Posted by: Maggie
Merry Christmas Eve! I know everyone is basically done with their holiday baking at this point, but I couldn't resist squeezing in one more recipe.
I recently discovered an awesome store called Spice and Tea, which is barely a mile from where I live in Virginia. It's a tiny store with walls of spices, teas, and fancy salts, and I literally could've spent hours in there just staring. I'm still in shock that I've lived so close to it for years and had no idea it existed. I tweeted a picture from when I was there a couple weeks ago if you want to take a peek at the insane wall of spices.
Anyway, I bought a little bag of fleur de sel when I was there. I've been drooling over this recipe that Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil made last month, and decided that they'd be the first thing I baked with my fancy new salt. If you make these for someone who loves the sweet and salty combo, or the peanut butter and chocolate combo, they'll pretty much worship the ground you walk on.
I hope all of you who celebrate have a very Merry Christmas tomorrow!
Here's what you'll need:
For the brownies:
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
For the frosting:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon Fleur de Sel (or another flaky sea salt)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Butter an 8 inch square pan, and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Butter the parchment paper.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Microwave in 30 second increments on 50 percent power until the butter is just melted. Stir mixture until smooth.
Add the eggs to the cocoa mixture one at a time, stirring well after each to fully incorporate. Stir in vanilla extract. Lastly, mix in the flour, and stir about 40 times, or until just incorporated. Do not overmix! Spread the batter evenly into the pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool on a rack.
To make the frosting, cream the butter and peanut butter. Slowly add the powdered sugar, and beat until combined. Spread the frosting on the cooled brownies, and sprinkle with sea salt. Cut into 16 squares.
In an effort to cut these neatly, I froze them until the frosting had slightly firmed up. I wiped off the knife in between cuts, and dipped it in hot water, and shook off the excess before making each slice.
I put half of these in the fridge, and left half at room temperature. I strongly preferred the cold ones!
Source: adapted from Love and Olive Oil, originally from Not Without Salt