Who doesn't love to sink their teeth into gooey peanut butter brownies? These brownies are ultra-fudgy and have the most delicious peanut butter filling. Even if you are a novice home baker, you will love how simple and easy this recipe is. All you need are a few basic ingredients to make this chocolaty treat from scratch. By the way, you can also bake them in the air fryer. I'll show you how in my air fryer brownies post!
Best chocolate and cocoa powder
This peanut butter brownie recipe uses melted chocolate and cocoa powder to make the most amazing fudgy brownies with shiny, crispy tops. Here are my recommendations for the best possible results:
- I recommend using semi-sweet chocolate with 50-55% cocoa content. If the cocoa content is higher or lower, you will need to adjust the amount of sugar used in this recipe. I used 51% Dark Lindt Cooking Chocolate Smooth.
- You get the best texture possible by using baking chocolate or candy bars that can be found in the candy aisle. If you choose to melt chocolate chips, the texture will be drier as desired. As a rule of thumb, only use chocolate that you would eat as a treat. The taste of the chocolate determines the taste of the brownies.
- Cocoa powder
- Since the batter does not contain any baking soda or baking powder, you can use your favorite unsweetened cocoa powder. The taste and color of natural and dutch-processed cocoa powder are different, but the results are excellent either way. I prefer Hershey's 100% natural unsweetened cocoa powder.
Best peanut butter
I almost exclusively use Skippy's creamy peanut butter for baking. It has a great taste, and the texture is so smooth and creamy and perfect for these peanut butter swirl brownies. Regardless of the brand, I recommend creamy peanut butter or crunchy if you like a few peanut pieces in the filling. However, I don't recommend homemade peanut butter as it results in a dry and crumbly filling.
Peanut butter swirl vs filling
How you assemble your peanut butter brownies is really up to your personal preference. This recipe works by either filling the peanut butter between two chocolate batter layers or alternately spooning dollops of peanut butter filling and brownie batter into the pan and running a knife through to draw a swirl.
I use a 9x9-inch (23x23cm) square pan, but you can also bake them in an 8x8-inch (20x20cm) pan for slightly thicker brownies. In this case, just bake them a few minutes longer. Double the recipe and bake it in a 9x13-inch (23x33cm) pan if you want to bake a bigger batch.
Top tips for success
- Use European-style butter if possible. It has a higher fat content (82%) than US butter (80% on average) and makes for extra delicious and fudgy pb brownies.
- Line the pan with parchment paper so you can easily lift the baked brownies out of the pan and don't need to worry that they stick.
- Don't overbake them, or they will become dry and hard. You can tell that they are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out slightly dirty with a few crumbs.
- Don't skip the baking break. If you give them a short break from baking and let them cool down a bit, you will be rewarded with fudgy and soft brownie edges!
- For best cutting results, let them cool completely for at least a few hours, preferably overnight. This will make them so much easier to cut.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and melted butter until smooth and combined. Set aside.
Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until melted. Stir every 15-20 seconds to prevent the chocolate from overheating and burning. Remove the bowl from the microwave, add the cocoa powder and stir until combined. Let rest for 5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla for about 2-3 minutes until frothy.
Add the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Then add the flour and salt and stir just to combine.
Pour half of the brownie batter into the pan and cover the bottom, then add the peanut butter filling and top with the remaining brownie batter.
Note: Alternatively, you can alternate spoon dollops of peanut butter filling and chocolate brownie batter into the pan and draw a swirl.
Bake and let cool. Then cut and serve.
More brownie recipes to try
If you can't get enough of these fudgy treats, you are in good company. Check out the following recipes that will satisfy any brownie lover!
- Cocoa Brownies
- Edible Brownie Batter
- Brownie Cookies
- Brownie Cupcakes
- Strawberry Brownies
- Brownie Ice Cream Cake
The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
Peanut butter filling
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate bars, roughly chopped
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into a few pieces
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, spooned and leveled
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line a 9x9-inch (23x23cm) brownie pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and melted butter until smooth and combined. Set aside.
- Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until melted. Stir every 15-20 seconds to prevent the chocolate from overheating and burning. Remove the bowl from the microwave, add the cocoa powder and stir until combined. Let rest for 5 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla for about 2-3 minutes until frothy. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Then add the flour and salt and stir just to combine.
- You can assemble the brownie batter and peanut butter filling in two ways, filled or swirled. Either pour half of the brownie batter into the pan and cover the bottom, then add the peanut butter filling and top with the remaining brownie batter. Or you can alternate spoon dollops of peanut butter filling and chocolate brownie batter into the pan and draw a swirl.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Then, remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes. Turn the pan around, return to the oven, and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out slightly dirty with a few crumbs attached.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan until firm enough to lift them out of the pan without breaking them, about 45-60 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
- Cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
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