I've spent a substantial part of my life living and traveling in other countries. The most recent was a stint I did 2 years ago, teaching English in a small community in Guatemala. I loved living there and fell in love with the food, but there were always a few things I missed from the States.
No matter what country I was in, it seemed that one of the top 3 things that expatriots miss is good old peanut butter. Although there are substitutes, there's just nothing comparable to our brands like Jif and Skippy. Those two were always top requests to be brought by anyone coming to visit from the States.
One of the teachers in the school I was at was from Washington State, and had a nice little stash of Jif Peanut Butter. She would use it, as well as some excellent local dark chocolate, to make these brownies for any special occasion. Although they are by no means low-fat or diet-conscious, they are completely delicious and take me right back to a country I hold very dear in my heart.
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
1/2 c peanut butter
1/3 c butter
1 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs (or egg substitute)
1 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c dark (or milk) chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/3 c peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat peanut butter and butter until well combined. Gradually add sugars, and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, or egg substitute, gradually. Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt. By hand, stir in vanilla and chocolate chips. Spread into a buttered 8x8 pan, and place into oven. Bake 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
For topping, combine peanut butter and chocolate chips in a small bowl, and melt in the microwave, stirring occasionally. Spread over cooled cake.