Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

This past week was tragic and absolutely surreal here in Boston. From the horrific events that took place on Marathon Monday (read about my experience as a spectator, and Jeff’s as a runner) to the intense manhunt on Friday, and all of the sadness and anticipation in between – it was a week truly like none other. We are the lucky ones, who were able to leave the marathon finish line physically unscathed. Our thoughts are constantly with those who weren’t so lucky – those who lost their lives, or were severely injured. With the families that need to press on without a loved one. If you are so inclined, please consider making a donation to The One Fund, or to the recovery funds of the severely injured.

We are doing our best to “get back to normal”, and we’re looking forward to a far less exhausting week.  And fortunately, this also means – back to baking 🙂 And what better to soothe your soul than the best brownies, ever?

In my personal opinion, chocolate and peanut butter is a match made in heaven. Seriously. I’m pretty sure that I could live on just that combination alone! This delightful marriage of flavors is highlighted perfectly in these truly decadent brownies.

These brownies bake up nice and thick, are perfectly moist and chewy – not too cakey, not too fudgy – and are filled with chocolate and peanut butter goodness. The swirl looks gorgeous too – I think anything swirled gets extra ooohs and ahhs. Another plus – the brownie base and filling are super easy to prepare (you probably already have all of these ingredients, too!), and require only a few bowls.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Yield: 9 large or 12 medium brownies

Ingredients

Chocolate Brownies

  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (see note)
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Swirl

  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Prepare Pan & Preheat Oven

  1. Spray an 8×8″ baking pan with nonstick spray, and line with parchment paper – cut two pieces of parchment to fit both ways in the pan, and press into sides to adhere. Cut excess parchment from the top. Spray the parchment with nonstick spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 325F.

Prepare Chocolate Brownies

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Set aside.
  2. Place chocolate and butter in a metal bowl. Melt over a double boiler, stirring frequently, until chocolate and butter are completely melted. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.
  3. Whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and vanilla; whisk to combine.
  4. Add flour to mixture, and fold in with a rubber spatula.

Prepare Peanut Butter Swirl

  1. Combine melted butter and peanut butter in a medium bowl; whisk to combine.
  2. Sift powdered sugar over peanut butter mixture; whisk to combine.
  3. Whisk in vanilla extract and kosher salt.

Bake

  1. Spread 1/3 of chocolate brownie batter into bottom of prepared pan.
  2. Place tablespoon-sized dollops over peanut butter filling over the brownie base, spacing about 1″ apart, and flatten the dollops slightly. You should use about 2/3 of the filling at this step.
  3. Pour remaining brownie batter over filling. Spread carefully, to avoid mixing the filling and batter.
  4. Spoon the remaining peanut butter filling over the top, again, evenly spacing the dollops.
  5. Run a butter knife up and down through the peanut butter to swirl, making sure that your knife goes all the way to the bottom of the pan. Turn the pan 90 degrees, and repeat.
  6. Place brownies in preheated oven, and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Put the toothpick through a section of chocolate brownie, not through the peanut butter – the creamy peanut butter will make it very hard to tell if the brownies are done.
  7. Remove from oven, and place on wire rack to cool. Allow to cool for approximately 20 minutes, then lift brownies out of the pan, and onto the wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Cut into 9 or 12 squares, as desired. Enjoy!

Note

I used 6 ounces of Callebaut Intense, which contains about 60% cocoa solids (the same as Ghiradelli bittersweet).  You can use half semisweet, and half bittersweet, if you’d like slightly less intense chocolate flavor.

Source: Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart Cookies

Print Recipe

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