Over the course of the summer, which I define as June 1 through about September, and sometimes October, it rained a total of two times. Two times and one short, barley wet the pavement, sprinkle.
And then today the skies opened up with a gulley washer. Full-on, all day rain. Rainy days, especially chilly rainy days, make me want to bake. However, with the state of my kitchen, my baking is hindered. I was also craving chocolate, but had very little in the house. After a thorough search, all I could find was some Hershey’s chocolate syrup.
Undeterred, my mind already made up to bake, I had to find a way to satisfy my cravings. Digging through the Hershey’s website, I found a good starting place: Peanut Butter Paisley Brownies. Basically, they are marbled blondies with peanut butter and chocolate syrup. A good plan was in place, but I was still not certain; the recipe called for peanut butter chips. What to do? A quick jaunt to the convenience store depletes some of the cache of rainy day cooking, but I scored with 2 bags of regular M&Ms and 2 bags of peanut butter M&Ms, completely making up for the loss of points for venturing out.
They were easy to mix up, but I really thought the blondie/peanutty/brownie dough was far too sweet. Delaying a final decision until they had been baked, I kept going, folding in the M&Ms. I really thought I would just use one bag of each, but ended up dumping them all in.
I prepared my pan by lining it with 2 perpendicular sheets of parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray. This way, I would be able to pull out the whole pan of brownies in one graceful lift. The brownies cut easily and evenly with a pizza cutter, once out of the pan.
The sweetness was mediated by the chocolate syrup, and they turned out almost perfect. I might use just a tad less sugar next time. The ratio of granulated to brown sugar also made the brownies seem to dry out quickly, so next time I would probably reduce the amount of granulated sugar and use the recommended amount of brown sugar.
Recipe: adapted from Hersheys.com
Double Peanut Butter Paisley Brownies
½ c butter, softened
¼ c creamy peanut butter
1 c granulated sugar
1 c packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 snack size bags of peanut butter M&Ms
2 snack size bags of regular M&Ms
½ c Hershey’s Syrup
Heat oven to 350°F. Line a 13×9 inch pan with two criss-crossed sheets of parchment paper, then spray those with cooking spray.
Beat butter and peanut butter in a large bowl. Add sugar and brown sugar; beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla.
Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; mix into peanut butter mixture, blending well. Stir in all the M&Ms. Spread half of batter into pan; spoon syrup over top. Top with remaining batter, and swirl with a knife for a marbled effect.
Bake 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack; then remove from the pan whole using the paper edges to hold onto. Cut into squares.