A short while ago my work joined the companies experimenting with work from home. This seemed like an absolutely perfect plan until one co-worker pointed out that she didn’t want her work life intruding in her personal happy space. With that statement my dreams of going to work in my pajamas disappeared. Sometimes even my 15 minute late night, traffic free drive home isn’t enough to stop me from hating the general population. I will arrive home still screaming at the world because the world has somehow decided that employees are dull-witted, uncaring drones and that it is okay to express every emotion at every moment regardless of who you are talking to. Although, if it could be one of those employed drones so much the better because certainly they deserve all misdirected anger. With that thought I give the air a ferocious kick and stomp my tile floor.
About this time I might realize my mood needs to gain perspective in front of a comforting book with peanut butter and chocolate. Only this setup can simultaneously soothe the injured ego, calm the temper and silence the screams. This is why, while I was planning a nice savory soup or salad, a sweet is being featured. For a recipe I turned to my comfort cookbook author…Nigella Lawson.
This is also why this post is the start of a change. Regular followers might realize that posts have been published on Sundays. Originally, Sundays (my day off) were ideal for long mornings reading the paper, afternoons spent cooking, and evenings settled with my home made meal in front of Masterpiece Theater. However, several weeks ago my work schedule was forcibly changed and Sundays became my least favorite day. Finishing each post and being happy with the result became more difficult (for proof you may look at last weeks post) so until further notice posts will be published by Wednesday night.
Now back to the food.
This is both easy and not easy to make. Beating together thick gooey peanut butter, butter and sugar was a little much for my vintage stand mixer. Stirring went a little better, but still not the easiest and I’m sure the winter cold didn’t help. I’m tempted to try melting the butter first. If asked about the hardest part back in October I never would have said getting dessert items to look pretty. Next time I will line the pan with parchment or wax paper.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Squares
(from How to be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking by Nigella Lawson)
¼ cup dark brown sugar (I only had light on hand)
1 cup confectioner’s sugar (it calls for 1 1/3 cup)
¼ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
7 ounces milk chocolate chips
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter
Line 9” square pan with parchment or wax paper. Beat together sugars, peanut butter and ¼ cup butter. Spread on bottom of prepared pan, smoothing as much as possible. In double boiler or in microwave melt chocolate and butter together, stirring frequently. Smooth chocolate over top of peanut butter. Allow to set in refrigerator. Cut into small squares.
Eat and feel the comfort cells start to multiply.