(If you are new here, I am baking my way through a wonderful local baking cookbook. For more info and more recipes from this treasure, click “Holly B’s” on the sidebar to your right.)
My neighbor and friend Julie just visited Lopez Island for the first time with her husband. Before they left, we sat down for coffee so I could give her the down low on what to do. I gave her directions on how to find Watmough Beach, a spot so hidden that my parents were unable to locate it all the years that their children were campers on the island. (They were starting to wonder if the camp directors were putting funny things in our food.) I told her that it was absolutely imperative that they order for Chocolate Gateau for dessert at the Bay Cafe since it is the single most perfect chocolate dessert I have ever had. (And no, they won’t give me the recipe. I ask every time we are there.) But I didn’t have to tell her to visit Holly B’s. She reads my blog. My posts about the bakery were one of the primary reasons she wanted to visit the island.
I just heard from her in a brief email that they visited the bakery three times in 24 hours. That is impressive, even by my standards. She told me they had the cinnamon rolls, the almond butterhorns, the Mexican pizza, and I can’t wait to hear what else. I wonder if they got a peanut butter brownie.
Brownies, in this chocolate lover’s opinion, should be chocolate. Not only should they be chocolate but they should be all chocolate with no nuts. Then why am I crazy for this peanut butter brownie? I don’t know. That Holly B works magic. There is plenty of chocolate here and if you take yours out of the oven a little too early, as I did, you might think you are eating a gooey Reese’s peanut butter cup. As tempting as that might sound, I would encourage you to let them bake a little longer and allow them to get a little more cakey.
To buy Holly B’s cookbook, please visit this site.
Peanut Butter Brownies
With Love and Butter
Makes 12 huge squares or 24 small ones
You have your choice here of creamy or chunky peanut butter and I used chunky. When baking with peanut butter, you almost always want to use something like Jif or Skippy, not the all-natural kind.
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup peanut butter, at room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
2 tbsp. molasses
2 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375°F and move the rack to the middle position. Butter a 9×13-inch pan.
Whip the eggs and brown sugar together with an electric mixer. Add the peanut butter, melted butter, molasses, honey, vanilla, salt, and flour. Mix. Stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips by hand.
Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Strew the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips over the surface. Bake 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake 15 minutes more or until the brownies turn golden and the center is set (doesnt’ jiggle when you shake the pan firmly). Cool and cut into squares.