tastes by using bittersweet chocolate chips and double-dutch dark cocoa (mix of dutch process cocoa and dark cocoa) to amp the chocolate flavor and darken the color. But we are sure the recipe will still be just fine with regular chocolate chips and cocoa powder.
As far as making the brownies is concerned, there is just a bit of extra work (not much) but it is pretty cool, even fun. The brownie batter follows a basic recipe and making the peanut butter topping is just mixing the peanut butter, melted butter, sugar, pretzel pieces and vanilla. While it takes a few minutes to make the topping, your reward (other than a decadent brownie) is the fun of swirling the topping into the brownie batter. Call us food geeks if you must, but it’s hard not to smile when you mix peanut butter and chocolate. It just seems “right”. Looks cool too.
To finish up the brownies you just add some more chopped peanuts, pretzel pieces and peanut butter chips to the top of the brownies, then bake, cool slice and serve. And the whole thing takes about an hour. And considering the reaction of our guests (and ourselves), making these brownies is an hour well-spent. Not only did we love these brownies, we all went for seconds as a consolation when the Niners
were jacked by the refs came up short. 😉