Peanut Butter Lattice Brownies

Yesterday, my friends and I participated in a day of fasting. Although not all of us fasted from food, we decided to have a potluck dinner together at the end of the day to celebrate our efforts and share our experiences. Who doesn’t love a good potluck, right? We had a delicious dinner with casseroles, homemade poutine, pizza, sushi, veggies, and brownies. As I was considering what to contribute, I thought that sticking with a classic like brownies would be a good idea. But I decided to add in something equally delicious as chocolate–peanut butter.

These brownies were the perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter! To make them, I made my favourite brownie recipe, whipped up the peanut butter batter from a random cookbook, and combined them in a lattice pattern before baking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 x 2″ pan with tinfoil and grease it well with shortening. For the brownie batter, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until all are well combined. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and salt as well. Pour it into the greased pan. Note that the batter will be fairly thin in the pan. If you want thicker brownies, use a 9 x 9″ pan instead, but adjust baking times accordingly.

For the peanut butter batter, combine all four ingredients, mixing well. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with the desired tip or transfer to a plastic lunch baggie and snip one of the corners to the desired size. With the peanut butter mixture, draw a criss-cross pattern on top of the brownie batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in various areas comes out clean. Allow the pan to cool on a cooling rack for quite some time before using the excess tinfoil to remove the brownies from the pan. Transfer to a large cutting board and cut however you desire.

I decided to create a stripy pattern on one third of my pan. Before I put the pan in the oven, the peanut butter batter sat on top of the brownie mix. However, as they bake, the brownie batter will rise between the cracks and they bake quite nicely into each other. Feel free to experiment with the pattern of the peanut butter batter. I’m already eager to try a swirly pattern, or polka-dots, or even using a much thinner tip to write words. The possibilities are endless to create a very personalized treat for you and your friends (or even just you) to enjoy!

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French Toast Cupcakes

I finally got around to a little “enjoyment” baking. I’ve been so bogged down with school work that I’ve had very little time to spend in the kitchen. Luckily, I was granted three “Co-Curricular Days” so I took every opportunity I could to spend some time with my mixer.

I’ve been thinking about these cupcakes for a while, wondering how to go about them. I’ve always been a huge fan of maple syrup–I only eat pancakes, waffles, and french toast in order to indulge in some of the sweet stuff. I decided to make some French Toast Cupcakes so I could combine the delicious maple flavour with cinnamon. I made a fairly simple maple cupcake, added a crunchy streusel topping, and swirled each with delicious maple buttercream and a sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar. The result was delicious. I almost ate one (or two) for breakfast!

The complete recipe can be found by clicking here.