It’s amazing to me, and crushing to Alex, that in the year that I have posted to this site I have not produced a single peanut butter recipe. How could this be? I love peanut butter. I have waxed poetic about the peanut butter cookies from Billy’s Bakery more than once. Reeses Peanut Butter Cups are the only widely-distributed candy I consider ‘worth it.’ I am weak in the knees in the face of it, to the point that I actually make an effort to not buy any. It’s just not safe around me. Armed with a spoon and the door to the fridge swung open, it gets ugly. There is safety in distance.
And yet. I have such a soft spot for the Letters section of Gourmet Magazine, and in this month’s a reader requests the peanut butter brownie recipe from one Butterwood Desserts in West Falls, New York. Trying to fight off the craving, I immediately picked it apart. First of all, most peanut butter cakes and such are lackluster; the flavor is always too subtle for me and I question why we need to add flour, butter and sugar to something so perfect unadorned on a spoon. Second, when it comes to frosting brownies, I am staunchly “anti.” A great brownie shouldn’t need an extra slick of chocolate on top to make it work, and too often these frostings are cloyingly sweet and used to hide a quite average brownie underneath. My brownie recipes require no such pimping out.