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  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies with Raspberries

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies with Raspberries

Posted on February 9, 2017
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Earlier this week, I touched on some pretty heavy topics. And while some of those topics might come up again in the future (they certainly aren’t issues that are going away anytime soon AND I think it important to maintain an open dialog), today we’re going to keep things light and cheery. Because above all else, this is a food blog. And I think it’s important to honor that.

So let’s turn all of our attentions to these beautiful Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies with Raspberries.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies with Raspberries | www.floatingkitchen.net

When I decided to make this recipe, I was all like “I got this. I’m just going to whip these babies up in no time. Easy peasy.” But boy, was I wrong.

The first batch of brownies I made was so terrible that I had to THROW AWAY THE ENTIRE PAN! Like, completely in-edible. I honestly don’t know what happened. I mean, how badly can a person mess up peanut butter and chocolate that it’s so gross it becomes trash? I don’t know. I made them at 6:00 am, so I’m wondering if in my sleepy haze I completely forgot a major ingredient or something. I never really figured it out.

The second batch was good (and edible), but not great. The texture was a bit odd and I overcooked them slightly (note: those are actually the ones in the photos, so yours will probably look a little less dry when baked). But by the third time, I nailed it. I brought them to the brewery and all my friends gobbled them right up. And I even received a marriage proposal as a result of these Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies with Raspberries. Are you impressed yet?

Spoiler alert: I’m still happily single.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies with Raspberries | www.floatingkitchen.net

So here are a couple things that I learned during this process. First, I got much better results when I used a big brand name peanut butter (like Skippy or Jiff). The brownies I made with my natural peanut butter didn’t have the smooth texture I was ultimately looking for. If the idea of those big brands really turns you off and you want to use your favorite natural/organic brand of peanut butter, go right ahead. But please be aware that you’ll likely have to add in a little more salt and sugar to make up for the fact that those natural/organic brands usually contain less to start with. The second thing I noticed is that the temperature of the two layers is related to how “pretty” your swirls will come out. The brownie batter should be warm already (since it gets started on the stovetop). But if your house/kitchen is cold, you might want to microwave the peanut butter layer for a few seconds to help loosen it up.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies with Raspberries | www.floatingkitchen.net

The raspberries were a last minute addition, because it’s almost Valentine’s Day and I wanted to throw in a little bit of pink flare. If you’re one of those individuals that isn’t down with fruit in your brownies, then just skip them. You might not get a marriage proposal, but I can guarantee they will still taste amazing.

Cheers,

Liz

Recipe adapted from my Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies with Raspberries

Yield: Makes about 16 brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies with Raspberries

Ingredients

  • For the Peanut Butter Layer
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • For the Brownie Layer
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 7 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • For Topping
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 X 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving a couples of inches overhanging around the sides. Lightly spray the parchment paper/foil with non-stick spray and set it aside.
  2. Make the peanut butter layer. Using your hand mixer, cream together the peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extra and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Make the brownie layer. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Turn the heat down to low and whisk in about half of the chopped chocolate. Once it’s melted, remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the sugar. Then whisk in the eggs, bourbon and vanilla extract. Whisk in the flour, cocoa powder and salt. The batter may appear grainy at first, but it will become smooth as you continue to whisk it. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate.
  4. Pour about 3/4 of the brownie batter into your prepared baking pan, spreading it evenly. Then spread all of the peanut butter batter evenly over top of the brownie batter. Dollop the remaining brownie batter on top of the peanut butter layer. Then drag the tip of a knife through the two batters to create a swirly pattern. Scatter the raspberries on top.
  5. Transfer the brownies to your pre-heated oven and bake for 40 minutes, rotating the pan once half way through baking. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
  6. Once the brownies have cooled, lift them out of the pan using the overhanging parchment paper/foil. Cut into squares.
  7. The brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/chocolate-peanut-butter-brownies-with-raspberries/
  • Armenian Bulgur, Parsley and Tomato Salad {Eetch or Mock Kheyma}

Armenian Bulgur, Parsley and Tomato Salad {Eetch or Mock Kheyma}

Posted on February 7, 2017

There is a lot of chaos happening in our world right now. And it’s left me feeling anxious, sad, overwhelmed and at times, small and insignificant.

Like, am I suppose to just sit here and talk cheerfully about a guacamole recipe, all while our elected officials are planning to build a wall at the Mexican border? That doesn’t feel right to me. It seems silly to be excited about food when there is so much hate and fear circulating around us.

But then I remember that sharing food, and the stories behind our food, is a big part of who we are. It defines us on every level: as individuals, as families and as a nation. To share food and food stories is to be human. So no matter what happens over the next few years, I’m going to continue to do that.

We are a nation of immigrants. And today, myself and some other food bloggers are celebrating that fact by sharing our #immigrantfoodstories. I hope you feel inspired and uplifted. And I hope you feel the urge to share your immigrant stories as well (both food and non-food related). Because I don’t think we can afford to be silent any longer.

Armenian Power | www.floatingkitchen.net

I’m half Armenian. All four of my Great Grandparents on my Mom’s side immigrated from Armenia in the early 1900’s to escape the Armenian Genocide. My family, like so many other Armenian families during those years, found safety and security here in America. In time, they became dedicated community members in their newly found country – raising families, erecting churches and managing small businesses. One of those businesses (now called Donabedian Bros.) is still in operation today, and is owned and run by my Mom and Uncle.

I grew up being mainly influenced by my Armenian side of the family (simply due to the proximity of where we lived). They were a hard working and proud group of people. But never too proud. The Armenian Genocide had inflicted a deep scar that still ached from time to time. A scar that was often kept covered and hidden away from prying eyes.

There was a lingering shame and a general quietness about them.

Except when it came to matters regarding food. Then there was no holding back! As a family of great cooks (and even greater appetites!), meal times and Holidays were always a celebration of our traditional foods. My Great Aunt Margaret proudly made the best toorshi (pickled vegetables). My Great Aunt Dorothy made the best lahmahjoon (flatbread with ground lamb) and roejeeg (grape juice and walnut candy). And my Mom always had the most sought after paklava in town!

Armenian Bulgur, Parsley and Tomato Salad | www.floatingkitchen.net

Today, I’ve recreated my Great Aunt Carrie’s recipe for Eetch (also sometimes called mock kheyma or meatless kheyma). It’s a bulgur based-dish that can be served either as a salad, or spread onto crackers/bread. It has a somewhat similar flavor profile to tabbouleh, so if that’s something you enjoy, then I would encourage you to try Eetch. It’s also a recipe that gets better with age. So it’s a great dish to make for a party or potluck, because you can prepare it up to a day in advance. {Oh and if you’re curious, those little round baked goods in the photos are something called simit, an Armenian bread/biscuit that I’m still trying to get just right.}

Armenian Bulgur, Parsley and Tomato Salad | www.floatingkitchen.net

I want to leave you with a few excerpts from an essay written by my Great Aunt Beatrice that details the experiences of her Mother Agnes (my Great Grandmother) in Armenia during the Genocide. It was a school assignment in which she had to write about someone she admired. It’s pretty powerful.

Be sure to check out the hashtag #immigrantfoodstories to see more inspiring stories and recipes.

Cheers,

Liz

Armenian Genocide Letter | www.floatingkitchen.net

“Sure enough, in the winter of 1985, while Agnes was still an infant, a massacre took place. The women and children of Harpoot fled into the nearby mountains, while the men and older boys tried to fight off the Turks and protect their homes. Mrs. Soorsoorian, carrying Agnes and pulling and coaxing the four other children, was having a difficult time of it. The path up the mountainside was narrow and steep. She was making no progress, as the children stumbled and fell on the rocks. The child in her arms was an extra burden. Despairing and in tears, she dropped little Agnes into a snow bank and helped the other children ascend. I suppose she thought that if one of the children had to die, it would have to be the youngest.”

“Soon the Turks gave the order that all the Armenians who were not fighting where to abandon their homes and leave the country. Agnes, now twenty years old, and her aged parents where among the thousands of unfortunates who were forced to leave their homes. It must have been a sad procession that marched away from it’s native soil. Thousands were massacred, and I don’t know whether my mother’s parents were among these, or whether, exhausted, they fell on the wayside, but I do know that they died during this time. I have never asked my mother about these facts, because I know she refuses to discuss this horrible phase of her life with anyone.”

“In two years she had money enough to purchase a steamship ticket, which she did without wasting anytime. A few weeks later, her boat docked at New York Harbor. Agnes’ brothers were there to greet here. In one way, it was a happy reunion, but on the other hand, it was pitiful to think that these three were the only living members left of their family. Agnes lived with her brothers for two years, after which she met my father George Kerkorian, whom she married. They came to Newburyport to live, and here their two daughters, my sister Louise and I, were born.”

Armenian Bulgur, Parsley and Tomato Salad

Serves 4-8

Armenian Bulgur, Parsley and Tomato Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgur (also called dried cracked wheat)
  • 3 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 6 scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Instructions

  1. Add the bulgur and tomato sauce to a large bowl and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if desired.
  3. Refrigerate until well chilled. You can serve this as a salad, or as a topping for bread and crackers.
  4. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/armenian-bulgur-parsley-and-tomato-salad/

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