Last night, the husband and I tried out a new empanada bar that popped up on Brady Street where World of Beer used to be. I’d never heard of an empanada bar before, but I pass by this place twice a week on my way to and from yoga, and it’s been calling to me for the last few weeks.
We had originally planned on grabbing dinner at the new Metro Market that just opened up in Shorewood (dinner at a grocery store. Talk about romance). But by the time we got there, there really wasn’t a whole lot of options left as far as food goes. So on to the empanada bar we went. Which I was both excited about since I’ve been wanting to try it, and disappointed since it meant that I wouldn’t get to hit up the gelato station at Metro Market once we were done eating dinner. Oh well… next time!
Empanadas are like these little puff pastries that originated in South America (our waitress mentioned Argentina specifically). I told Peter that they’re basically like Hot Pockets in my attempt to convince him to try the place out. We each got three different varieties of empanadas; I had a ham & cheese, a meatball marinara, and a chicken with tomato & pepper. Peter tried the ham & cheese, a Vietnamese beef, and a mushroom truffle parmesan. Overall, I thought they were good, but they didn’t blow me away. The best part was a side of shoestring french fries that we shared. I loooove super skinny, crispy french fries! But when a side of fries is the best part of the meal, it doesn’t bode well for the chances of us ever returning.
But oh my goodness. These brownies, you guys. They are beyond decadent, beyond rich, beyond delicious. Is there anything that goes together better than peanut butter and chocolate? Me thinks not. These brownies are like a play on Reese’s peanut butter cups and are so yummy. Just make sure that you bake them long enough! They’re so dense that they take a little longer to bake than I thought they would. I took mine out of the oven after 45 minutes thinking that they were done, only to realize when I was cutting them that the middle pieces were still a little soupy, so into the garbage those went. What a waste! All the edge pieces were fine though, and aren’t the edge pieces the best part anyway?
It’s really a good thing I’m sending these to work with Peter tomorrow. If I kept them in the house, I wouldn’t be able to keep myself away.
Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownies
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 8 oz coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the peanut butter filling
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp each chocolate chips and peanut butter chips
- Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom and sides of a 9×9 baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, melt the butter & chopped chocolate in the microwave for about 3 minutes, stirring after each minute. Set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, whisk the sugar and brown sugar into the chocolate/butter mixture. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Fold in flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, beat together peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. The mixture will be thick and crumbly.
- Pour half the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Take large chunks of the peanut butter filling and flatten with your hands (it feels kind of like Play-Doh). Place the pieces in an even layer on top of the brownie batter. Pour the remaining brownie batter on top. Sprinkle chocolate chips and peanut butter chips on top.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes, depending on your oven. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean when the brownies are done.
- Allow the brownies to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, gently lift the brownies out of the pan by pulling up on the edges of the aluminum foil. Cut into squares.
Inspired by: Sally’s Baking Addiction