Banana Peanut Butter Brownies

August 27: National Banana Lovers Day

During quarantine, online searches for “banana bread recipes” have spiked (which is way better than the number of coronavirus cases spiking). It seems that homebound people did not want to be wasteful of their limited groceries, had more time to spend in their kitchens and wanted to eat comfort food during the uncertainties in life. Having “been there, baked that” banana bread several times, we wanted to make something else with our blackening bananas.

Since we had peanut butter and cocoa powder in our pantry already, banana peanut butter brownies recipe was an easy choice to bake up besides banana bread. So if there are overripe bananas, bake banana peanut butter brownies while homebound and on National Banana Lovers Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Tasty)

Ingredients

  • 2 overripe bananas
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar (we used a little less)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup peanut butter

Directions

In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas. Add the butter, sugar and vanilla. Cream everything together.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix until the batter is smooth. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil/waxed paper/parchment paper, leaving a little overhang on the sides to be able to pull up the brownies after baking. Mist with cooking spray or grease with butter. Pour batter and spread evenly over the prepared pan.

Scoop out the peanut butter in random places on top. Use a butter knife to swirl the peanut butter. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and wait about 5-10 minutes before lifting the foil/waxed paper/parchment paper side handles and transferring to a wire rack. Cut into squares when completely cool. Yield: 16 brownies (or 9 large brownies).

Notes

  • This is a versatile recipe. Add half a cup of walnuts, chocolate chips or peanut butter chips to the batter before baking.
  • This is an eggless recipe so the brownies bake up more cake-like than packed and dense. Eggs were a precious find at the grocery stores during quarantine—just like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, yeast and flour (in our area).
  • Search our blog for other banana recipes.

Hemp Chocolate Candy Bar Brownies

Hemp Chocolate Candy Bar Brownies

December 8: National Brownie Day

We have blogged several times about brownies before. But this one is baked with a special ingredient—a chocolate candy bar! And it’s not just any bar—it has hemp seeds! Hemp is related to but is not the same as marijuana, although they both come from one of the varieties of their common cannabis plant. When baked into brownies, a few people automatically assume there is “pot” in it, which is illegal in some states. Nevertheless, we reassured our skeptical friends that they would probably only get high on sugar and not on “weed”! For National Brownie Day, bake some brownies with a special ingredient—a chocolate candy bar with or without hemp.

Recipe

(Adapted from Dave Lieberman of the Food Network)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (1 stick butter) butter, melted, divided use
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 hemp chocolate candy bar, coarsely chopped

Directions

Prepare an 8×8-inch square baking pan that has been lined with foil with a little hanging over the edges (this will act as the “handles” to lift the cooled brownies from the pan). Grease the bottom and sides of the foil-lined pan with 2 tablespoons melted butter. With the remaining butter, combine it with the sugar in a mixing bowl.

Hemp Chocolate Candy Bar Brownies

Beat in the egg, water and vanilla. Next, add the salt, baking powder, cocoa powder and flour.

Hemp Chocolate Candy Bar Brownies

Fold in the chopped hemp chocolate candy bar pieces. Spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the center is set and the top is shiny and slightly wrinkled. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Use the foil “handles” to lift the brownie out of the pan. Cut into squares and serve. Yield: 16 brownie pieces.

Hemp Chocolate Candy Bar Brownies

Notes

  • Thanks to Lisa L. for giving us the special ingredient for this recipe—the hemp chocolate candy bar. The hemp seeds added a nice occasional crunch to the fudgy-cake like texture in this brownie.
  • Substitute the hemp chocolate candy bar for a cup of another candy bar (like Snickers fun size or mini chocolate-peanut candy bars).
  • Search our blog for other brownie recipes.

Raspberry Brownies

Raspberry Brownies

July: National Berry Month

Add some razzle dazzle to boring basic brownies with raspberry jam and chocolate ganache! These brownies are rich and fudgy and have become one of our favorite indulgences! We typically have them with a side of fresh raspberries to balance the sweetness with a tart taste. Raspberry brownies are a delicious decadent dessert to bake/eat/serve during National Berry Month.

Recipe

(Adapted from Kraft Foods)

For the brownies

  • 4 ounces/squares of unsweetened baking chocolated\ (we used Baker’s brand)
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour

Directions

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the butter. Stir until smooth. Let stand for five minutes to cool slightly. Mix in the sugar. Beat in the eggs. Add the vanilla.

Raspberry Brownies

Stir in the flour to make a smooth brownie batter. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving some overhang on the sides. Mist with cooking spray. Spread the brownie batter in the pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before topping it with raspberry jam and chocolate ganache.

Raspberry Brownies

For the topping

  • ¼ cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 6 ounces/squares semi-sweet baking chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

Stir the raspberry jam until smooth. Spread over the top of the cooled brownies. In a separate microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate with whipping cream. Melt in the microwave for two minutes. Stir until smooth and well blended.

Raspberry Brownies

Carefully spread over the raspberry jam mixture. Chill the brownies in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the ganache to set. Remove from the refrigerator and lift the brownies from the pan with the foil handles.  Slice into small squares (approximately 32 pieces).

Raspberry Brownies

Notes

  • Wipe the blade of the knife after slicing each time to make clean cuts through the frosted brownies.
  • Because this is a very rich dessert, smaller servings with fresh fruits/raspberries are recommended.
  • Search our blog for other recipes containing raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries.