Whenever I’m feeling kind of meh, I have a few options. A nap isn’t usually possible (there are small children about), so I can either try to sneak episodes of whatever TLC show is new on Netflix without the li’l ones noticing, or I can make a pie. It’s hard to hide what my iPad is doing, so I think the pie wins this one.
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You’ve heard of cookie cake, but brownie cake? Yeah, it’s a thing.
And it’s even more a thing when it’s smothered in peanut butter caramel and sprinkled with sea salt. If you’re looking for me, I’m hiding in a closet with a giant wedge of this and a martini. Come find me sometime next week.
Oh, and did I mention there are peanut butter chips inside the brownie? This is one of those times when you run toward making this. No walking!
I’m sure you’ve all been following the news story about the gorilla and the kid at the zoo. The story is tragic and scary in so many ways, but that’s not what I’ve been thinking about for the past week.
To be honest, I’m completely shocked at the response to this event. Without seeing much (or any) footage or even knowing details, people quickly and vocally split into Team Kid or Team Gorilla. They’ve been tearing one another apart online, each side insisting on being right. Experts have been brought in too, just in case the fighting wasn’t loud enough.
Even if you know the details, even if you were there, can I make a request?
Be compassionate. Be kind. Have good manners. Stop assuming you know everything and that you are above reproach. Stop tearing other people apart.
No matter what political affiliation you have, this election season has been marked by the same vitriol and hate. Instead of arguing issues, people are employing the classic logical fallacy of ad hominem rhetoric to make personal insults and senseless jabs the order of the day. It’s as though a reality TV mentality has taken over our political consciousness and landscape, replacing real conversation and intellectual debate with spite and pettiness.
Well, I’ve had enough. I don’t want to read any more about the horrible things people say and do to one another. How can we expect our children to grow up and be good people if the adults around them have lost their minds?
I spend a lot of time practicing avoidance. Instead of letting stupidity get to me, I often pass up reading the newspaper. That probably makes me less informed, but considering how idiotic people can be, I’m cool being out of the loop. I’d rather stay in my bubble and eat dessert.
All I did here was take my happy brownie base, add peanut butter chips, and put it into a 9-inch springform pan. After baking it, I covered it in my super-easy peanut butter caramel, which is a hack. Just combine sweetened condensed milk with a cup of peanut butter over low heat and stir until smooth. Once it’s covered and set, sprinkle the whole thing with sea salt.
The result is a brownie cake you will not soon forget. I wish I could forget all the ickiness going on in our world right now, and that everyone could just behave. But since that won’t happen, I’ll hole up with this instead!
- Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the cocoa into the melted butter until it dissolves. Add the sugar and stir again. When the sugar is incorporated, mix in the vanilla and eggs. Add the salt and flour, mixing until just combined. Fold in the peanut butter chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until set. Cool completely.
- In a medium saucepan, stir the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter over low heat until combined and smooth.
- Release the brownie from the springform pan. Place it carefully onto a large plate.
- Pour the peanut butter mixture over the brownie base and spread it evenly using an offset spatula or knife. Some of the peanut butter caramel will spill down the sides and to the edge of the plate.
- Allow the topping to set. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.
- Cut into wedges and serve. Store covered.