Friday, May 27, 2011

Cocoa Brownies with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting

Cocoa Brownies with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting

10 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cold large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Prepare an 8-inch square pan by spraying with cooking spray.  Line bottom and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.  Spray the foil or parchment with cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 325.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a heat-proof bowl and place over a large pot of simmering water.  The bottom of the bowl should rest in the pot, but not touch the water.

Stir occasionally.  When the butter is just about melted, remove the bowl and let the residual heat continue to melt the butter.  Stir until smooth.  Carefully touch the cocoa mixture, it should feel warm, not hot. 

Once the cocoa mixture is warm you can stir in the eggs, one at a time.  Wait until each egg is completely incorporated before you add the next.  Stir in the vanilla.  Once the mixture looks cohesive and shiny stir in the flour.  Mix until flour has been completely incoporated.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes up with a few moist crumbs.  This will take about 20-25 minutes.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.  Once cool, frost with peanut butter frosting and sprinkle with flake salt (Maldon) or Fleur de Sel.

Peanut Butter Frosting

6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
pinch of kosher salt (I like a big pinch of salt)
1 teaspoon Maldon salt

Cream the butter and the peanut butter until combined.  Slowly stir in the powdered sugar until completely incorporated.  Spread over cooled brownies.  Sprinkle the Maldon salt over the top of the frosted brownies.

*I love Maldon salt.  You can find it at Williams Sonoma.

Adapted ever so slightly from Not Without Salt

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