In my head.

Thursday, I sat at the car dealership. Again. This meant no baking was done as by the time I got home I was mentally drained (What is it about dealerships that is so draining?). Sitting at a dealership all day meant from 9am-5pm I didn’t get to spend anytime with my kids, which just made me feel guilty (argh…that awful parenting guilt) that I only got to spend 1.5 hours with them and my husband had spent the entire day playing, coloring, and teaching my 3 year old how to play wii. I missed them (I wonder who has more separation anxiety…probably me).

Friday, yesterday, I woke up feeling renewed, like my kitchen was beckoning to me to make SOMETHING. Last time I went grocery shopping I bought tons of chocolate and various other baking products, so I felt drawn to use some of them. Or maybe it was my kids asking me to make something. Either way…my kitchen was looking clean and neglected. I remembered a recipe that a friend had tipped me off on…for something Chocolate and Peanut Butter. My favorite (after all…my youngest does share a name with my favorite candy bar, how could that combination not be my favorite?).

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Adapted from Nigella Lawson
Makes 1 brownie pan full of bars {quantity depends on what size you cut them}

1/2 cup dark brown sugar {packed}
2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter {divided}
1 3/4 cups creamy peanut butter
10 ounces milk chocolate chips
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate {chopped}

Cut a piece of parchment paper big enough to line a standard sized brownie pan, with a bit of overhang. Grease the brownie pan & lay in the parchment paper.
Combine the brown sugar, confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup butter & peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Blend until smooth. Dump the mixture out into the pan & press it down, making it an even as possible.
Melt the chocolates & 2 tablespoons of butter in a double boiler, or in a heat-proof bowl set over simmering water. Stir occasionally to combine. Spread the melted chocolate over the peanut butter base & smooth out the surface.
Put the pan in the refrigerator, until the chocolate is set. Remove the bars from the pan by lifting on the overhang of parchment paper & slice into squares using a sharp knife. It may help to warm the knife under hot water to get through the hard chocolate layer more easily.

They are super rich…you won’t want to eat a whole pan at once.

Yum.

This recipe also required one of my favorite kitchen items. It’s a double boiler by de Buyer. Now…you totally can just throw a (heatproof) bowl on top of simmering water and voila! you’ve got yourself a double boiler. But this double boiler is special. I had been looking for one for a while. Not only are double boilers great for chocolate, but also for a zillion different yummy sauces such as hollandaise, creme anglaise, puddings, etc. This is definitely one of my most used items (I have about 10 things in my kitchen that are used almost daily…this is one of them).

In other completely unrelated news,  I have decided that anyone who asked me to knit socks for them for Christmas is only going to get one sock. I told this to my husband and he replied, “They can use it as a little bag.” Except that they have lacing around them…which means, in his words, they are hole-y. They just won’t be able to put small things in them. I have one sock of each set completed, I just have some serious second sock syndrome and I’m going to have to push through the second sock to each sock.

I’ve also been completely enthralled with the music artist Sia lately (I have a tendency to get stuck on one artist at a time). She has a great song on the Eclipse Soundtrack so I searched for her in iTunes and it turns out I really love everything by her. I found it to be great ‘cooking music’. An added bonus is that her lyrics actually mean something different to everyone (and they aren’t about anything offensive).

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