One bowl, perfectly fudgy, chocolatey brownies layered with dark chocolate and peanut butter. Forget the peanut butter cups and Reese's, these get you peanut butter chocolate and brownie in every bite.
So, let’s talk about peanut butter cup brownies! Instead of just adding peanut butter cups to a brownie batter, I said, what if I did something like I did with these cookie dough brownies and made an even layer of peanut butter, surrounded by chocolate…
This way: a. I could control what ingredients I wanted in there (milk, dark or even white chocolate; smooth or crunchy peanut butter as well as *how* sweet it was). Plus, instead of getting some peanut butter here and there I could get an even layer throughout every brownie.
Let me tell you, these turned out to be absolutely fantastic. Every brownie had a clear layer of peanut butter and chocolate in it. Plus they weren’t overly sweet!
Chocolate: More on this below but you’ll need a total of 350g chocolate. For the peanut butter cup layer you have a little bit more room to choose but for the brownie batter stick to a darker chocolate between 50%-72% cocoa solids.
Peanut Butter: More on this below!
Cocoa: Dutch process cocoa, sift it if it’s very lumpy. Don’t use a natural here as the brownies won’t taste as rich and dark. Black is fine – if you’re into that!
Flour: All purpose flour. If you want to make them gluten-free then use a 1-to-1 flour swap.
Eggs: Large eggs, no need to bring to room temp. This recipe cannot be made eggless.
Butter: This recipe can be made dairy free if you use dairy-free butter. It can’t be made with oil.
How to make layered peanut butter chocolate brownies
First, we’ll melt half the chocolate and spread it to create the first layer.
Once it’s firm, stir together the peanut butter layer ingredients then spread it over the chocolat and let that firm up.
Then the other half of the chocolate: melted and spread over the peanut butter. Let the whole thing firm up now.
Make the brownie batter: if you’ve made any of my brownies before you’ll note this one is very similar although I reduced the sugar a bit. It’s all in a bowl, a few different stages to heat it so the sugar melts a bit.
I love me a shiny top brownie, how can I make sure to get that?
Check out this page that goes into this in more depth. There’s two essential steps:
Whisk very well: we want some of the sugar to melt into the butter before it goes into the oven so be very vigorous in your handiwork.
Make sure the chocolate for the brownie batter is chopped *very* finely. Those little bits melt and give that flaky, shiny finish.
What can I use to make the chocolate peanut butter layers?
Chocolate: I opted for a dark chocolate (about 72% cocoa solids, I like those small red trader joes bars) but if you wanted a more traditional reeses style cup use milk chocolate. For the melting, don’t use chocolate chips – they are designed to *not* melt and tend to have more waxy ingredients in them so they hold shape.
Nut butter: Mine was creamy natural JIF but crunch would work fine as well. Almond, cashew or even sun butter would all work here too!
How do I know when the brownies are done baking?
The usual toothpick test isn’t going to work here because we have a very soft, melty layer in the center that won’t bake. Instead, look at the center of the brownie, when it’s puffy it signals the eggs in the batter have cooked.
What kind of pan should I use to make these brownies?
A 9’ square, light metal pan. You can use an 8” but it’ll take longer to bake. Don’t use glass; they take longer to heat and cool. If you use a dark metal the brownies will cook quicker and might be more dry at the edges.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
One bowl, perfectly fudgy, chocolatey brownies layered with dark chocolate and peanut butter.
300gchocolatedivided in half (I recommend between 55-78% cocoa solids)
200g or ¾ cup peanut buttersmooth or crunchy
30g or ¼ cup powdered sugar
¼tspfine sea salt
185g ¾cupsunsalted butter
250g or 1 ¼cups granulated sugar
50g or ½cupdutch process cocoa
½tspfine sea salt
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
40g or ⅓cupall purpose flour
50g or ¼cupchocolatechopped very finely
Line a greased 9x9” square pan with parchment paper: two sheets overlapping to make a + sign.
Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Melt one half of the chocolate (150g) in the microwave (stopping when its almost melted so the rest melts from stirring) and pour it into the prepared pan. Spread it out into one even layer then set it in the freezer to firm up.
Make the peanut butter filling by stirring together the salt, sugar and peanut butter. Put it in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so the peanut butter is easier to spread (but not hot or it will melt the chocolate). Spread it in an even layer over the firm chocolate and set it back in the freezer.
After about 20 minutes, melt the rest of the chocolate and spread it over the peanut butter in an even layer. Return to the freezer.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Make the brownie batter:
Melt the butter almost all the way, in a heatproof bowl then add the sugar and whisk it in. Return to the microwave for another 30 seconds then add the vanilla and salt. Whisk the mixture very well, for about 2 full minutes.
Add the cocoa and whisk well. The mixture will be loose at first then start to be firm as you whisk. Add the eggs, whisking for about 3 minutes.
Add the flour and chocolate, and use a rubber spatula to combine.
Remove the chocolate peanut butter layer from the freezer and out of the pan, keeping the parchment paper intact in the pan. Pour ⅔ of the brownie batter into the pan in an even layer.
Place the peanut butter block on top, then pour over the rest of the brownie batter. Smooth it out so it reaches the corners.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until the middle is puffing up.
Allow to cool fully before slicing. If you freeze them the layers will slice very cleanly and you’ll get clear layers.