Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Stephen is kind of obsessed with brownies. He especially loves it when I load them with huge chucks of chocolate. Me, not so much. I’d rather eat a cookie or a bowl of ice cream. But every once in a while I’ll toss in a pan… and eat a few. So the other night when he asked me to make him peanut butter brownies I headed to the kitchen and went to work. I’ve had chocolate brownies with a peanut butter swirl several times, and somehow during the baking process the swirl always manages to melt and disappear- not cool. I want to taste the peanut butter, bite into it and know it’s there! You know what I mean? That meant making a peanut butter batter, something that would hold up. I found a good recipe and adapted it to fit the brownie recipe that he really loves. The result: perfection. These brownies are not to be messed with. They were gobbled up within seconds… seriously!

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted (use a Ghiradelli baking bar!)
⅔ c. sugar
6 tbsp. (¾ stick) butter
2 eggs
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips + ¼ c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the peanut butter batter:
¼ c. flour
½ c. sugar
½ c. creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp. (½ stick) butter, room temperature
1 egg
¹⁄₈ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with foil so that there is enough to pull the brownies out once they are done. Butter or spray lightly with baking spray. Set aside.
2. Over a double broiler, melt butter, sugar and chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool on counter for 5 minutes. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add vanilla and one egg, mix, then add the other egg, mix until incorporated.
3. In a small mixing bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Remove bowl from stand and fold in chocolate chips. Set aside.
4. For the peanut butter batter, in a medium size mixing bowl, combine butter, peanut butter and sugar. Using a hand mixer, beat until fluffy and smooth. Add vanilla and egg, mix until incorporated. Sprinkle in baking powder and salt, gradually add flour while mixing.
5. To assemble, pour half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Dollop half of the peanut butter batter on top and swirl. Pour the remaining brownie batter on top, then dollop the remaining peanut butter batter, swirl (I folded over some of the brownie batter so there weren’t huge chunks of peanut butter batter). Once the top is swirled, place in oven and bake for 35-38 minutes. The peanut butter batter should begin to brown on top.
6. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 25 minutes. Remove using the foil overhang and place on a wire rack to cool completely (another 20 minutes or so). Remove foil from brownies, cut and serve.
NOTE: There are no leaveners in the brownie recipe… they turn out just fine 🙂
Adapted from Ready For Dessert, Brownies | Makes approximately 9 large brownies or 12 standard size brownies

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About the Author


Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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