The Neely husband-and-wife duo hit home again with their added Southern flair recipes. Their latest book, The Neelys’ Celebration Cookbook offers easy directions to prepare classic meals for guests. If you can’t decide which recipe to begin with the book is organized by season. There are special menus for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and Valentine’s Day along with all the other holidays.
Skipping ahead to the January section, the Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Bites easily caught my eye. Plain brownies are a classic, yet overdone. You’ll be the life of the party if you host or bring the killer combination of chocolate and peanut butter to the table.
Before beginning be sure to have all the ingredients on hand.
BROWNIE BATTER 3?4 cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter,? 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips – divided,? 1?2 cup all–purpose flour,? 1?2 teaspoon baking powder,? 1?4 teaspoon table salt, ?1?3 cup packed light brown sugar, ?1?2 cup granulated white sugar, ?2 large eggs,? 2 large egg yolks, ?1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
PEANUT BUTTER SWIRL (”GET YO SWIRL ON!”): 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature),? 1?4 cup confectioners’ sugar,? 3?4 cup smooth peanut butter,? 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, a pinch of table salt
Keep in mind this recipe makes 36 small brownie bites from an 8 x 8 pan.
Let the baking begin! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (Be sure the rack is in the center of the oven.) First, spray your 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray. Then line the pan with parchment paper or foil with an excess of 2 inch overhang on the sides.
Over the stovetop with medium heat melt the ¾ cup of butter in a pan. As the butter melts add in the first cup of chocolate chips (I made the mistake of adding in two cups of chips at once! This just puts your mixture at more of a risk of burning). Stir the mixture constantly keeping it on a low simmer. As it thickens remove the chocolate from the stovetop to allow it to cool.
Get a small bowl and whisk together 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Keep aside for later. By this time the chocolate should have cooled slightly. Directly stir in 1/3 cup of brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of white sugar. Add two eggs and two egg yolks (If you’re health-conscious you can save the extra egg whites for breakfast). Don’t forget 1 teaspoon of vanilla and add in the remaining cup of chocolate chips now to complete the brownie batter.
Now too make the peanut butter extra fluffy and creamy. . . . In a medium bowl use a beater for 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/4 confectioners’ sugar, 3/4 cups of smooth peanut butter, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. For that extra BAM add in a pinch of table salt.
Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared pan. Don’t dally for too long because your brownie mixture might harden. Then add dollops of the peanut butter mixture evenly on top of the brownie batter. To make pretty swirls use the end of a knife or toothpick.
The Neelys’ estimate the brownies need 40 minutes to bake. I ended up baking my brownies for 60 minutes. I suggest keeping an eye on the brownies every 10 minutes or so after 40 minutes. You can always check to see if it’s ready with a toothpick or a knife’s tip. When you do remove it from the oven, let the brownies cool for a while on a wire rack.
There you have it—brownie bites! Cut the peanut butter brownies into small squares and serve.
Leave it the Neelys to once again add a twist to a traditional recipe.