Nothing quite satisfies salty-sweet cravings better than the classic pairing of peanut butter and chocolate, and the richness of both ingredients makes for an unequivocally decadent treat. We wanted a brownie reminiscent of everyone’s favorite peanut butter cup, with swirls of peanut butter running throughout a chocolaty brownie base. We started with a basic chocolate brownie that comes together by hand. Dolloping large mounds of peanut butter over the batter before swirling it in resulted in unbalanced brownies; some bites were overloaded with sticky peanut butter while others contained no peanut butter at all. That’s because unlike cream cheese or marshmallow crème, peanut butter doesn’t readily move with the knife. Dropping small dollops over the batter before swirling was much more successful, with pockets of peanut butter evenly distributed throughout every brownie. We like both the smoothness of creamy peanut butter and the crunch of chunky peanut butter in these brownies, so you can choose your favorite. If you store your peanut butter in the refrigerator, note that room temperature peanut butter is much easier to work with.
- Yield: 16 brownies
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped coarse
- ⅔ cup (3⅓ ounces) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Make foil sling for 8-inch square baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil so each is 8 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Grease foil.
- Microwave butter and chocolate in bowl at 50 percent power, stirring often, until melted, 1 to 3 minutes; let cool slightly.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in second bowl. Whisk sugar, eggs, and vanilla together in large bowl. Whisk chocolate mixture into sugar mixture until combined. Using rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture until just incorporated.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top. Using spoon, dollop small mounds of peanut butter over brownie batter. Using butter knife, swirl peanut butter through brownie batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 22 to 27 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.
- Let brownies cool completely in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours. Using foil overhang, remove brownies from pan. Cut into 16 squares before serving.