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?
Peanut Butter Brownies
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.