Wednesday, March 12, 2008

For chocolate and peanut butter fans...

As I mentioned yesterday, the item I was preparing for the weekly Wednesday Treat Day was not quite ready to be posted. Once I finally got them finished up after dinner, Jeff and I eagerly took a bite and quickly fell in love with these decadent Bittersweet Brownie Peanut Butter Bonbons.

With classic ingredients such as butter, bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour, the batter is simple to prepare and is made in a single saucepan! Be sure to keep the heat on low or medium-low when you begin melting some of the ingredients together - this will help ensure the mixture is not too warm when the eggs are added.

The main reason it took be awhile to complete these yesterday is the fact that they are baked in miniature muffin tins and the recipe makes enough to fill 48 individual cups. Luckily I have a large tin that holds 24 at a time, so I only had to bake two batches - however, since there is no leavening in the brownie batter, you can hold it in the refrigerator as you bake, cool and clean the pan in between batches. If you only have one 12 cup tin, plan on a couples hours to complete this process.

When the little brownie bites have baked and slightly cooled, we plunged the round end of a wooden spoon into the center of each one. Make sure you do this while they are still warm and in the pan - this way the brownies will hold their integrity and won't fall apart. After they have completely cooled, the centers are then filled with a nutty combination crunchy peanut butter, confectioners' sugar, soft cream cheese, a splash of milk and a dash of vanilla. For a little flare, the tops are drizzled with additional melted bittersweet chocolate.

These are everything we love in a brownie - dense and fudgy while still having a chewy quality to them. The peanut butter centers sent these into a whole new level and was such a fantastic addition - chocolate and peanut butter lovers will be pleased! When I removed the cover this morning to pack them up for the trip into work, I was taken aback by the intoxicating chocolate aroma that smacked me in the face - let's just say I didn't have a healthy breakfast this morning!

While I'm sure I could of just had a plate of those brownies for dinner and be quite content, I knew that was probably not the best idea and I already had the ingredients on hand to make these Sweet Potato Ravioli with Lemon-Sage Brown Butter tonight.

So the filling for these ravioli wouldn't be too wet, the sweet potatoes are roasted until tender, rather than boiling them. We wanted the filling to be creamy and smooth, so we peeled the potatoes and mashed the sweet orange flesh. The potato is then mixed with sharp Parmesan cheese and lightly seasoned with fragrant cinnamon and fresh grated nutmeg. It always seems like it takes me forever to fill wontons by myself, so I pulled Jeff away from his new toy (that Wii is quite addicting!) and got his hands dirty. When they were finally assembled, the stuffed triangles quickly cook in a large pot of boiling salted water - if you have issues with them sticking together after you take them out, try giving them a light spritz with olive oil and that should help.

Browned butter seems to be a natural match for ravioil and these are no different. To add couple bright notes to the buttery sauce, chopped fresh sage is added to infuse into the butter as it browns. Once the color hits a golden browned appearance, the sauce is removed from the heat and is refreshed with fresh lemon juice. While we both cleaned our plates, the filling almost seemed a bit heavy for the light wonton wrappers and might be more appropriate with pasta dough instead - it was still quite delicious though!


  1. You know that I'm a peanut butter - chocolate lover. I'll have to try these. What a great treat for this week.

  2. I loved that ravioli when we made it, but I agree that the filling is kind of odd in the wonton wrappers. But since I don't know how to make pasta yet, the wonton wrappers will have to do. We especially loved the sauce.

    Side note: Wiis really are the most addicting thing ever. Even my parents have one.

  3. oh my gosh, those peanut butter chocolate brownie cups look AMAZING. we are practically addicted to anything with chocolate and peanut butter around here so I'm definitely putting that recipe in my need to make file!

  4. Your timing is impeccable! I've been reading "HEAT" -- about the New Yorker editor who spent time cooking for Maria Batali and in Italy, and I've been reading page after page about homemade pumpkin ravioli in sage butter, and it makes me salivate. Now, I come online and here is a picture for me. Wonderful!

  5. holy crap, those PB&C cups look outstanding. OUTSTANDING. the ravioli look good too - i made a stuffed gnocchi with brown butter last week that was fricking awesome - but those cups are KILLING ME with goodness!

  6. Helene - Let me know what you think!

    Lauren - Yes, the sauce was killer! Do you have any games to recommend for the Wii?

    Angela - I hope you try them!

    Kate - Thanks for vising the site!

    Michelle - Those gnocchi sound delicious! And yes, those brownies were out of this world!

  7. Oh, those little brownie bites look absolutely addicting!!

    I haven't made a sweet potato ravioli yet- just butternut squash, but yours sounds and looks amazing.

  8. Those ravioli are stunning! I've been in the mood to make some pasta...maybe this will be the recipe I'll use as far as the filling goes.

  9. Joe, You are amazing.
    I have long been a lurker, and despite all the food blogs out there, yours is the best in my book, and a big part of that is your consistency. Thanks for cooking and baking so regularly and taking the time to share it with the world. I'm sure there are many out there like me that rely on you for a daily read. And you've brought so many great recipes to my attention (I thought I've tried every pb and chocolate recipe, but this is a new one, and looks delish)!
    Thanks again for doing what you do.

  10. Lori - I think the filling would fit better in a regular pasta ravioli, but these were still tasty!

    Erika - I hope you give it a try!

    Lisa - Wow! Thank you for the nice comments!