Peanut Butter Brownies With Chocolate Ganache

How do I prepare for an impending hurricane? Stock up on baked goods, of course. With Irene on the way, I decided to perform my best and only magic trick: conjure up a decadent, rich treat from the ingredients already stowed away in the pantry. These are the brownie equivalent of a Reeses Cup, although they aren’t actually very brownie-like. The peanut butter base is thick–almost like a slightly cakey fudge. The chocolate topping hardens for a dessert that looks as good as it tastes: all that dark chocolate set cleanly against golden brown. They’re pretty gourmet as far as bar cookies go. They’ll put your standard box brownies to shame, and they won’t require a special trip to the grocery store or hours of your time.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet.

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs plus 1 yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour

Chocolate Ganache
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup half and half
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13x2 baking pan with parchment paper and butter. Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in peanut butter. Beat in the eggs, yolk, and vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour until just combined. Spread the batter in the pan evenly (it will be very thick) and bake for 40 minutes or until golden and puffy and a toothpick comes out with crumbs. Let cool completely.
2. Put the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a boil and then pour over the chocolate. Wait 1 minute, and then add the butter, stirring carefully until the mixture is smooth. Spread the chocolate over the cooled brownies. It will take about 20 minutes to set. I put mine in the fridge to speed up the process.