The Young Baker (see top of blog to read more) wanted to try her hand at these fabulous peanut butter squares from Nigella Lawson’s cookbook, ‘How to Be a Domestic Goddess.” Even thought she has been instructed to follow recipes verbatim, I am also a firm believer in not panicking if you don’t have all the ingredients or in the right quantities. From years of experience I have learned that there are a few rules that apply to cooking, and if you follow the rule you can pretty much create whatever you want, and make it your own, (how do you think professionals do it?).
Baking has a few more rules, but I still think you can made substitutions and changes within reason. If I have (as was the case last night) different chocolate than is called for, I will try to use what I have. As my daughter gathered her ingredients she told me that there was no bittersweet chocolate, only 60% dark, and not enough of it for the recipe. I told her to use what she had, and divide up the chocolate so she had generally the right overall amount, and see what happens. She was happy with that solution as she wanted to get on with the process, and, she learned that there are no hard and fast rules (in some cases) into the bargain.
She had a great time making these as all the ingredients were sticky and gooey, and, she got to stick her hands into part of the mix, which she declared was like “rubbly play dough!” I found myself doing what my childern do when I am making sweet stuff; hanging around hoping she would offer me a bit from the bowl or a lick of a spoon! When I tried to strong-arm a spoon she was very strict about me not having it, telling me to “wait until it was ready” Wow, I had created a “mini-me!”
Well, they were worth the wait. If you love peanut butter and chocolate, you will die for these bits of heaven. They simply melt in your mouth and the chocolate-y taste lingers for moments after wards. I also think you could throw some peanuts into the chocolate mix for extra crunch, and, we will be sure to try this next time.
You will Need: 1/4 cup soft brown sugar, (she used light brown), 1 1/3 cups confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar), 1 scant cup peanut butter, 1 stick softened unsalted butter,( 4 oz or 8 tbs), 7 oz milk chocolate, 4 0z bittersweet chocolate (she used about 6 oz milk chocolate and 6 oz 60% chocolate instead, because this is what we had; it seemed to make no difference and in my opinion is a better ratio of light and dark!), 1 tbs unsalted butter.
Equipment: Greased 9″ square baking pan, food processor or wooden spoon.
1 – Put chocolates and 1 tbs of the butter into pan and melt on lowest heat. Set aside.
2 – Put the sugars, peanut butter and softened butter into your food processor and whirl until nice and smooth.
3 – Transfer peanut butter mixture into greased pan and flatten evenly on the bottom with your hands.
4 – Pour the chocolate on top and spread evenly. Place in fridge for about an hour, or until chocolate has set.
Cut into squares, or, cut as you feel the urge for a sinful treat