Incredibly gooey and delicious, this brownie recipe has a peanut butter swirl that makes them irresistible and takes these fudgy bars up a million notches! They keep for days and can be frozen. And I added a variation with almond butter and cocoa nibs.
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Originally posted in November 2014, this post has been updated to serve you better with video, text, and some images.
The combination of peanut butter and chocolate never ceases to amaze me for how delicious it is.
I took them to the office and boy, were they a hit!
People raved about them and at one point I had a shadow following me around the office asking for an encore, not the recipe mind you, just another batch 'whenever you feel like baking them again'.
And they are as easy to make as they look. No need for fancy equipment or complicated techniques. Just two simple mixtures baked together until gooey.
How to make peanut butter brownies
- Make the brownie base. This recipe is one bowl, which means you melt the chocolate and butter and add the rest of the ingredients to the same bowl.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
- For the peanut butter swirl, mix all ingredients in a bowl.
- Put dollops over the brownie base (image below). Don't add a layer as it will not have the same effect.
- Marble or swirl using the tip of a knife (second image below). Do this lightly for better results.
- Bake until dry but the center is still jiggly.
- Let cool and cut. I like to eat them the next day. I find the flavor is much better.
Vintage Kitchen tip:these brownies are extra fudgy, so take into account that they will need refrigeration time to set properly. I recommend eating them somewhat cold for better consistency.
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- Organization: read the recipe first and make sure you have ingredients at the right temperatures, equipment needed, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier!
- Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. Use a thermometer inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that the temperature is right. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Peanut butter: I always make them with commercial peanut butter, the traditional type, but they do work with natural peanut butter also.
- Swirl: when marbling or swirling the peanut butter mixture do so lightly. We want two distinctive batters to appear.
- Pan size: it's very important to ensure a fudgy and gooey brownie that bakes well.
- Baking: brownies, in my opinion, should be slightly underbaked to ensure that soft and gooey bite we all love. That means the center should still jiggle when they are removed from the oven.
- Storing: I suggest eating brownies the next day that they are baked. The flavor is deeper and the texture has time to settle. These can be frozen, well wrapped, for a month at least.
Almond butter brownies
I have made this recipe with almond butter and nibs (they are fantastic and a tad healthier) many times by substituting the following:
- Almond butter for the peanut butter, same amount.
- Cocoa nibs for the cocoa powder: I finely grind 2 tablespoons of cocoa nibs and substitute them for the cocoa powder.
- Coconut sugar: I use it instead of brown sugar.
The rest of the recipe remains the same.
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For the brownie base:
- ¾ cup (4.5oz) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Drops of almond extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
For the peanut butter swirl:
- ⅔ cup peanut butter
- 5 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla (optional)
- 2 or 3 tablespoons cream (double, whipping or heavy)
For the brownie base:
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
- Line an 8 or 9-inch square pan with parchment paper and spray the sides that aren’t lined.
- Melt the chocolate and butter together in a large glass bowl. I do it in the microwave oven, stirring every 10 seconds, until the chocolate is smooth. You can also do it over a pot of boiling water, careful the bottom doesn’t touch the water, stirring until it's melted.
- Mix both sugars into the chocolate.
- Add the eggs, vanilla, almond extract if using, and cocoa. Mix until well combined.
- Add the flour in 2 parts and mix carefully, but don't overmix.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
For the peanut butter swirl:
- In a medium bowl, mix together peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream. Make sure no lumps remain.
- Drop spoonfuls on top of the brownie base, then swirl lightly with a knife, ensuring you leave whole chunks of peanut butter mix intact. Otherwise, it all blends together, and it won't have the same effect.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on the pan you use, until a cake tester or toothpick comes out with very fudgy crumbs, the top looks dry, and the center still jiggles. It's important not to overbake them.
- Let cool on a wire rack completely.
- I find that they are better the next day. I keep them wrapped in plastic.
- They can be frozen, well wrapped.
Peanut butter: I always make them with commercial peanut butter, the traditional type, but they do work with natural peanut butter also.
Swirl: when marbling or swirling the peanut butter mixture do so lightly. We want two distinctive batters to appear.
Pan size: it's very important to ensure a fudgy and gooey brownie that bakes well.
Lining the pan: I strongly recommend you only use a strip of parchment paper wide as the pan. It will only cover the bottom and two of the sides. If you line the whole with a square of paper and end up folding it in the corners, chances are the brownie will stuck in the corners because it is very fudgy.
Baking: brownies, in my opinion, should be slightly underbaked to ensure that soft and gooey bite we all love. That means the center should still jiggle when they are removed from the oven.
Keeping: I suggest eating brownies the next day that they are baked. The flavor is deeper and the texture has time to settle. These can be frozen, well wrapped, for a month at least.
Almond butter brownies variation: Almond butter for the peanut butter, same amount. Cocoa nibs for the cocoa powder: I finely grind 2 tablespoons of cocoa nibs and substitute it for the cocoa powder. Coconut sugar: I use it instead of the brown sugar. The rest of the recipe remains the same.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 30
- Category: Brownies & Bars
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/12
- Calories: 332
- Sugar: 33.6 g
- Sodium: 27 mg
- Fat: 16.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 43.1 g
- Fiber: 1.3 g
- Protein: 3.8 g
- Cholesterol: 79.8 mg
Keywords: peanut butter brownies
Adapted from Good Housekeeping Cookbook