How can you resist the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter? It was the birthday of one of the guys in the office and I set out to find a recipe that everyone would love. I settled on this decadent combination featured The Chicago Tribune's Good Eating Cookbook. Growing up we always got the Tribune on Sunday and Wednesdays. On Wednesdays there would be a section called Good Eating and would feature recipes submitted by readers. I used to go right to that section and clip any interesting entries. Well a few years back they put out a book featuring over 500 recipes and I just had to have it for my collection. This recipe was actually developed in the Tribune test kitchen. I hope you give it a try.
1 cup (2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
Peanut Butter Batter
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
4-5 Tbsp. water
Heat oven to 350 degrees. To make the chocolate batter, beat butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the flour, cocoa, and baking powder until mixed. Stir in peanut butter chips by hand. Set aside.
To make the peanut butter batter, beat the peanut butter and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat in eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla until smooth.
Grease a 13" x 9" baking pan. Spread half of the chocolate batter over the bottom of the pan. Spread the peanut butter batter over the chocolate batter. Spread the remaining chocolate batter over all. Swirl the layers together with a butter knife, creating a marbled effect.
Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched, 40-50 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, melt the chocolate and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the confectioner's sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir in enough water to reach a spreading consistency. Frost the top of the cake. Let stand until frosting sets. Cut into desired sized bars. Enjoy!