Alright bon bons let's get real.
Valentine's Day is in T minus 3 so no time to dither.
We're talking about boy bait. You know, man candy. If they don't love you they will and if they love you they will WORSHIP you.
Uhhhh perfectly rich brownies topped with salted peanut butter cream that's why.
But hold up - we don't discriminate. These brownies are equally as enticing to gals. Or kittens. Or dogs.
WAIT - no, NOT dogs. Dogs can't have chocolate. So just kittens. Or like, we don't know, a hamster. (Sidebar: Do people still have hamsters? Are we the only ones they kinda freak out? Bueller?)
Although, if we're laying all our cards on the table here, we know from personal experience that dogs actually can have chocolate and be just fine. So one time, Eleanor Rigby - the canine representative on the Blue-Eyed Bakers team and official blog mascot - ate a pound of foil wrapped milk chocolate Santas (yes, foil and all) and was just fine. Thank you Petco emergency vet.
Oh and then this other time, when she was vacationing in New York with Abby, she ate 3 king size Hershey bars (and a CD case, but that's not really relevant), and again, juuuuust fine. Thank you 15th Street animal hospital.
But hey, we're not pet experts (um, CLEARLY), so you know, maybe just stick to people. Chances are pretty high that there won't be any of these brownies left for the dog anyway. Warning - they lasted approximately 284 minutes at casa Blue-Eyed.
So if you're hoping to bait anyone this Valentine's day, we'd suggest making a second batch.
**AND!! For some even better news (we know we know, chocolate and peanut butter again, what more could you ask for??!) - we have a giveaway winner! Thank you all so very much for entering but come on down ATHENA R! Athena - please send your contact info and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get your fab pressie in the mail!
Brownies with Salted Peanut Butter Cream
Makes 1 8x8 square pan, about 16 brownies
Adapted from Epicurious
10 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cold eggs
1/2 cup flour
For Peanut Butter Cream:
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
Fleur de sel
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 F.
Line the bottom and sides of an 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper leaving an overhang on all sides, and set aside.
Mix the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
Once the mixture has cooled slightly, you want warm, not hot (about 5 minutes), stir in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating the first egg fully before adding the second egg. When the batter looks thick and shiny, stir in the flour and until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread batter evenly in the lined pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes Let cool completely on a rack.
While brownies are cooling, make peanut butter cream.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, blend the butter, peanut butter and vanilla until well combined, then slowly add in the powdered sugar until completely incorporated. Frost cooled brownies with peanut butter cream and sprinkle with fleur de sel.
Lift up the ends of the parchment and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares