Peanut Butter Blondies with Chocolate Ganache

by Andie Mitchell on July 28, 2010

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.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina July 28, 2010 at 12:44 pm

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.

Reply

fitnstitchin July 28, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Wow… those look so yummy! I will have to try those! Thanks for posting!

Reply

Can You Stay for Dinner July 28, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Thanks! I hope you try them, they’re delightful, and everyone I know raves about them!

Reply

Lara (Thinspired) July 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Really, there are no words for this post. I am utterly speechless and drooling over my keyboard. Beautiful photos, too!

Reply

Can You Stay for Dinner July 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Oh thanks, Lara! Wish you were here to take some of them off my hands (or, really, my belly)

Reply

Shanna, like Banana July 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm

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!

Reply

Can You Stay for Dinner July 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm

True- I think these still taste great, even without the chocolate ganache!

Reply

Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman July 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm

I hate peanut butter in my baked goods, but my husband loves them. And the PB Girl Scout cookies are his favorite. I’ll have to show him this creation.

Reply

Kelly July 28, 2010 at 4:26 pm

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!

Reply

Can You Stay for Dinner July 28, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Thanks, Kell! I’m so glad you like it!

Reply

Cindy July 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm

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

Reply

satschuck July 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm

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!

Reply

Can You Stay for Dinner July 28, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Haha, so awesome to use that peanut butter spoon like Mary Poppins would have! Sounds delicious- girl after my own heart!

Reply

Leah @ Why Deprive? July 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm

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. :)

Reply

homecookedem July 28, 2010 at 5:52 pm

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!!

Reply

Can You Stay for Dinner July 28, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Thanks, Em! Hope you’re doing well!

Reply

Can You Stay for Dinner July 28, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Girl Scouts were so funny. I just wanted to fit in. Glad to know someone else had a hard time earning those badges! Thanks, Leah

Reply

Nora@LifeLifeEatRight July 28, 2010 at 6:59 pm

oh. my…….this is all things GOOD!!!! So impressive, you are so talented!

Reply

morganjanessa July 28, 2010 at 11:25 pm

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.

Reply

Can You Stay for Dinner July 29, 2010 at 12:47 am

You cannot imagine how much your words just meant to me. Thank you so much for the encouragement and kindness- I’m so happy to know you like these crazy posts!

Reply

Nicole July 29, 2010 at 6:08 am

Wow. That’s all I can say.

Reply

Jessica @ How Sweet July 29, 2010 at 6:33 am

Oh em gee. These look like a dream. They look incredible!

Reply

Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine July 29, 2010 at 7:39 am

Oh my God. These would be awesome on their own, but the ganache takes them to a whole new level! J’adore :)

Reply

Sophie @ yumventures July 29, 2010 at 7:39 am

Chocolate and peanut butter are just MEANT to go together! Looks amazing. Love your baked goods recently!

Reply

Can You Stay for Dinner July 29, 2010 at 8:24 am

Thanks so much Soph!!

Reply

Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life July 29, 2010 at 7:46 am

I think I have almost every one of your recipes bookmarked to try. They all look so amazing!

Reply

Can You Stay for Dinner July 29, 2010 at 8:23 am

Thanks, Anne Marie!!

Reply

Brittany July 29, 2010 at 10:23 pm

OOOHHH!

Reply

Naomi(onefitfoodie) August 12, 2010 at 3:36 pm

thats like torture looking at them and not being able to have one!!!

Reply

Maggie October 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm

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!

Reply

Martha February 24, 2011 at 7:03 pm

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!

Reply

Can You Stay for Dinner February 24, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Yay! I looove these Martha! Let me know how they turn out!

Reply

Martha February 25, 2011 at 12:44 pm

They turned out amazing! I love the peanut butter. Don’t think I’ll be able to make the ganache today though, as it randomly snowed last night and the roads are too icy to go to the store, but they really don’t need it. I love chocolate, though, so I will definitely add the ganache next time I make these!!!

Reply

Can You Stay for Dinner February 25, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Wonderful!! Thanks Martha, now I’ll be wishing I were your next door neighbor! Stay warm :)

Reply

Koban March 1, 2011 at 11:39 pm

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 :P for the record I also have a peanut butter addiction and I’m afraid it’s my biggest weakness

Reply

Can You Stay for Dinner March 2, 2011 at 7:20 am

Yes, stopping at one is the hardest part of all! Peanut butter is food of the gods. End of story.

Reply

Martha March 4, 2011 at 8:52 am

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!!!

Reply

Can You Stay for Dinner March 4, 2011 at 9:02 am

Woohoo! Glad it worked well-that stuff is addicting!

Reply

KamiJo November 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm

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!

Reply

Christine December 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm

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?

Reply

Brittney January 6, 2012 at 7:56 am

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! :)

Reply

Tonya May 13, 2014 at 11:10 pm

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!

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: