Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
10 August 2008

I made something that wasn’t pie! I actually made two types of brownies–white chocolate blondies and these chocolate peanut butter brownies. Both were yummy! I more or less follow this recipe for the white chocolate ones. The following is what I did for the chocolate ones. I didn’t have any cocoa, so I had to sort of make it up as I went.

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp butter (1.5 sticks)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar (this a result of having no white sugar, but it worked)
2 eggs
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp butter

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Melt butter and chocolate chips together in a small saucepan or the microwave (I used a microwave in 30 second bursts, then stirring thoroughly after each time.) Stir in brown sugar. Add peanut butter and stir until smooth. Mix in eggs. Add flour mixture and stir only until just blended (don’t overmix).

Pour into a 13×9 greased pan OR a 9in pie plate (this is what I did–as you may be able to infer, I wasn’t in my own kitchen and was limited on supplies).

Microwave 2 tbsp peanut butter and 1 tbsp of butter and stir until smooth. Drizzle over top of the batter. There will probably be enough left over to pour over baked brownies as well.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, check done-ness of the center, and add more time if needed. (Bake until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.)

We underbaked these on accident (took them out before the knife came out clean!) but they were still tasty! They firmed up the next day too.

Berries in chocolate lined crust
13 June 2008

Two days ago was my mum’s birthday. I meant to make the pie that day, but got distracted by having a new laptop (this post is brought to you by Aayla, laptop extraordinaire! Okay, maybe not extraordinary, but certainly exciting.)

I had to buy new berries today, the ones from two days ago were already completely bad (and incredibly fuzzy and hairy! YUCK!).

Yuck!

I bought fresh blackberries and raspberries, and found these exciting golden raspberries. They taste like raspberries, maybe a little less tart, but they’re golden yellow. They were more expensive, but I bought a package just for fun.

Golden raspberries!

This is sort of a hit/miss pie as far as your tasters go. My mum chose this pie for her birthday because it is her favourite pie I have ever made (I believe it was the first or second pie I ever made too). A few months ago I asked my brother and his girlfriend about their favourite pies, and in addition to telling me their favourites, they told me they thought this one was disgusting.

Personally I think it’s pretty tasty. Maybe not my favourite, but definitely good.

I did some experimenting with thickeners and also with the crust on this one…

Filling:
4 cups blackberries + raspberries (you can split 2 cups each, or use a little more of whichever you like more)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup tapioca (this is new for me–a bit of an experiment since I’m not too crazy about how cornstarch has been treating me lately)

Crust lining:
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate (this was a bar and a half of the baking bar I bought)
3 tbsp half & half

Crust:
Double crust – plain flaky crust – split into two discs, one a little larger
(I added a very tiny bit of almond extract to this crust–less than 1/4 tsp, just to be experimental)

Roll out the larger disc, invert into the pie pan. Gently lift the edges and tuck the pastry into the pie pan. Put pie plate with crust in freezer to help firm it up while you do your next step.

Chocolate:

Chocolate and cream...

Break chocolate up into squares and put in a small saucepan. Add half & half. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is smoothly melted.

Take out pie crust and pour chocolate into crust. Smooth into a thin layer in bottom and along sides. Return to freezer.

Chocolate-lined crust

Filling:
Rinse blackberries and raspberries and put into a large bowl. Mash up berries (I use a potato masher). There can be some chunks, but get a good bit of smashing in.

Smashing is  the best part

Add sugar and tapioca and mix up well.

Set aside and roll out the second disc of crust. Cut into 1/2 inch strips.

Retreive crust from freezer. Pour in berry mixture. Cross dough strips across the top to make a lattice crust.

Before baking

Bake at 400*F (I did this one actually at 405–I meant to do 425, but got impatient waiting for the oven to heat) for 45-50 minutes. The filling should be nice and thick! Be warned, this pie overflows, so make sure to put a baking sheet or foil underneath.

Voila!

Let cool to room temperature and enjoy!

This pie turned out pretty well! It was served well before it was cooled enough (as is custom in my incredibly impatient family), and so was rather sloppy, but it seemed to taste fine. Though it was hard to tell with the hot pie semi-runny, I think the tapioca worked well as a thickener (better than the cornstarch on my last few pies!) and I would definitely use it again.