Peanut Butter/Sunbutter Brownies

These pictures were taken from SmittenKitchen, where I got the recipe. I couldn’t get my pictures to turn out and these ones are beautiful, so here you go.

We are on a brownie kick, apparently.

Peanut butter brownies (in our case sunbutter brownies) were sounding so good and I stumbled across a fabulous recipe. I took them to a mommy gathering yesterday and I didn’t go home with any – so that is always a good sign.

I made half with the ganache and half without. It is good both ways but the ganache adds a nice touch and seems to give it the perfect balance. I prefer a lighter layer of ganache than showed in the picture, however. Very easy to throw together and they are full of yummy, yummy goodness. They are even better tasting the day after you make them. They are very rich so I’d cut them into small pieces. I love these stored cold in the refrigerator. It is the perfect balance of peanut buttery cholateyness.

Brownies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 3/4 cup sugar

1 cup peanut butter/sunbutter

2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk

2 tsp vanilla exract

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I like milk chocolate chips)

*1/2 tsp salt (If you are using something like Jiff or Skippy you can omit this, only use if you are using a natural type peanut butter/sunbutter because they have less salt)

Ganache

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream (aka heavy whipping cream)

1 TBSP butter, softened

Directions

-Preheat oven to 350

-Butter 9 X 13 pan. Line with parchment paper and butter parchment (if you don’t have parchment just butter the pan)

-Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add peanut butter/sunbutter until it is incorporated.

-Beat in eggs, egg yolk, *salt and vanilla

-Reduce mixer to low and mix in flour until just combined. Mix in chocolate chips.

-Dough will resemble a cookie dough. Spread in pan and bake for 30-40 minutes (mine were done at 35). You want them golden but not overbaked or they’ll be too dry and crumbly. I’d say when the edges are a nice golden you can assume they are done.

-Cool completely with the pan on a wire rack (about 1 1/2 hours)

-To make Ganache: bring cream to a boil in a saucepan and pour over chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl and let stand one minute. Gently whisk in butter. Spread or drizzle over cooled brownies. Let ganache set and then cut and serve.

Sunbutter: The Peanut Butter Alternative

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy, Happy, Happy, Joy!

I can not tell you how happy I was to learn about Sunbutter. The topic came up on a pregnancy forum that I frequent in regards to moms that are avoiding peanut butter during pregnancy for fear that it leads to peanut allergies in their offspring. I’m not sure I agree with that theory but I am so happy to have learned about Sunbutter.

Peanut butter and I were best friends before my daughter came down with a peanut allergy. I’m not sure any other food allergy could have come at such a blow to my own personal dietary preferences. Now of course, her health comes before my food cravings so we have not kept it in the house since we first learned of her peanut allergy, which requires the use of an Epi Pen, upon exposure.

Once upon a time we tried Soy Butter which was the nastiest concoction I have ever tasted and I shudder just thinking about trying to pass that off as a peanut butter alternative to my daughter. A few months ago I tried Almond Butter and all though tasty it is not something I am willing to allow Camden to try since we have been counseled to avoid all tree nuts (her only reaction thus far has been to peanuts).

Sunbutter must be a direct inspiration from Heaven, I’m sure. It is soooo good. Even my husband when he went to take a whiff of the can said, “Wow, it smells exactly like peanut butter!” And truly, it does. It tastes a lot like peanut butter too but is delicious in it’s own right. Camden’s verdict? She absolutely loves it and is asking for Sunbutter constantly. We had homemade waffles for dinner and my love for waffles is back because I was able to top them with a bit of Sunbutter and dip them into maple syrup. Mmmm, that is the only way to eat waffles. I am looking forward to making our first batch of “peanut butter” cookies made with Sunbutter and all the other yummy baked goods that we’ve missed at Christmas times because we’ve had to go peanut free.

The best part about Sunbutter is that it is safe. It is produced in a peanut free facility and is safe from any cross-contamination. Even better? It is healthy. It contains double the fiber, more iron and 30% less saturated fat than typical peanut butter. It contains no hydrogenated oils and also has 27% of the adult requirement of vitamin E, per serving. It is also Gluten Free.

We bought our first jar of Sunbutter from a store called Haggen’s for about $3.89 and it is the Sunbutter brand. We later went to Trader Joe’s and realized that they carry Sunbutter as well and it is actually made by Sunbutter but is under the Trader Joe’s label. Next time we will buy the Sunbutter from Trader Joe’s. It is only $3.50 a jar and unlike the product under the Sunbutter label the Trader Joe variety does not contain any preservatives. It has 3 ingredients: roasted sunflower seeds, evaporated cane juice and salt. Whereas the Sunbutter we purchased under it’s own label has the following ingredients: sunflower seeds, sugar, mono-diglycerides to prevent separation, salt and natural mixed tocopherols to preserve freshness. For me, I run under the simpler is better approach. 3 ingredients is better than 5. I also tried the Trader Joe’s version, which I picked up for a friend, and I prefer the taste and texture of the TJ version much more even though they are made by the same company.

I think this product is such great news for everyone. It is not just peanut allergic kids that are affected by peanut allergies. It is their siblings, their parents, their extended families, their daycares and preschools and public schools and even beyond that airlines and public places in general are affected. A product like Sunbutter allows for a very tasty and safe alternative. In some taste tests people have actually preferred the taste of Sunbutter over Peanut Butter. As a peanut butter lover I can say that I love Sunbutter (though I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say that I’d choose Sunbutter over peanut butter). I honestly won’t miss peanut butter with this alternative. I am astounded by how good it is.

Sunbutter can be found at grocery stores and health food stores nationwide. It can be found at stores such as the following: Albertsons LLC, Andronico’s, Bristol Farms, Gelson’s, Giant, Kroger’s, Publix, Super Target, Trader Joe’s, Wegmans, Winn-Dixie, and Whole Foods. I found mine at Haggen’s which is a chain in the Pacific Northwest. I live in Eastern Washington but will be traveling back over to the west side next month and will visit Trader Joe’s again. If anyone would like a jar and can’t find any near them please let me know and I’d be happy to ship you a jar, or two or three. :)

I do want to point out that some parents of peanut allergic children may still avoid and not want to have Sunbutter in their homes or for their children to eat it and it is important for people to try and be understanding with this choice. Their reasoning is that Sunbutter looks and tastes like peanut butter and they don’t want their children to become confused on what is and is not safe for them to eat. Since my daughter’s food environment is very controlled (by myself) and she is never exposed to food unless I okay it, I don’t necessarily have this concern. I did take time to sit down with her and explain why she could eat this and that it wasn’t peanut butter and was made from Sunflower Seeds and that unless mommy or daddy gave it to her she was not allowed to eat Sunbutter.