3 min read

Peanut-Butter Banana Brownie Catastrophe

This is a tale of woe.


Here's the recipe I used:

.75 C flour
.25 C cocoa powder
pinch of salt
3 frozen-then-thawed bananas, smashed
1 C sugar
.5 C melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Also, some peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x9 baking dish and dust it with cocoa powder. Combine dry and wet ingredients separately, then mix them all together. Pour batter into baking dish. Drop dollops of peanut butter onto the surface of the batter and swirl it around with a butter knife. Bake 25-30 minutes.

Here's how I fucked it up:

I Amelia Bedelia'd this from jump. Those little lumps in the liquid half of the batter are butter that re-solidified after coming into contact with the too-cold banana mixture. An ominous portent.

"A 9x9 pan," the recipe said.
"Ah, yes! I surely have a 9x9 pan in my possession," I thought. "No need to check ahead of time. I'll just go ahead and forget to prep that pan until after I've mixed up all the brownie batter. It'll be fine."

I swirled the peanut butter into my 8x6 pan, muttering "this will be fine, this will be fine," not realizing that I probably should have softened up the peanut butter first so it would actually... you know. Swirl.

This is what these brownies looked like after 45 minutes in the oven. I cut out a square in hopes that looks were decieving, but they were not.

Those brownies were completely, entirely raw.

They went back into the oven for another 30 minutes at 375. They came out of that cooked, but slightly dry. They taste like despair. I will crumble them up and put them on top of peanut butter sorbet, and I will weep at what could have been.

How I could have saved them
Warming up the banana mash would have gone a long way toward incorporating the butter properly into the batter, which would have distributed moisture throughout the brownies more evenly.

Having a fucking 9x9 pan would have helped, too.

Warming up the butter would have given me a more even swirl -- and hell, I could have melted it entirely and poured it onto the batter rather than having to dig around with a butter knife.

Finally: I think this recipe needs to be at 375. 350 just didn't do jack shit to the center of the batter.

I'm not a huge fan of the flavor either way -- the banana adds a mustiness rather than a sweetness. Maybe if I'd drained and reduced the bananas like I did for my banana bread experiment, the banana flavor would be more caramelly and good. As-is, this recipe was a calamity.

If you try to make it and do a better job than I did, tweet at me about your triumph!