Peanut Butter Brownies

It’s been a little while since I threw chocolate and peanut butter together in a sweet concoction. In fact, it’s been nearly a month since I made the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream. A month without chocolate and peanut butter together is much too long in my little world! Plus, I hadn’t been in the kitchen for nearly two weeks thanks to my ear infection, and peanut butter brownies sounded like the perfect way to get back in the saddle. Quick, easy, decadent and amazingly satisfying.

Given how much I adore the Baked brownie recipe, I immediately decided that I would use that for my base and add a peanut butter topping/swirl. I am very happy with my decision. Elated, actually.

The brownies are dense, fudgy and perfect. The peanut butter swirl… oh, the peanut butter swirl. It tastes like the inside of a buckeye. Only better. Sort of like the inside of a peanut butter cup or the base for peanut butter cup bars. Only better. It’s a dangerous, dangerous concoction.

I briefly contemplated not even adding the swirl and just plopping myself down on the couch with the bowl, a spoon and my DVR. But then sanity returned long enough for me to get the topping onto the batter, swirl it and pop it into the oven before I could be convinced otherwise.

I’m glad I did. Because you deserve peanut butter brownies. Plus, I don’t necessarily need an entire bowl of peanut butter heaven in order to catch up on Game of Thrones. Right? Right?

One year ago: Polenta French Toast
Two years ago: Traditional Hummus
Three years ago: Homemade Pita Bread
Four years ago: Taco Rice Salad

Peanut Butter Brownies

Yield: 24 brownies

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


For the Brownies:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Peanut Butter Swirl:
½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1½ cups creamy peanut butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.

3. Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.

4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

7. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the peanut butter swirl ingredients. Using a spoon, place dollops of the peanut butter mixture all over the top of the brownie batter. Using a butter knife, swirl the chocolate and peanut butter, running the knife crosswise and lengthwise through the batters.

8. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.

9. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

(Brownie recipe adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking; peanut butter swirl adapted from Martha Stewart)


86 Responses to “Peanut Butter Brownies”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. Melissa N. on May 24, 2011 at 1:07 am

    mmmm yes please! These look delightfully sinful. Can’t wait to try them!


  2. kim on May 24, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Made your peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies today and they were a big hit. These look yummy too!


  3. Katie on May 24, 2011 at 1:52 am

    Looks gorgeous! I adore peanut butter and yet for some reason ahve never put the two into a brownie before. Yummy!


  4. thelittleloaf on May 24, 2011 at 3:40 am

    Wow, these look incredible. Peanut butter and chocolate is such a great combination. I love putting swirls of flavour in my brownies – I recently made these Dulce de Leche ones but will definitely be trying peanut butter v. soon!


  5. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on May 24, 2011 at 6:07 am

    These look amazing! Chocolate and peanut butter is always at the top of my list:-) I think I would have made a double batch- 1 to eat out of the bowl and 1 to bake!


  6. The Café Sucré Farine on May 24, 2011 at 6:47 am

    The brownies look so moist and delicious! What a great recipe for summer picnics and trips to the beach!


  7. linda on May 24, 2011 at 7:00 am

    i baked your peanut butter, oatmeal & cc cookies yesterday…they are delicious….& since the jar of pb is still on my counter …& since i love the “baked” brownies…i cannot wait to make these beauties!
    thanks for all your great recipes always!!


  8. Nisrine M. on May 24, 2011 at 7:04 am

    Very good brownie recipe. I love the peanut butter oozing from the sides. Delicious!


  9. Heather on May 24, 2011 at 8:35 am

    The brownies look amazing – but would it be a problem to omit the espresso powder? I have never been a fan of coffee or coffee flavorings.


    • Michelle on May 24th, 2011 at 11:30 am

      Hi Heather, You can omit the espresso powder, but know that it doesn’t impart a coffee or espresso flavor at all. Espresso powder is used in many chocolate recipes because it strengthens and enhances the richness of the chocolate flavor.


  10. Debbi on May 24, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Have I told you lately that I love you? Seriously, I love you! I seem to have the same chocolate/peanut butter obsession as you and I love that you enable me :-) Thank you for being you!! Can’t wait to make these for Memorial Day!


  11. Erin on May 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I can never have enough peanut butter and chocolate. Although I too think it’s been awhile since I made something of the sort in my kitchen. I may need to follow your lead, these looks amazing!


  12. Paula on May 24, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Wow. A combination I have never thought to put together for a brownie! Looks great.


  13. Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen on May 24, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Ohh these look so fudge-y and amazing!!


  14. Emily Malloy @Cleanliness on May 24, 2011 at 10:36 am

    This looks DELICIOUS!


  15. Hannah at FleurDeLicious on May 24, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I love that you weren’t shy with the peanut butter swirl! Too many peanut butter brownies only have a little tiny swirl, but these are my kind of pb brownies. And the Baked brownie is my favorite, so this sounds amazing!


  16. Amber @FromTheHeartsOf on May 24, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Oh what I would give for a scratch and snif screen right now!!!!!!!! I want these so bad I will be making them tonight.


  17. Jen of My Tiny Oven on May 24, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Ok, you had me at peanut butter…. It is only 8:30am and I am drooling! Wish I had a pan of these for breakfast. You rock!


  18. Alli on May 24, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I love the HUGE PB swirl. I know my family will love these.


  19. Katrina on May 24, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Peanut butter and chocolate is my favorite combo! Love this!


  20. megan {a dash of megnut} on May 24, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    oh wow. pure amazingness. it’s a good thing i’m going to the grocery store in 20 minutes so i can get all of these ingredients!


  21. Dana@TheSundaySweet on May 24, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Seriously! You have no idea how long I have been craving just these. I was so excited when I saw your post on twitter about you making them. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Made my day :)


  22. RavieNomNoms on May 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Oh wow, those would be gone in like 3 seconds in my house…they look absolutely sinful!!


  23. Baking Serendipity on May 24, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    These look amazing! There is nothing better than the peanut butter/chocolate combination :)


  24. Paula on May 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Hope you are feeling much better, ear infections do not make for a happy camper! Am a little upset with this posting tho, now I am going to have to make these, pronto. They look unbelievable! A Memorial Day weekend treat???


  25. Erin on May 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Sounds so good! I am going to have to find a reason to make these soon!!! Gald you are feeling better!


  26. The Chocolate Priestess on May 24, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    These look amazing! I hope you are feeling much better now or at least the brownies help a little bit.


  27. Arlene on May 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    If you could hear me, you’d know how much I want one of these. I’ve bookmarked this page and will make these at our first BBQ. WOW.


  28. Steph@stephsbitebybite on May 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I love the big HUGE gobs of peanut butter! These brownies are right up my alley!


  29. Caroline @ Engineer and an Oven on May 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Peanut butter and chocolate? Sign me up. This looks amazing.


  30. Liz on May 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Oh, gosh, this is genius! I’m not a fan of pb on it’s own, but I love Reeses! So the addition of powdered sugar has made it palatable…more than that…DECADENT!


  31. Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} on May 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Chocolate and peanut butter…a deadly combination! I really shouldn’t read your blog when I am hungry. I would kill for one of these right now! They are definitely going on my “to-make=list”!


  32. Heather I. on May 24, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Need to make these ASAP. I really don’t know what else to say :)


  33. Pudding Pie Lane on May 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Aaah… peanut butter :) Yum! Your pictures are really pretty too :)


  34. leslie on May 24, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Ohh my..those huge chunks of peanut butter look just perfect.


  35. Happy When Not Hungry on May 24, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    These look amazing! I love anything with chocolate and peanut butter. Beautiful brownies!


  36. lorilu on May 24, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    now you have gone too far … just tooooooo far !


  37. Curry and Comfort on May 25, 2011 at 9:01 am

    I’m like a magnet to the combination of peanut butter and chocolate! These look so rich, decadent and delicious! My eyes are drooling at your photos! YUM!!


  38. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen on May 25, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Those pictures have me drooling, look at all of that peanut butter! I want these, now.


  39. Kerry on May 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Whoa. I love you. That’s all. These look AMAZING.


  40. blogbytina! on May 25, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    these look too good to be true!


  41. Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie on May 25, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Yum! I just made peanut butter brownies last week. So addiciting!


  42. Peggy on May 26, 2011 at 7:01 am

    I predict that these will be in my very immediate future! Oh my they look so good =) Kinda makes me want to skip work this morning and make a batch… they won’t mind, right? =)


  43. Susan@One Less Thing on May 26, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Would you stop with the pb and chocolate recipes already! Now here’s another one I’ll have to indulge myself in. What did I do to deserve this? :)


  44. Michelle Benoit (ChocolateCentral) on May 26, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Thank God I have a stash of chocolate (actually, I have a large stash at all times) because I’m drooling looking at these photos. I need some NOW! I just made some homemade peanut butter 2 days ago, so I can make these later this afternoon. They are gorgeous. Congrats on making Top 9!


  45. Amberly on May 26, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Peanut butter is one of our favorite things, especially combined with chocolate! This recipe will be a hit and between the two of us, will probably be gone within a day!


  46. alyce on May 26, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I am bookmarking these. Can’t wait to try!


  47. Joanna on May 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Tried these today and unfortunately, mine did not look like yours. Getting the peanut butter mixture into the batter did not result in the large chunks pictured. I also had to cook them longer and still they are more like fudge than a brownie. No worries, my son will still eat them. Made the chocolate chip cookies last week and everyone loved them.


    • Lynnette on May 29th, 2011 at 9:30 pm

      I had trouble with these, too. Michelle’s peanut butter looks much more solid than mine turned out. And I had to bake them forever, and I still don’t think they’re right. I baked them for 40 minutes and they were super giggly, but I took them out anyway because my toothpick was clean. But after 30 mins on the counter, I decided to put them back in because they were clearly not done. So they baked at least another 30 mins. But they seem extremely oily. I measured my peanut butter by weight so maybe I had more than I should have had? I wish I knew what went wrong.


      • Michelle on May 31st, 2011 at 10:37 pm

        Hi Lynnette, If you measured the peanut butter by weight you should be spot on (I measure almost all of my ingredients by weight). Did you by any chance use natural peanut butter? It is “naturally” much more oily and that could have been why.


        • Hanna on July 2nd, 2014 at 9:41 pm

          I’m confused – I don’t see any weights for the ingredients in the recipe.


    • Alisha on September 13th, 2011 at 7:51 am

      I didn’t even bother reading the comments before making these, because everything I make from this site is just always perfectly amazing. Last night, I had the same problem- at 30 mins, the toothpick came out of the brownie perfectly clean, but the peanut butter parts were, as you said, “jiggly”. I couldn’t fathom how it could firm up with more cooking (it’s really just buttery-PB- YUM), so I took them out. This morn, they’re more like fudge (but taste SO good). I looked back at Martha Stewarts site where the PB recipe is adapted from, and realized the mistake I made- my PB mixture was pretty solid by the time it went in, and thus it didn’t swirl well, I should have made it just a minute before I used it (as the recipe above says- I just didn’t realize t was vital). Also, I had large pools of PB on top, where Martha and the pic. above show about a 50:50 mix choc & PB on top. Next time I’ll, spoon some choc. on top of the PB dollops, and I’m pretty sure that will take care of it. I think…I’ll follow up when I try…


  48. Sandra on May 26, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Congrats on Top 9 this is an amazing recipe and love the pics.


  49. sarihas on May 31, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Hi! I made these today and was all excited to eat it and it turned out a hot mess! I followed every step don’t know what I did wrong.


  50. Liz on June 6, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I made these this weekend. They were fabulous! Thanks for a great recipe!


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