Pin a Day: Peanut Butter Brownies

Friday night, I headed out to a birthday party for my dear friend, Sparkles, a former coworker of mine.  We were going to a karaoke bar, but I always think that a birthday treat is appropriate for a birthday party.  I didn't have a specific request from the birthday girl, but I knew I couldn't go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter.  I decided to finally try this recipe for Peanut Butter Brownies.   For most of my life, I've always felt that a box mix for brownies was sufficient, however, after trying this recipe, I know that I am now a brownies from scratch kind of girl.  I actually baked the brownies on Thursday evening to ensure that they would be plenty cool before I frosted them.  I doubled the brownie recipe because I wanted to make a 9x13 instead of a 9x9 because I wanted to make sure we had plenty of brownies.  I started by melting unsweetened chocolate and shortening together on low heat.  Next, I stirred the sugar and peanut butter into the chocolate mixture.  Next, I mixed in the eggs, one at a time.  Finally, I added in the vanilla.  In a separate bowl, I mixed my dry ingredients and slowly added them to the chocolate mixture.  I poured the mixture into the pan and cooked it at 350 for 20 minutes. I let my brownies cool over night to make sure they were plenty cool.  While I did double the brownie recipe, I did not double the frosting recipe, as I know that most frosting recipes make way more than is needed.  I knew I could always make more if necessary, but that was not the case.  For the frosting, I started by creaming the butter and peanut butter until it was fluffy.  Next, I added in the vanilla.  The next step was to add cocoa and salt.  Finally, I added the powdered sugar and milk.  I found the frosting to be the perfect consistency, so I did not have to add any extra milk.  I frosted by brownies and then topped them with miniature Reese's peanut butter cups.  I knew that it was a hot day and I'd have to travel about 20-25 minutes to get to karaoke, so I popped the brownies in the fridge until I was ready to go to make sure my frosting was fully set.  Right before I left, I cut the brownies and headed out.  Sparkles and the gang were excited to see that I brought treats and they were enjoyed by all.  There were even a few left for Mike to taste.  This was a delicious recipe.  I loved the addition of peanut butter to homemade brownies and the rich, fudgey frosting.  This recipe is a definite must for any chocolate peanut butter lover!