We go together like...

My cousin dropped this recipe on me a few weeks back and I've made it 3 times since.  Friends, family, co-workers - everybody raved.  I begged her to send me a post so I could give it, and her, it's due.  Happy eating!


Being an adult can really suck sometimes.  Sure it's great that we get to own a home, have amazing kids, and make our own dentist appointments (yayyyyy), but being an adult also means we have to make like, real life adult decisions.  And we are definitely at the point in our lives where we see our dear friends make the decision to move home to be closer to family. 

I get it - Chris and I are SO lucky to have our families close and they are very involved in our lives (yayyyyy.  kidding guys!  love you!).  Our wonderful grandpa, Papoo, always used to tell us that family is everything and there's nothing like it.  Sure, growing up I was like, “Yeah, yeah whatever, I just want to go to WSU, get away from my parents, and party - errrr, I mean, study hard and get a good education!”  Fast-forward a few years and now that I have a family of my own, I totally get it.  Family really is everything.

So not too long ago, my dear friend Tawny broke the news that she was moving back to LA with her husband and two kiddos to be closer to family (and the beach, lets just be real here).  I can't even begin to tell you how sad I was to hear the news.  Tawny has been an amazing friend and an incredible source of support as we navigate this crazy parenting gig.  Our first kiddos were born within a few days of each other and, let me tell you, the 3am group texts, Gymboree play dates, and make-shift newborn Christmas party that first year are some of my sweetest memories.  Even better, when we went back to work, we were super lucky to get paired together on a team and became partners in crime: the dynamic-duo-hot-mess-new-mom show at our job.  Pumping/crying at work, doctors’ appointments, marketing meetings, business strategy presentations…we did it all.

One awesome tradition we also started was weeknight dinner play-dates, especially while Chris was travelling; no fuss, spur-of-the-moment, weekly dinner play dates.  PERFECT.  The kids were entertained, we all ate well (mostly thanks to Tawny's MIL, Nona, who lit-rally makes the best meatloaf in the world.), and we got to hang outside of the office.  

So, as we have done for the past few years, Tawny and the kiddos came to our house for dinner last week.  We kept the main course light - a nice big chop salad.  Now the only reason for keeping dinner light is so that - you guessed it - we could indulge in Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies for dessert.  Shocking right?!  Tawny has a sweet tooth just like I do, which really makes us destined to be friends forever.  

These brownies are insanely delicious, soft, and rich.  I made them the night before and they are super quick and easy, great for weeknight entertaining.  These babies are best served with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream, and of course, a dear friend.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

For Brownies

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 3/4 cups brown sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter - Skippy works great

2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp salt

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

For Ganache

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

Make brownies 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in middle. Butter a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan, then line bottom of pan with parchment paper and butter parchment.

Beat together butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, then add peanut butter and beat until incorporated. Beat in whole eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Reduce mixer sped to low, then mix in flour until just combined.

Mix in chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups) then spread batter in baking pan, smoothing top. (It will be thick, almost like cookie batter.)

Bake until brownies are deep golden, puffed on top and a wooden pick inserted in center come out with some crumbs adhering, 40 to 45 minutes.

Cool completely in pan on a rack, about 1 1/2 hours.

Make ganache

Put chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups) in a heatproof bowl.

Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan, then pour over chocolate chips and let mixture stand for one minute.

Gently whisk in butter until it is incorporated, chocolate is melted, and a smooth mixture forms.

Spread ganache on cooled brownies and let stand until set, about 15 minutes.  

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen