Emily’s been talking about resolutions and her new love of running. I’ve found this first month of 2012 to be one of reflection and new-found (or revisited) ambitions. No, I’m not planning on losing 10 lbs and revamping my whole lifestyle this year. Instead, I’m planning on focusing on creating precious moments that change up my everyday routine and putting energy towards things that make me happy. Coincidentally, I found this blog called Gregarious Peach which has wonderful photos and is really about recognizing and cherishing those fleeting moments.
For Nick’s birthday, I devoted a whole day to doing his favorite everything. That included French Toast with blackberries in bed, a massage, an intimate picnic at the LA Arboretum, and dinner at his favorite restaurant (only thing missing was a bike ride). There was no stress, no rushing anywhere. I didn’t make reservations for anything. It was just us being in the moment and enjoying each others company on a 80˚F January day.
At the top of Nick’s favorite list is Peanut Butter and Jelly. That boy loves and lives off of PB&J, so I chose a Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownie Sandwich recipe from Better Homes & Gardens as a stand in for cake. I was going to make it, but ended up chickening out (I’m terrified of baking). Luckily, Aimee’s always up for baking, and she ended up “helping” me make them. She created her own version of the recipe, which resulted in the most delicious and decadent concoction I’ve ever had.
This dessert (or monster) deserves a bit more explanation. It’s a three-way affair between chewy peanut butter cookies, and hot fudge brownie smothered in cherry preserves. To make it extra sinful, serve it warm. If you’re at home, assemble these Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownie Sandwiches as soon as the brownie comes out of the oven. If you’re camping, wrap these guys in foil and warm them up for a minute or over the campfire grill. You will not be disappointed!
Even though this is a Valentine’s day post – don’t wait for it to celebrate your loved one. Just choose a day to make your loved one feel like the most special person in the whole world. You’ll see that in the process, you’ll end up feeling like the most special person in the whole world too.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Brownie Sandwiches
Yield24 cookie sandwiches
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Activity GuideCar Camping, Picnic
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups peanut butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 box brownie mix
- 1 jar of jam (we used cherry)
- Baking sheets
- Mixing bowl
- Spoon or cookie scoop
- Parchment or cooking spray
- Baking pan (for brownies)
- Butter knife
First make the peanut butter cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray or line them with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, sugar, corn syrup, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the peanut butter and beat until the mixture is fluffy. Stir in the flour, mixing just to combine.
- Drop two level tablespoons of dough per cookie (or use a large cookie scoop) about two inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Be careful not to overbake. Remove them from the oven and cool completely.
Then make the brownies:
- While the cookies are cooling, bake the brownies according to the package instructions.
Assemble the cookie sandwiches:
- Set up an assembly area with your cookies, brownies (not cut up & still hot in the pan), jam, and a butter knife.
- Immediately after the brownies come out of the oven, scoop some hot brownie onto a cookie and spread. Top the brownie layer with a generous layer of jam. Place another cookie on top to form a sandwich.
- If you’ve got a campfire around, wrap a cookie sandwich in foil and heat on a grate over the campfire, just until warmed through.