Monday, August 2, 2010

Peanut Butter Brownies and Lavender Lemonade

The peanut butter brownies were made for the 52 Weeks of Baking swap on Swap-Bot. The recipe and picture were sent to two partners.

The brownies were so easy to make. They are supposed to have a chocolate-peanut butter frosting (kind of like a Reese's Peanut Butter Bar), but I chose not to frost them.

Here's the recipe:

Peanut Butter Brownies
(Elim Lutheran Church Cookbook)


2 sticks butter or margarine (I used dairy-free butter)
2 ½ cups sugar
½ cup white corn syrup
1 pound peanut butter
2 eggs
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt


Cream butter or margarine, sugar, and corn syrup until light and fluffy. Do not overmix. Add eggs and mix until well blended. Add flour and salt. Mix only until ingredients are combined. Grease jelly roll pan. Flatten and spread batter. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Do not overbake. Cool and frost with peanut butter cocoa frosting.


4 T. margarine
½ cup hot water
3 cups powdered sugar
5 T. sifted cocoa
½ cup peanut butter

Heat water, peanut butter, and margarine to boiling. Mix together sifted cocoa and powdered sugar. Add to peanut butter mixture. Mix until smooth, adding more hot water if necessary.


When the brownies are baking – even towards the end – they look wiggly. I ended up baking them for a few minutes extra. Initially, when they were still warm, they were soft and delicious.

Everyone liked one and wanted a second one. What ended up happening, though, was that they hardened as they cooled. In fact, they turned out quite crisp. So, I would make these again, but this time bake 20-25 minutes. I think slightly underdone would be much better than overdone.

I didn’t frost the brownies, so I’m not sure what the frosting recipe tastes like. I’m sure it will be good if the flavor of the brownies themselves are any indication.


In addition to doing the 52 Weeks of Baking swap on Swap-Bot, Im compiling the recipes into a cookbook for my daughters. This will be given to them when they are older.

So, each week I include a couple lessons that I learned - sort of life lessons/advice I want them to know when they are older (as both young adults and adults).

The lessons I learned this week that I want to pass along to them include:

It’s Better to do Things Early: Last week, even though I had made the recipes and had the pictures for the food I made, I didn’t send them right away. Instead, I waited until the night of the swap deadline to email them.

That same night, a HUGE storm hit with strong winds, heavy rain, lightening, and thunder. Needless to say, I scrambled to get the pictures loaded into my computer, the recipes/email written, and then everything sent. I was so worried that a tornado would hit and the power would go out.

Having enough stress in my life right now, I wanted to get this week’s swap done early. It’s so much better not being in a state of panic. Baking and writing should be relaxing and enjoyable. This week it is…like it normally is for me.

It’s Nice to Make Recipes that Bring Back Memories: On Saturday, Sophia, Olivia, and I made lavender lemonade. It was a new recipe, but it reminded me of making homemade lemonade or homemade orangeade (with half oranges and half lemons) with my grandma at her home.

We’d sit on the porch with the windows open in the summer, and drink the lemonade. It was always so good.

Making the lemonade brought back some wonderful memories of the times I spent with my grandma. I miss her…she was such a caring and thoughtful woman.

Here’s the recipe for lavender lemonade:

Lavender Lemonade
(Taste of Home Magazine)


2 ½ cups water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers (I got them at the co-op where I knew they were organic and not sprayed with chemicals)
2 ½ cups cold water
1 cup fresh lemon juice (the juice from about 3 lemons)
Ice cubes


In a large saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Remove from the heat; add lavender. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Strain, discarding lavender. Stir in cold water and lemon juice. Serve over ice.

1 comment:

Grace said...

I'm new to your blog. I am taking the 30Day vegan workshop too.
We went to a restaurant yesterday (rare due to severe milk allergy... I see you have a lot of rice milk in your recipes... milk allergy there too?) and had lavendar lemonade for the first time. We loved it. I told my girls I'd try to make some - can't believe you have a recipe right here for me!