Monday, September 21, 2009

One question...

What do fall Saturdays mean to you?

I think about Fall festivals and produce at the curb market in every color of orange and golden yellow. I think about going for a leisurely walk through the neighborhood, when all of the shops are opening their doors and displaying evidences of the coming season in their windows. There's something serene about the cool nip in the air on a fall Saturday. There's something wonderful about sleeping late, comfortable in the warmth of your bed covers, or waking early to enjoy a good cup of coffee. There are the smells, the flavors, that have withheld themselves since last Christmas; full of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, pumpkin, sweet potato, winter squash, and gourds. I think that it is the newness and freshness of everything that is so enjoyable. It has been a whole year since we have enjoyed fall in this capacity!

There is one thing, however, that I have neglected to mention. One very important factor. That would be SEC football. Yes, I know that college football exists across our great nation, but not really in my world. The world of Southern football has been a recent addition to my life. You see, I went to a smaller school, with a football program that is more likened to high school caliber. Don't get me wrong, I went to the games and I enjoyed them, but it's just not the same. I never really experienced a big college football game until after I had graduated. Having married a University of Tennessee graduate, and with a brother in the Auburn University Marching Band, my world has been invaded by SEC football from all sides.

One great thing about not having an alumna allegiance to a particular school is that I can cheer with my friends for their teams. Although I do hold Auburn football closest to my heart, I will cheer with my husband for UT, my dad for the University of Alabama, and, more recently, with new found friends for Georgia.

In case you've never experienced it, a large part of college football is tailgating. It is usually a potluck of everything good. Depending on how serious the tailgaters are, they might drive up with a full trailer carrying a grill, Flat-screen T.V. (or two), large igloo coolers of beverages of choice, and hundreds of sides and goodies, or, like my family, things are a little simpler with a couple of small coolers of fabulous ham sandwiches, kettle chips, and some cookies or brownies.

Although we are too far away to enjoy the tailgating experience of fall Saturdays, we have been able to enjoy watching the football games and excellent food with fellow (stranded) SEC fans. We recently spent an evening watching football with our Georgia fan-friends, enjoying some amazing home-made pizza. I contributed a batch of one of my all-time favorite brownie recipes.
Peanut-Peanut Butter Brownies

27 ounces, weight Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips, Divided
3 ounces, weight Unsweetened Chocolate, Chopped
3 sticks Plus 2 Tablespoons Butter, Room Temperature, Divided
1 cup Sugar
3 whole Eggs
1½ Tablespoon Vanilla Extract, Divided
½ cups Plus 1 Tablespoon Flour
1½ teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Baking Soda
¾ teaspoons Kosher Salt, Divided
1½ cup Chopped Salted Roasted Peanuts
1½ cup Chunky Peanut Butter (not Natural)
1 cup Powdered Sugar
¼ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
1½ Tablespoon Whole Milk

Part 1: Brownies

Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving 1-2 inches to hang over the sides. Grease the parchment paper.

Melt 2 sticks of butter, 1 2/3 cups of chocolate chips and 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth. Let this mixture cool until warm.

Use a spatula and stir the sugar, eggs and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract until just mixed. Mix in the folded chocolate mixture.

Sift the 1/2 cup flour, baking soda, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt into the chocolate mixture and stir until just combined.

Mix together another 1 2/3 cups chocolate chips, the chopped peanuts and the remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Fold into the chocolate mixture.

Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. The center of the brownies will still be soft, but do not overbake.

Part 2: Peanut Butter Icing

Using a hand mixer, blend peanut butter with 6 tablespoons of butter. Add the powdered sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, milk and 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract. Mix well.

When the brownies have cooled, spread the icing over the top of the brownies with a spatula. This can be a little messy, but just make sure that the icing is evenly spread over the brownies.

Refrigerate until slightly cool.

Part 3: Chocolate Ganache

Microwave the remaining chocolate chips with remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.

Pour the ganache over the top of the icing and spread with a spatula.
Refrigerate until the ganache is set. Cut into squares and serve.

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Jere said...

The real goal is not to weigh 282 lbs. by the end of football season... it's so good

Daelith said...

Those look yummy. And I'm very particular about peanut butter.