Whole grains can and should be a big part of dessert — why not? They’re substantially healthier, and you don’t have to sacrifice flavor, creaminess or heft. Blogger Erin Dooner’s new book, The Sweet Side of Ancient Grains, is a testament to baking with barley, spelt, buckwheat and other whole grains. Check out these buckwheat peanut butter brownies and never go back to the boxed mix again.
This dessert is something of a cross between a brownie and a protein bar. These brownies are not gooey like the other ones featured in the book, but they are dense and chewy. The peanut butter layer is pretty substantial, and with a total of 1 3/4 cups of peanut butter in the topping and brownie portions, these are for peanut butter lovers only!
Peanut Butter Layer
- 1 1/4 cups salted natural peanut butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup salted natural peanut butter, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room tempoerature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
- 3/4 cup plus two tablespoons whole-grain buckwheat flour, or 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 325ºF and line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- To prepare the peanut butter layer: In a medium mixing bowl, using a large spoon or electric hand mixture, beat together the peanut butter, butter or coconut oil, and honey until well-combined. Set aside.
- To prepare the brownies: in a large mixing bowl, stir together the peanut butter, butter or coconut oil, sugar, and vanilla. Next, beat in the egg and egg yolk until just combined. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir this into the wet brownie mixture, just until no dry streaks remain. It may appear dry or crumbly at first, but just keep stirring until it comes together. At this point, the mixture will be quite thick, almost like cookie dough.
- Pat the brownie batter down into the baking pan and spread the peanut butter layer on top. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the corner comes out without any wet batter on it. The peanut butter topping will not brown.
- Cool completely in the pan and then cut into bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Note: These brownies can be delicate during travel! Freezing them before packing makes them firmer and therefore easier to transport.
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