Best Cocoa Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting
Source: Epicurious | November 2003
Alice Medrich (adapted)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot to the touch. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until incorporated, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.
Spread peanut butter icing over the top of the brownies.
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. squares.
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/3 cups confectioner's sugar
In a mixing bowl, mix peanut butter, cream cheese,a and butter together until smooth. Mix in confections sugar, milk, and vanilla. Mix until smooth adding more milk if necessary.