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October 2, 2008

Operation Baking GALS: Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies and Chocolate Chip Cookies Bars

bakingGALS

It's that time again...Time to send off an Operation Baking GALS package! This time around I was part of Team We'll Eat Everything hosted by Lauren of I'll Eat You.

First off let's talk a little post office "humor" or perhaps lack there of. I went to a small local post office that is near my house, but has a larger parking lot and better layout than the one that is a mile closer. I often go to this post office, in fact I've mailed both of my other Operation Baking GALS packages from this location with no problems. They've always given me the APF/FPO rate and things were hunky dorey. Today however I got a guy who had absolutely no clue!

I had my box taped up/addressed, I had my forms filled out, all I needed to do was pay for the shipping and things would be perfect. The first indication that something was amiss is when he took a pen and wrote the country I was sending the package to on the package itself. This is a big no no. You only put the APO/FPO address on the box for security reasons. They ship the package to the base and then the base ships it out to wherever the soldier happens to be located. I mentioned to him that I had never had to do that before and he said it was a requirement so I figured perhaps the regulations had changed so I let it slide.

The next indication was when he told me in all seriousness it was going to cost close to $70 to ship the package! So I asked him why and he told me that was just how it was. I mentioned how in the past when I had shipped these packages it was with the special rate and he said that was impossible. He hadn't stamped anything or affixed anything to the box so I told him "No thanks!" and promptly drove the mile up the road to the other post office and told them what happened. They not only gave me the right rate, they marked out the area where he had written the country and had their post master call the other post office and ream him out for not having a clue. In all honesty I felt slightly sorry for the guy, though part of me still felt vindication for being right! ;o)

I meant to take a picture of the box before I sealed it up, but I forgot. On top of the batch of brownies and cookies bars I also added in some dried pears, fruit snacks and some candy too. Anyway, that's neither here nor there...Let's talk some recipes shall we! ;o)

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownie

What You'll Need For The Peanut Butter Swirled Brownies:
6 ounces of baking chocolate
2 sticks of butter
1 cup of organic cane sugar
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of cocoa
4 eggs
1 cup of buttermilk
1 tablespoon of vanilla
2 cups of peanut butter chips
3/4 cup of peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium sized pot over low heat melt chocolate, butter and sugar until completely melted. Don't let it come to a boil or simmer, you just want to melt the ingredients. Once melted remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl stir together flour, sea salt and cocoa until well mixed. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl whisk together eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until well mixed. Add this mixture into the dry mixture, along with the cooled chocolate mixture and stir until completely incorporated. Stir in peanut butter chips and mix well.

Pour batter into a 13 X 9 inch pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and spread out until batter evenly covers the pan. (Note: Batter will be thick.) Drop dollops of peanut butter over the top of the batter and use a knife to swirl it into the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes until batter is firm, yet still fudgy. Let cool completely and then slice into squares.

Notes: I tested these out by making a batch and sending them to work with Jamison first. They seemed to really like them! They were firm enough that was able to vacuum seal them before sending them. Hopefully they'll hold up!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

What You'll Need For The Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars:
2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 cup of natural brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 - 11.5 ounce package of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a large bowl cream together butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add salt, baking powder and baking soda and stir to mix. Slowly add flour and mix until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips to mix.

Spread dough into a 13 X 9 inch dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and bake for 25-30 minutes until cookie mixture sets. Cool and cut into squares.

Notes: You can use what ever type of chocolate chips you fancy. You could also add in a cup of some sort of chopped nut if you prefer.

Posted by Dianne at October 2, 2008 1:26 PM

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Comments

WOW! Those chocolate PB Brownies look great!

Posted by: Esther at October 2, 2008 4:37 PM

These both look so good, especially the brownies! I absolutely love chocolate and peanut butter. I'm sure this will be greatly appreciated!

Posted by: Erin at October 2, 2008 5:07 PM

These were a big hit with Alexis...She just loved them!

Posted by: Dianne at October 4, 2008 6:08 PM

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