Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Back to the Bars

Well not literally the drinking establishments but bar cookies. As one of the basic types of cookies bars are fundamental. They lend themselves perfectly to layering and a resulting composite of tastes. Infinite combinations of favorite flavors can produce hundreds of different cookies. Mathematic in scale it would take an engineer to assess the number and layered shapes.

One of my favorite engineers is a software engineer my son in law Josh. Josh is another cookie lover. Josh is a master of fun and fantasy for his little crew of kids. He is expanding his woodworking skills and makes wooden toys and projects for the children's school. He takes time to listen to the children intently and converse with them. He is working on creating his home through cooking, canning, barbecuing and home projects. He and Jen are great partners in creating their home and family and he is a blessing in our family.

Josh happens to like peanut butter in cookies. I discovered this during one of my recent visits to Seattle. So of course I made a batch of peanut butter cookies for him. He liked them and they were a hit with his two young sons as well. Jen was telling me she was planning to make some cookies during my baking hiatus. Jen asked for some recipes and discussed cookie options. One of the options was a cookie for Josh based on peanut butter. I searched through the cookie files and found one for chocolate peanut butter layer brownies. They have a peanut butter base with a chocolate brownie top. Given Josh's love of fun and dry humor about all things of life these should tickle his palate and evoke some happy times with his family.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Brownies

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick softened unsalted butter
1 1/4 C sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C chunky peanut butter
3 oz. fine quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a 9 in square baking pan. Knock out the excess flour.
In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate stirring , until smooth and remove the top of the double boiler or bowl from heat. Cool chocolate to room temperature.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy and beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and vanilla.
Into a small bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and beat into the butter mixture just until well blended.
Divide the batter between two bowls. Whisk peanut butter into batter in 1 bowl. Whisk the melted chocolate into other bowl and add the chopped chocolate and stir to combine.
Spread peanut butter evenly into the pan. Drop chocolate batter by large spoonfuls onto the peanut butter base and spread carefully to form an even layer.

Bale brownies for 35 to 40 minutes in the middle of the oven. Cool brownies completely in the pan before cutting into 16 squares.

Hey Josh, enjoy with my love to you.

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