Peanut Butter Blondies with Chocolate Ganache

Have we talked about the days when I was a Girl Scout? No? Well it’s probably for the best. A daisy, then a  brownie, a junior, a cadette, and then eventually a senior. The whole experience only took approximately five billion years.

The truth of the matter is that I was never very good. Probably the one girl in my troop that was unclear on what our motto was. Something about honoring and morals and a baking badge, I think?

I’d show up to meetings with a blank sash (and later an even emptier vest) and more interest in my troop leader’s chocolate chip cookies than the Girl Scout Law. Camping trips always found me asking, “At what point do we make the s’mores? Before or after the apple pandowdy?” Otherwise miserable in nature, or “too sick” for a retreat. Unless said retreat took place in my best friend’s troop. For those, I happily wedged my chubby self into the backseat of a Dodge caravan and sang the praises of Juliette Gordon Lowe’s mission like the gospel.

I could barely meet my cookie selling quota. Going door to door just felt wrong to me. And not just because I thought I could more easily eat my way through twelve boxes to earn the requisite badge. More because I just never felt comfortable peddling goods to my neighbors and kindly strangers on my street. I’d be at the door all, “Listen, between you and me, the Keebler Fudge Shoppe Grasshoppers blow these Thin Mints out of the water. And Pepperidge Farms’ shortbread? Forget about it. But my troop leader’s really on my case about selling these boxes. And I really don’t have any badges other than the ones for being a good friend…which I think is code for ‘you’re not very good at anything practical…let’s make something up and embroider it.’ So I guess what I’m asking you, dear neighbor, is if you’ll just let me put your name and address on this form and I’ll pay for the cookies myself. I just can’t use the same excuse as last year- that everyone on my block took a vacation at once. Because I think they’re on to me.”

It was a lot like my short-lived gig as a waitress. Not a lucrative career move for me. I just couldn’t bring myself to push the specials when I didn’t believe they were worth anyone’s time, money, or valuable stomach space. Speaking in hushed tones to my tables, “Trust me, the NY strip is a much better cut for your money. The 9oz sirloin we’re featuring is for the birds.” I could be wrong, but I don’t think servers make the big bucks by trying to cut customers’ spending. Or reminding them that the glass of wine they just ordered is $11 (in my defense- I just wasn’t sure they realized they were ordering the most expensive glass- a fine wine…at Outback Steakhouse…).

But back to the Girl Scouts. I never really left. I think I just got excommunicated. Cut off like a dead limb from a thriving troop. They’re probably all building up small communities in the woods while I’m…sitting on my kitchen counter at 7:25 am with a jar of peanut butter and a torn open bag of semisweet chocolate chips. Same as when they left me.

I did, however, get that baking badge. And for the record, if it were these peanut butter blondies with chocolate ganache that I were trying to pawn off on strangers? I’d own the whole damn organization.

They’re rich…buttery… chews screaming with peanutty flavor and they’re glazed in the most decadent chocolate ganache. Moist and luscious squares that may cause you to black out for a minute. Disarmingly rich. Like the Chi hair straightener- you knew it would change your life, you just didn’t know you’d end up not being able to go through life without it. That’s what these are. An unimaginable gift to your taste buds.

Peanut Butter Blondies with Chocolate Ganache (recipe from he lovely Smitten Kitchen)

For Blondies:
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (9 oz)
1/2 teaspoon salt

For Ganache:
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (9 oz)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

Make blondies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in middle. Line a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.

Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy.

Add peanut butter and beat until incorporated.

Beat in whole eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla.

Reduce mixer speed to low, then mix in flour until just combined.

Mix in chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups) then spread batter in baking pan, smoothing top. (It will be thick, almost like cookie batter.)

Bake until blondies are deep golden, puffed on top and a wooden pick inserted in center come out with some crumbs adhering, 40 to 45 minutes.

Cool completely in pan on a rack, about 1 1/2 hours.

Make ganache: Heat the cream in small saucepan to boiling on the stove or microwave it in a heatproof bowl for 1-2 minutes on high.

Stir in the chocolate chips and the butter. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly then spread over the top of the cooled blondies.

For best results, let the pan of glazed blondies sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before slicing. This will allow the ganache to firm up so that it slices cleanly. Serve the blondies at room temperature. Or just eat them right away like I did- a barbarian.

Comments

  1. says

    Can I just have a vat of that ganache? Thank you!

    I always hated fundraisers. It does feel so awkward to sell things to strangers and beg the people you do know. And I hated it when I was a teacher and had kids begging me to buy their box of oranges or huge gallon jug of cleaner.

  2. says

    I think the bars would be great without the granache…not that I’m hatin’ on the granache. I just know myself and believe that I would not have the willpower to slather on some extra chocolate once I smelled those lovelies coming out of the oven!

  3. says

    Oh my gosh you had me laughing out loud! Keith too…I read him your post! These look amazing. I wish I liked to bake but I just don’t. I hate measuring and being ultra precise! But feel free to send me some of those!! haha!

  4. says

    um…oh
    my
    god.

    I want to lick my screen.

    Now I have to bake. NOW. RIGHT NOW
    you earned THAT badge for sure!

    I was a girl scout too. it was fun

  5. satschuck says

    One of my favorite things on the planet is a spoon of peanut butter (Adam’s Creamy no-stir, please) and as many chocolate chips as I can get to stick. In fact, just last night my husband had Toddler Bath Duty and I had Dish Duty but before I started on the stir fry dishes I did the spoon full of peanut butter helps the chocolate chips go down!

  6. says

    Oh my . . . these look so good!!

    I’ve always hated trying to sell things to people too. I was ok with the cookie selling when i was younger, but that was more about going on the outing than actually selling cookies. I was just so excited to get in the car with my friend and her mom and drive around, I probably would have sold anything they told me to. :)

  7. says

    Haha, oooooh the memories of being a girl scout!! :) I was only ever a junior. I had such a hard time getting in all my badges, but always looked forward to cookie time!! :) Mostly eating them, not selling them, haha!! 😉 These blondies look delicious!!

  8. says

    Delurking… LOL! No really, you have the BEST blog out there right now and everyone knows it, I just wanted to say that again. Wonderful recipe and I am going to keep this one out. YUM! Anything chocolate is wonderful. Love reading your posts, keep it up.

  9. Maggie says

    Those look delicious. I came to this blog because of your story in WW about losing 135 pounds. But, these recipes, I don’t think are going to help me lose even 1 pound. Having a craving for something really sweet after looking at this.

    Love your blog, but it might be best for me to come back after I have lost my weight! LOL!

  10. Martha says

    I’m having people over tomorrow night and made a batch of these without the ganache (I am NOT good with melting chocolate chips. I made your Milano cookies a couple weeks ago and overheated them so bad I melted a plastic spoon my first try and overheated the chocolate the second time so it was all grainy… it still tasted good though). These blondies smell so awesome, I can barely wait to let them cool! If I get inspired, I may try to make the ganache tomorrow… but tonight I will find out how they taste without it!

  11. Koban says

    How the heck do you not eat all of these at once? I have such a hard time limiting the amount of goodies I eat and I’m sure once I make these they’re gonna be gone in about five minutes 😛 for the record I also have a peanut butter addiction and I’m afraid it’s my biggest weakness

  12. Martha says

    I successfully made the ganache! no overheated chocolate here! i suppose it’s easier not to mess it up when there’s heavy cream involved, but still… and it tastes soooo good!!!

  13. KamiJo says

    I am trying this now, I’d forgotten how much I love baking. I mixed it all by hand as I dont own a mixer. I do hope they turn out. they are in the oven now, and smell divine!

  14. Christine says

    Would it be possible to make these without chocolate? I’m trying to make a dessert the whole family can have and my step sisters and step mom are all allergic to chocolate. Any ideas for substitutions?

  15. Brittney says

    I don’t follow blogs, its never really been my thing, but I swear it seems like I’m here every day lately. I have tried quite a few of your recipes and everything has been phenomenal. I’m going to make these today and I’m sure they’re going to be great. You are absolutely wonderful and so entertaining, I’m so happy I came across your site! :)

  16. Tonya says

    Hi! My PB Blondies are in the oven. The ingredients list had salt in it but I didn’t see where to add it in. I actually forgot to add it because I was following along the directions and photos! Hopefully it won’t make too much of a difference. Thanks for the recipe :) loved the fun-fetti Blondies recipe!

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