When I took my first trip to New York, indeed my first trip to the States last year, I discovered Reece’s peanut butter cups and peanut butter m&ms. Amazing! In the UK, the nuts most commonly found in our chocolate bars are hazelnuts and I thought that was pretty standard until I went to the States and realised that nearly all the nutty chocolate bars there used peanuts. What a revelation!
I took quite a few bags of each back home to London but alas, they soon disappeared. I searched for them in London but they’re not easy to come by and when you do, they’re expensive. So I was delighted when someone told me about the website American Soda. They stock reasonably priced American food, drinks & candy and deliver all around the UK without charging the earth!
The first thing I typed into the search box was ‘peanut butter’ and suddenly my eyes lit up. Up came lists of things I didn’t even know existed…but I wanted them. I needed them! Peanut butter Twix’s! Peanut butter chips!! So I started clicking and adding to my basket. A few days later a gorgeous package of peanut butter treats landed on my desk.
Alas, they have not lasted long. Even friends who don’t have a sweet tooth loved the peanut butter m&ms. I can’t figure out why they’re not sold in the UK.
I decided to put the big bag of Reece’s peanut butter chips to use at the weekend by adding them to a batch of chocolate brownies…
225g/8oz dark chocolate
150g/10tbsp unsalted butter
125g/1/2 cup + 1tbsp caster sugar
125g/1/2 cup + 1tbsp light muscovado/light brown sugar
125g/1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
Handful of toasted pecan nuts, chopped
Chocolate chips, whatever you prefer
Peanut butter chips
(Makes about 20 portions)
Grease and line a 23cm/9 inch square baking pan and preheat the oven to 170C / 325F / gas mark 3.
Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water) and stir until smooth and thoroughly combined. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
Add both the sugars and mix well.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in the vanilla extract. Sift the flour and salt and stir until well incorporated. Then add the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. In this case I used milk and dark chocolate chips.
Then I poured the mixture into the prepared baking tray
Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until it starts to crack on top. Be careful not to overcook otherwise the edges will become hard and crunchy.
I would always suggest under-baking brownies so that there is more goo in the middle, which is how I prefer them.
These were really good but were a bit more dense than I would have liked. Not quite gooey enough. So I decided to made another batch, this time using a slightly different recipe. See next recipe.