Gluten-free peanut butter brownies

Earlier this summer, I made an attempt at a dessert recipe that promised to delight: Peanut Butter and Fleur de Sel Brownies. Later this summer, specifically the evening of August 21, 2012, I made a second attempt (of sorts). Bottom line: this latest try was much more successful.

For this round, I used the same peanut butter icing, but a different brownie base (David Lebovitz’s Gluten-Free Brownies). The gluten-free recipe was great for at least two reasons: more people were able to enjoy the brownies and the double batch I made used 6 tablespoons of a box of cornstarch which was languishing in my pantry.

Maybe I forgot to take a photo. Maybe this box looked more pleasing than the brownie.

These brownies are dense and sweet, very sweet in fact. After a tiny bite my taste testers (hey, Sloane and Megan!) and I all reached for glasses of milk. The creamy peanut butter topping balances out the dense base a little, but if you plan on making these add to your shopping list a pint of milk or vanilla ice cream; it’s as essential as any of the other ingredients.

Ingredients (makes 2, 8-inch square pans):
Brownie –

  • 12 tablespoons (170g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces (550g) mix of bittersweet and semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1.5 cups (300g) sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons (60g) corn starch

Frosting (thick frosting for one pan; thin frosting for both) from Love and Olive Oil

  • 6 tablespoons (85g) softened butter
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (perhaps a little less)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Optional (barely)

  • Milk or ice cream, quantity up to you


Brownie base

  1. Line 2, 8-inch square pans with aluminum foil. Grease foil with butter. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Melt butter, chocolate, and salt together in a medium pan over low heat.
  3. Transfer to large mixing bowl; incorporate sugar; add eggs, one at a time.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the corn starch and cocoa. Add this to the sugar, egg, and chocolate mixture.
  5. Stir vigorously (until batter comes away from the sides of the bowl and appears less grainy).
  6. Divide mixture between two pans.
  7. Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes.
  8. Let brownies cool.

Frosting the brownie

  1. Cream the softened butter and peanut butter together.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
  3. Spread frosting over cooled brownies.
  4. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  5. Cut into squares and serve with a tall glass of milk or an ample scoop of vanilla.

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