A while back, I mentioned about making Bobby Flay’s Throwdown Peanut Butter Caramel Swirls Brownies. Whew! I got winded from just typing the name of the brownies! 🙂 You know, as you get older, your body slowly betrays you. Yes, yes, your own body… It’s harder to breath, it’s harder to remember, and it is harder to be sound asleep too. I used to sleep through loud thunderstorms, and I would sleep like a log, but not anymore. I am one of those victims of amnesia and insomnia and some other maladies ended with “ia”s. And then, when you walk, your joints start making popping sounds like you are a popcorn street vendor… Such is life. Sorry, I have this habit of getting off the tangent… or is that getting off on the tangent?
Anyway! I did make it, and I have to confess that I ate three of them! Yes, they were that good. It was like eating Lay’s potato chips, you cannot just have one. Thank goodness for stretch pants! Ha! The thing was, that was so unlike me. I usually just bake, taste, and give them away. I don’t eat most of the stuff I make. All right, I’ll shut up and talk about the brownies. After all, that is why you come here. To see the pictures and to be mesmerized by the food. At least, that’s what I do when I see people’s food blogs. I drool…. Big time….
Oh, and before I start talking about the brownies – I have to warn you. If you download the recipe from foodnetwork.com, it is not quite the same as Bobby’s. There was a discrepancy in baking time, which resulted in a lot of reviews which mentioned that the baking time stated in the recipe was way off. So now I know that if I want to get Bobby’s recipe, I should get it directly from his site, rather than Foodnetwork.
The first thing I did was making the caramel, which I had to repeat because I burned the first batch. Ha… The last time I made caramel was when I was 12 years old or so. So it is permissible to burn homemade caramel after more than a quarter of century time gap. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. 🙂
What I needed for the caramel was sugar, water, light corn syrup, salt, vanilla, heavy cream and peanut butter. I didn’t have regular corn syrup, so I just used the light corn syrup from my pantry. I keep that jug of light corn syrup around because I like to take a gulp of the syrup every now and then… ha ha… just kidding. I keep that around for pecan pies… 🙂 Pecan pies require lots of syrup.
I heated the cream in a small pot on a low heat. And in a small sauce pan, I put in the water and dumped in the sugar.
I let it came to a boil and watched it like a hawk.
It took a little while for the syrup to change color, and it took about 3 minutes to make the syrup to start changing color from clear to a tinge of brownish color.
And then within another minute, it turned to dark brown, caramel color real quick. It was at this point where caramel will be easily burnt.
Then when I thought it was reaching the point of no return, I poured the cream over slowly.
Whisked it and cooked it for a minute like the recipe said, and it was kinda scary since the mixture was just boiling like crazy.
Then I removed the pan from the heat, dropped in the peanut butter on top…
Added the light corn syrup…
And mixed it around.
Until I got this smooth peanut butter caramel mixture.
I transferred it to a bowl, and stuck it inside the refrigerator to cool off.
After that, I could breath and moved on to the brownie making. Bobby’s brownies required sugar, light muscovado sugar, flour, salt, butter, egg, espresso powder, and various chocolates: unsweetened, dark, and semi-sweet.
I lined up my baking pan with parchment paper, thanks to Nigella Lawson and the paper clippies…
Rough chopped the unsweetened chocolate.
Dumped the chopped chocolate and butter into a medium size mixing bowl…
The dark chocolate chips…
Espresso powder… I think the purpose of the espresso powder was to intensify the chocolate flavor.
Put the bowl on top of a pan simmering with water, and let the chocolate and butter melt.
Until I got a smooth, chocolate lake in a bowl.
In another bowl, I broke all of the eggs.
Dumped in the sugar…
And the light muscovado sugar…
Whisked them all together…
Until I got a smooth, light brown, egg mixture.
Then I dumped the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
Mixed it until they were all combined…
And then dumped in the flour.
Mixed the flour into the batter…
And in the semi-sweet chocolate chips bowl, I added a little bit of flour and made sure the chips were coated with flour. This was so the chips won’t sink in to the bottom of the brownie.
Dumped the chips into the batter…
Stirred it around, and dumped half of the batter into the baking pan. I spread the batter around the pan to make sure that the edges were covered with batter as well.
And then I grabbed a teaspoon and the peanut butter caramel mixture from the fridge, scooped a teaspoon of it…
Dropped it onto the batter.
I repeated the step until I got 12 dollops of peanut butter-caramel on the pan.
Then I dumped the rest of the batter on top of the peanut butter-caramel dollops.
Then I grabbed a butter knife and cut into the batter, swirled it around the batter.
Then I scraped the peanut butter-caramel bowl and dropped whatever I had left on top of the batter…
And swirled my butter knife again to make pretty swirls.
I baked them at 325 for about 40 minutes… And when it was done, it was just purty to look at.
Once it cooled completely, I cut the brownies using a plastic knife (that is the key to cutting brownies without crumbling the edges).
Grabbed one, and munched on it.
The brownie was creamy and as a matter of fact, delicious. That’s how I ended up eating three of them! The combination of the peanut butter and caramel was just ungodly. It was uumm uumm good!
Print recipe here.
Throwdown Peanut Butter Caramel Swirled Brownies
Recipe by: Bobby Flay
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
½ cup smooth peanut butter-USE smooth SKIPPY
1 tablespoon corn syrup
Pinch of sea salt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
6 ounces high-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon espresso powder
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown muscavado sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or cut into shards
1. Bring the cream to a simmer over low heat in a small saucepan. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over high heat and cook, without stirring until deep amber brown. Slowly whisk in the warm cream until smooth and let cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in the peanut butter, corn syrup, sea salt and 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let cool until thickened at room temperature, about 1 hour, or place in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.
2. Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on the narrow ends. Spray the foil and pan with nonstick spray.
2. Combine the butter, unsweetened chocolate and 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate and espresso powder in a medium, bowl set over a pot of simmering water and melt over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, both sugars, 2 teaspoons of vanilla and salt until smooth. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the flour in two additions (the batter will be thick). Stir in the remaining 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate.
4. Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Using a tablespoon drop dollops of half of the peanut butter caramel every 2 inches over the top of the batter. Carefully add the remaining batter and smooth over the caramel. Smooth the top and dollop the remaining caramel over the top. Take a butter knife and swirl the caramel into the batter, giving it a marbled look. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the top is set but still soft and the edges are puffed and just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out still gooey (be brave!–underbaking the brownies is one of the secrets to their fudgy texture). Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours.
5. For the neatest cuts, refrigerate the pan for about 20 minutes before cutting the brownies. Using the foil, lift the brownie slab out of the pan. Carefully peel off the foil and put the brownie on a large cutting board. With a large sharp knife, cut the brownies into squares. (The brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can also be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 2 weeks.)