Brownies with Salted Peanut Butter Cream

Makes 1 8x8 square pan, about 16 brownies
Adapted from Epicurious

For brownies:
10 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cold eggs
1/2 cup flour

For Peanut Butter Cream:
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
Fleur de sel

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 F.

Line the bottom and sides of an 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper leaving an overhang on all sides, and set aside.

Mix the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.  Allow to cool slightly.

Once the mixture has cooled slightly, you want warm, not hot (about 5 minutes), stir in the vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating the first egg fully before adding the second egg.  When the batter looks thick and shiny, stir in the flour and until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula.  Spread batter evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes  Let cool completely on a rack.

While brownies are cooling, make peanut butter cream.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, blend the butter, peanut butter and vanilla until well combined, then slowly add in the powdered sugar until completely incorporated.  Frost cooled brownies with peanut butter cream and sprinkle with fleur de sel.

Lift up the ends of the parchment and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.

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