Sunday, February 10, 2013

Decadent Brownie Cookies with Peanut Butter Butter Cream

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and I thought I would create a special cookie in honor of this auspicious day.    There really was a saint named Valentine (maybe even two) who died on the 14th of February.  He was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for administering communion to imprisoned Christians while he himself was incarcerated.  It's said that he was infatuated with the daughter of his jailer and before he was executed he wrote a simple note to her that said, "from your Valentine" as a farewell--sound familiar!!

During the Middle Ages, in the time of Geoffrey Chaucer, courtly love flourished and Valentine's Day was recognized as a day to give gifts to someone special.  I will be making my grandparent's sugar cookie recipe to send to my loved ones, but today, I was thinking Chocolate!

Here are some more facts about Valentine's Day:
  • Casanova ate chocolate to make himself more virile.
  • Richard Cadbury produced the first chocolate for eating in the late 1800s.
  • Over 35 million heart-shaped boxes are sold.
  • $1 billion is spent on chocolate, just in the United States.
  • 73% men buy flowers; 27% women, and 15% women send themselves flowers!
  • Red roses was the favorite flower of the Roman Goddess, Venus--approx 110 million roses will be sold, mostly red.
  • California produces 60% of the roses sold in the United States.
  • The day is also celebrated in Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark and Italy.
  • Verona, Italy, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet on this day.
Decadent Brownie Cookies with Peanut Butter butter cream
2 1/2 T unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate bits

2 large eggs
2/3 cup superfine granulated sugar (if you can't find it in your grocery story, place sugar in a food processor and pulse several times to make a finer granule)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup bittersweet chips

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a double boiler (or a glass bowl over 1" water in a saucepan) melt the 1 1/2 cups of bittersweet chocolate bits and butter.  Set aside.
In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together for 15 minutes until pale and "ribbons" of batter occur from the whisk.
Sift the flour and baking powder.  Stir in the melted chocolate and butter, sifted dry ingredients, and the additional 1/2 cup of bittersweet chocolate bits.

Use a 1 or 2 tablespoon size scoop to drop cookies on the parchment paper, allowing about 2" of spacing between the cookies for spreading.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes (I baked mine for 9 minutes).  The tops should be shiny and cracked.

Peanut Butter butter cream
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-2 T heavy cream

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment or use a hand mixer, cream the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, unsalted butter, and vanilla extract together.  Scrape down the sides and add the heavy cream to make a fluffy butter cream.

Once cookies have cooled completely, frost the bottom of one cookie and top with another of like-size.

The Beatles sang, "All You Need is Love" and I agree.  These cookies are full of love and a great flavor combination.

I'm sending out love and warm hugs to all my friends and family who were in the path of the storm, Nemo.  Enjoy!
  

29 comments:

  1. Yummo! Just finished lunch and one of these would rock my world, my friend :) And, I swear, we do channel...I am in the middle of making chocolate heart cookies with raspberry cream centers. :) Cookies are baked, just need to make the filling. Hope you're having a wonderful Sunday...Enjoy VDay! Lv, me

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  2. I've noticed that we're on the wavelength a lot of times:-D I told you we are twins, separated at birth, lol!! Sun is out and I'm back to work on the next batch of flowers. I'll trade you a couple of chocolate/peanut butter for some chocolate/raspberry:-D Glad you're feeling better, Luv you, XOXO

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  3. Oh my goodness, I would polish off a few of those. :)

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  4. Chocolate and peanut butter--a match made in heaven! Yum-O!! Your posts always make me smile. Thank you. xoxo ♥
    Martha Ellen

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    1. I love chocolate (and lemon), but I lived on peanut butter growing up and having that combination in a cookie makes me smile too, XOXO

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  5. Oh my LORD, Susan. You make the most incredible things. Brownie cookies with peanut butter cream. Decadent and delish.

    I think you have the luckiest family on the planet. Susan

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    1. ...and I think I'm the luckiest to have a wonderful family and friends, XOXO

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  6. i like the fun facts susan, and i would like one of these yum brownie cookies!

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    Replies
    1. I wish we lived closer and I would be knocking on your door with a plateful! XOXO

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  7. Oh, these look gorgeous and sound delicious!!! Another morning of "wintry mix"--might be a good morning for baking!

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    Replies
    1. The weather is responsible for a lot of my baking too:-D Stay warm, XOXO

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  8. I love the darling bunny plate! It really enhances the presentation of that glorious cookie. Well done!

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    1. I just found that cute little bunny,holding up the plate with his feet, at Pottery Barn this weekend...I couldn't resist:-D

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  9. The cracking surface of these brownie cookies are so cool! We love anything with peanut butter. I should bake a batch for my husband this weekend.

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    Replies
    1. A great Valentine's Day cookie, for sure!

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  10. I just noticed my comments have not gone thru :( My new computer is driving me crazy!
    I learned more about Valentine's than I knew! Thanks for sharing.
    I am gaining weight just reading your blog :) Gotta look for the bunny plate at PB!
    Hugs,
    Donna

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    Replies
    1. I can't figure out how "spam" is getting through!! I'm constantly deleting weird advertisments:-((

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  11. I enjoyed all the fun facts about Valentine's day! I wish these cookies were going to be on my table!! They look so good!
    hugs,
    Linda

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    Replies
    1. Very easy to make:-D and on your beautiful tablescapes, they'd be perfect!

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  12. You're speaking my language! I looove pb and chocolate!

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    Replies
    1. I was thinking Nutella buttercream would be great too!

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  13. Yumalicious dear, but darn it, I am allergic to anything peanut (though I still remember my passion for it).

    Sending a big Valentine's Day hug to you and can smell your dreamy kitchen aromas,

    S

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    1. That would be the worse thing in the world since I live on peanut butter, but I just discovered a recipe for salty "roasted" white chocolate that can be spread on cookies; you could do that, right!
      Sending love to you too, my friend, XOXO

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  14. Those look really wonderful!!! And I love the bunny dish you served them in.

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  15. My maiden name is Valentine so I'm a big fan of the holiday :-). If there is a combination more perfect than chocolate and peanut butter, I have not met it yet! (Dark chocolate and raspberry is a very close second, though.) These look amazing! xoxox

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  16. You're cooking some goodies for this week! I need to decide what to make for my hubby. He loves sweets!

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  17. Okay, I just finished making this for Gordon for Valentine's Day (a day late! The hens aren't laying well and I only had one egg yesterday, so I had to wait for another egg today.

    But I think I, er, made them a little large. Each cookies is almost the size of my palm and I ended up with seven finished cookies, ha ha ha! I guess we can always cut them in half. Haven't eaten any yet but the PB butter cream is delish!

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  18. Love the info you give along with recipes and pics. DH would love these....

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