I love Donna Hay. It is the ultimate food porn. Whenever I am trying to find inspiration for food styling and photography, Donna is the first thing I look at. When I brought The New Classics cookbook I struggled to breath because the photography and styling was amazing (great food photography does this to me).
Funnily I’ve never baked much of her recipes as I usually find recipes from blogs. These brownie cookies with peanut butter frosting only came on my radar when I saw it on another blog and the way it was described made me bake my second Donna Hay recipe.
The cookies had the same texture and taste as a brownie with that thin crinkly layer followed by a soft and slightly fudgy inside. Sandwiched between is a velvet smooth peanut butter frosting. This is seriously the fluffiest, creamiest and the most delicious frosting ever to exist and it’s also super versatile (I’ve used it in macarons and butter cookies). If you take away anything from this blog post, take away this amazing frosting recipe – you will love it.
Now with the cooler weather rolling in, there is no excuse to not turn on your oven. Hope you enjoy the recipes and the photos :)
Brownie Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting
Recipe adapted from Donna Hay
Makes 12 cookies
300g dark chocolate (70%), chopped
150g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
35g plain flour, sifted
¼ tsp baking powder, sifted
80g icing sugar (I used the soft icing mixture – the pink CSR one)
140g smooth peanut butter
½ tsp vanilla extract
40ml thickened cream
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
- Melt 200g chocolate and butter in bain marie (place chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl and place over a pot of simmering water. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water. Stir until smooth and melted). Set aside.
- Place eggs, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whisk with an electric hand mixer for 10 minutes or until pale and creamy. (This is an important step as the shiny crinkly top brownies have is a meringue. Therefore the longer you beat it, more of the crust will form.)
- Fold the flour, baking powder, chocolate mixer and remaining 100g of chocolate until the batter is the same colour.
- Drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto lined trays, allowing 5 cm gap between each batter for spreading room. (I use an icecream scoop that is 2 tbsp big)
- Bake for 8 minutes or until puffed and cracked.
- Allow to cool completely on trays.
To make peanut butter frosting:
- Beat sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla in an electric mixer for 6 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add cream and beat for another 2 minutes.
- Spread half the cookies with the frosting and sandwich with remaining cookie.
- If baking in batches (i.e. if you have a dodgy oven like me), then you’ll want to try cover the remaining batter that hasn’t been put onto the trays with a wet tea towel to prevent it from drying out. Otherwise it’ll be too hard to spoon out and the cookies will not spread out as much and not have that shiny top.
- I halved the original amount of the frosting as it always makes more than needed.