I got MY peanut butter in MY chocolate

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Hello there, I have been off the radar lately!  No excuses.  Moving on, today I would like to share a nummy recipe for Peanut Butter Brownies.

It was the hubby’s birthday recently and the ingredients he wanted me to work with were PB & chocolate.  Well that was last years secret items too!  I didn’t want to make another layered cake with peanut butter frosting.  
One of his favorite cookies as a child were Nutter Butters.  I wondered if I could incorporate them in a dessert.

I was also itching to use my new Pampered Chef square muffin tin.  I bought it forever ago and have not used it.  Shame on me.  I don’t know if they even sell it anymore.  

First I made some brownie batter using two Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mixes.  It’s really a wonder there are other brownie mixes out there with a name like that one.  I filled the squares a little less than halfway with batter, topped with a cookie and then put more batter on top.

Ignore all the Pam over spray 🙂
I took the rest and made a giant version with my 8×8 pan, which I promptly took a picture of.  Oh wait, no completely spaced that last part.
Here is where it got tricky.  How long do you bake them?  I set the oven to 325, if you use an 8×8 pan it is about 40-50 minutes.  I started at 20 minutes and then checked every 5.  I ended up baking them for  35 minutes but I think that was about 5 minutes too long because they do continue to bake while in the hot pan.
When they are cooled, mix up some ganache.  I have never made this before so I opted for the microwave version which turned out ok.  I think next time I will make the stove method.  It would be nice to see if cooking over the stove would allow it to be thicker without waiting so long to cool.  That aside, it tastes amazing!
Mix chocolate and heavy cream 1:1 ratio.  You need to use a scale for this.

Put in the microwave for a minute, whisk and repeat until completely integrated.  If it is too runny when you are done, wait for it to cool – it will thicken.
Then you top those bad boys with chocolate deliciousness….mmm

After this I didn’t feel like they were quite done.  So I whipped up some peanut butter frosting and piped it over the top.  Just peanut butter, butter, milk and powdered sugar.  How pretty are they?

Just for an added touch of I dunno what, I popped little mini Reese’s Peanut butter cups on the top.
The jury definitely liked these bad boys.  The Nutter Butter in the center was a great surprise when you bit in.  

Womens History Month

I have been dabbling in my family history for a few months.  It is a pretty fun and interesting hobby.  If you haven’t tried you should really give it a whirl.  There are loads of resources out there to help you.  
Recently, Olive Tree Genealogy had a challenge out for Women’s History Month.  Write a blog about your favorite female ancestor.  Oooo, I am in!
My favorite female ancestor would have to be my Grandma Fries.  First, look at how beautiful she was:

I wish I could see her dress more in this picture.  I was told and I think you can see in this picture, she was super stylish.  I mean the pearls and the super dreamy fabric here is enough to confirm that!!!
I grew up living right next door to my grandparents.  First, there is nothing better than that.  I could walk over to their house any time of day or night and I was always welcome.  Grandma was a cook by profession and let me tell you, she was really good.  She could make anything and it would be wonderful.  Her cooking ability seemed like magic to me because nothing was written down and she certainly didn’t own measuring cups.  I would love going over and smelling whatever she had going in the kitchen.  She cooked, baked, canned, you name it.  I think the most crazy memory I had was when she would make Crab Apple Jelly.  She would cook the apples and then put them in the cheese cloth to drip.  Imagine white cones of the fine fabric propped all over the kitchen and dining room with red goo dripping out of the bottom of them.  It was almost circus looking.
She was also a crafter.  Although I think most people of her generation were, but that made her no less special or inspiring to me.  Her and I would sew, make Christmas ornaments or whatever popped in our heads that day.  
I spent loads of time with her.  She was basically my daycare.  She would chat with me about anything and always had time to listen to my banter.  I also liked that she was protective of me.  If there were a threat, she would tell me to come over and sit real close to her.  The comfort and warmth of being near her was priceless.  
Like most grandmas she had pockets of advice that I thought was random….always keep a quarter with you in case you need to make a call….watch out for strangers, you’re a pretty girl and someone might grab you (yep, she would say that!), or simply ah just ignore it, that will pass.
She gave me some of her costume jewelry and hankies which I now love to think about … where did she wear such things?  I guess when she was a cook she would fold one of the delicate, embroidered hankies and fix it to her uniform with a lovely pin.  
She was a beautiful lady inside and out.  I loved spending time with her no matter what she was doing. It is good to have someone in your life you can simply just BE with and love it.  For me, that was her.
I love you Grandma, miss you.  XOXOXO