You finish dinner one night and you begin to crave something sweet. A dessert of some sort. Sure, you’ve just finished a nice supper. One that would make even Julia Child proud. But you need something small and chocolatey to finish it off right. As you search your pantry you look around and see nothing that piques your interest. No goodies hiding away. Nothing that is ready. No treats calling out your name. No cookies, cakes, or pie. How do you even continue? Where do you go from here? You grab a few ingredients here and there. All the usual suspects are gathered around in the matter of minutes; flour, sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Some not so usual guests are also invited to the party. Peanut butter and bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate are thrown into the mix. In staring at all your ingredients, intently and without blinking, the idea comes to you like a speeding bullet. Why hadn’t you thought of making this before? It’s so easy.
There’s a popular saying out there that instructs us to make brownies when life hands us chocolate. Did I get that right? I’m sure I’ve read that countless of times on mugs, t-shirts and aprons. Someone once told me something around those lines however-If I recall correctly-it was something about lemons and lemonade. I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention or listening. I dozed off, but I know I must’ve heard them wrong. I’m sure they meant chocolate. When I don’t like or agree with something that someone has said to me, I find it rather therapeutic to replace it with chocolate. Try it, it works every time. But that’s beside the point. I digress. The truth of the matter is when life does hand you chocolate, there is only one option-well maybe a few in the form of cakes and cookies-but for the sake of this post, let’s just say there is only one option. That option is to make brownies. Everyone likes brownies. They make people happy. Have you ever given anyone a box of brownies and seen them react so incredibly insane over them? Has your little box of chocolate treats ever affected someone so much, they had to stop everything and do a happy dance and sing? No? Well, I have. It’s a weekly occurrence with me. “Thank you for my delicious brownies. They made my day,” people tell me. “They were so tasty that I’m going to name my next child after you! If I have one. If I don’t, then I’ll change the name of the one I already have,” I’m always told. If you see any little tots named Jonathan or Jon out there, now you know why.
What can I say? These peanut butter caramel brownies have that affect on people. I guess, it is my responsibility to state that disclaimer. To inform people of their magical powers. To warn future makers and eaters: Devouring these brownies will make you have babies and name them after me. Don’t say you’ve never been warned.
We start by making the caramel. Which happens to be a peanut butter caramel.