Peanut butter fanatics, it’s time to celebrate: The brownie of your dreams has made its way to the table and there’s nothing lackluster about that salty-sweet, nutty flavor profile you’ve been craving. These Peanut Butter Brownies are chewy, fudgy, and magnificently chocolatey, but best of all, they come heavily marbled with a decadent peanut butter swirl.
You’ll find the brownie base comes together quick and easy with a simple mix of common pantry ingredients. And, that peanut butter swirl? Just microwave the peanut butter for 30-seconds, add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt to the bowl and stir. Swirl it into the batter and bake the whole shebang to gooey perfection! Bar Cookies don’t get tastier or easier than that.
The base for Peanut Butter Brownies comes together just like a classic brownie recipe and consists of a set of dry and wet ingredients. Once you have your batter assembled, you’ll make what is essentially a thin peanut butter icing that gets swirled into the top before baking.
FOR THE BROWNIE BASE
Falling under the dry ingredients category is all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder (not to be confused with baking soda), and salt.
For the wet ingredients, you’ll need unsalted butter, eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. It is important that you use unsalted butter so your brownies do not turn out too salty. If you only have salted butter on hand, omit the salt entirely from the recipe.
You’ll also find semi-sweet chocolate chips speckled throughout the base of these fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies. Yes, please. Not only do they make them über chocolatey, but they also add great texture to the dessert once it has cooled and set up.
This ingredient is entirely optional, so if you do not have any on hand, feel free to move forward without them!
FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER SWIRL
This portion of this recipe is insanely quick and easy to throw together and only requires a few ingredients:
- Creamy Peanut Butter
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
WHAT KIND OF PEANUT BUTTER SHOULD I USE?
This is not the time for healthy, low-sugar, or crunchy peanut butter. Only use smooth, creamy peanut butter.
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIES
- Start by making the chocolate brownie base.
- Then, you’ll whip together the mix for the peanut butter swirl and dollop it onto the batter, making swirling cascades with it across the top.
- Lastly, bake, allow to cool, cut, and serve!
1. MAKE THE BROWNIE BATTER
Prep – Have the oven preheated, your square baking dish ready to go, and your butter melted before you begin making your batter.
Mix Dry Ingredients – In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Whisk these ingredients together and then set the mixture aside.
Mix Wet Ingredients – Add the eggs to a large mixing bowl, and whisk to break them up. Then, add the sugar and vanilla and whisk until the mixture is well combined. And the melted butter and continue mixing until the contents of the bowl are completely combined.
Add Dry Mix to Wet – Add the dry ingredients and slowly mix until just combined. A wooden spoon is best suited for this job. Add in the chocolate chips and mix once more. Add the brownie batter to the baking dish, spread to the edges and smooth over the top.
2. MAKE THE PEANUT BUTTER TOPPING
Microwave the Peanut Butter – To make the peanut butter swirl, add the peanut butter to a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for about 30 seconds, just until it has liquified.
Add Ingredients To Bowl – Remove the peanut butter from the microwave and stir in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth.
Dollop and Swirl – Drop spoonfuls of the peanut butter mixture across the top of the batter. Use the tip of a knife to swirl it into the batter, digging into the batter just ever-so-slightly. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
Once your Peanut Butter Brownies are properly equipped with glorious swirls of peanut butter, it’s time to bake! For a soft and chewy brownie with an almost done, gooey center, bake at 350°F for 35 minutes. For a brownie with crispier edges and a more-done center, bake for closer to 40 minutes.
HOW TO STORE BROWNIES
You can store Peanut Butter Brownies at room temperature tightly sealed with plastic wrap or (preferably) in an airtight container for 3 days. You could also store them in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 5 days.
CAN YOU FREEZE LEFTOVER BROWNIES?
You can also freeze them individually or the whole block. If you’d like to freeze the whole pan of brownies, you would need to line said pan completely with either parchment paper or nonstick aluminum foil before adding the batter to it.
Once your pan of Peanut Butter Brownies is ready, allow it to cool to room temperature, then lift them out of the pan and wrap in a couple of layers of aluminum foil. Transfer to a freezer-safe, gallon-sized ziptop bag and place in the freezer.
To freeze individual squares, place them in a snug, freezer-safe, airtight container, separated by sheets of wax paper for up to 3 months.
TIPS FOR MAKING PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIES
- Don’t overmix the batter. Especially once the dry ingredients are added to the wet.
- Dig, lift, and swirl. To get that beautiful swirly, wave effect happening on top of your Peanut Butter Brownies, you’ll want to just barely cut into the batter with the tip of the knife, and then come up (bringing a little brownie batter with it) and over in a swirly motion.
- Different pans equal different cook times. Even if just by a minute or two, brownies will cook faster in a metal baking pan than a glass or ceramic baking pan. In addition to this, dark-colored pans will also speed along the cooking process. Start to check on in on them a few minutes before the timer goes off to ensure they do not cook past your liking!
- Allow them to cool before cutting. Rich, fudgy brownies are notorious for being difficult to cut. Allowing them to cool will help you avoid making a mess of them. If you’d like to speed along the cooling process, you can place them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
5 MORE PEANUT BUTTER DESSERTS YOU’LL LOVE
- P.B. Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Reece’s P.B. Pie
- P.B. Rice Krispie Treats
- P.B. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies with a fudgy brownie base and decadent peanut butter swirl are a peanut butter lovers dream come true!
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, separated
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Generous pinch fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350° and have ready a greased, 8"x8" square baking dish.
Melt the butter in a microwave-safe pitcher or bowl, and set aside to cool.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Whisk and set aside.
Add the eggs to a large mixing bowl, and whisk. Add the sugar and vanilla, and with a handheld mixer on medium speed (or a sturdy wooden spoon), mix until well combined. Slowly stream in the melted butter, mixing all the while.
Add the dry ingredients and slowly mix until just combined. Add in a 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and mix once more.
Add the batter to baking dish, spread to the edges and smooth over the top.
To make the peanut butter swirl, add the peanut butter to a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for about 30 seconds, just until the peanut butter has liquified.
Remove from the microwave and stir in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth.
Drop tablespoons-sized mounds of the peanut butter mixture across the top of the brownie batter. Use the tip of a sharp knife to swirl the peanut butter into the batter, ever so slightly digging into the batter in an up-and-over swirly motion. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
Bake for 35 minutes for a soft and chewy brownie or 40 minutes for a brownie with crispier edges and a more-done center.