Since September is prime time for state and county fairs, I thought I'd stick with the fair theme and share a blue ribbon brownie recipe. I won a blue ribbon at a fair in the mid 1990's with a batch of Peanut Butter Marbled Brownies. Thirteen years later, my son won a blue ribbon at a fair using the same recipe!
I think brownies are the most versatile cookie ever invented. There are cookbooks devoted solely to brownie recipes! Brownies can be fudgy, cake-like, frosted or plain. Brownies can also be doctored up by simply adding additional ingredients to the batter.
Chopped nuts are probably the most common addition to brownies. Candy -- chopped candy bars, crushed peppermints, M&M's, peppermint patties, caramels -- are also common additions. So are chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, mint chips and white chocolate chips. Food isn't the only way to add flavor. Powders, such as Espresso or instant coffee, can be added, as can liquids, such as flavored liqueurs.
The recipe I'm sharing today uses two other popular brownie additions: cream cheese and peanut butter.
Combine the brownie ingredients and remove 1 cup of batter.
Spread the remaining batter into a greased baking pan.
Combine the filling ingredients.
Spread the filling over the batter in the pan. An easy way to do this is with an offset spatula.
Drop the reserved batter by teaspoonfuls over the filling.
Use a knife to gently swirl the batter for a marbled effect.
Bake the brownies and let the pan cool on a wire rack.
When the brownies are completely cool, cut into the desired size. Whenever I bake bar cookies, I remove the crusty edges with a knife before cutting the cookies. I think this makes the cookies look nicer when they're cut.
Cut the brownies into the desired size. I use a square cookie cutter; I think it's easier and faster than cutting them with a knife. It also produces identical size cookies.
You'll need two other things to go with these brownies: glasses of milk and the recipe. Why the recipe? Everyone will ask for a copy!