Heavenly Swirled Brownies

try em for breakfastI love making a whole batch of brownies for no particular occasion. After they’ve cooled, I cut them up and store them in the freezer. Then I take one out and let it defrost anytime I’ve got a brownie craving. They taste fresh for quite a while (not that they every really last that long anyway).

This time, I was looking for something a little more adventuresome than the plain ‘ol brownie, and the addition of nuts wasn’t going to cut it. So, I took my favorite plain brownie recipe from Cooks Illustrated and combined it with a Good Housekeeping recipe for peanut butter brownies. If you are feeling more like a traditional brownie, you can use just the recipe for the chocolate brownies below and shorten the baking time by about 10 minutes.

These decadent bars turned out quite amazing, I must admit! When researching recipes, I read a lot of reviews about various peanut butter swirl recipes not having enough peanut butter flavor. Well, this recipe has quite a lot of wonderful peanut butter flavor.  They are chewy, moist, and  thick, but not too cakey. However, they are a little crumbly… why do peanut butter baked goods always turn out crumbly? The only real problem with the crumbliness is that they don’t cut very neatly, even when cooled. Perhaps they would cut more cleanly if they were refrigerated first? So, in my opinion, if you aren’t planning on impressing anyone with the presentation of these brownies, the crumbliness does not outweigh fact that they are super duper tasty!

This recipe makes one 9 x 13 inch pan of fat brownies. 

For the Peanut Butter Swirl:

  • 1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

For the Brownies:

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

To Make the Peanut Butter Swirl:

  1. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat all ingredients together until well incorporated, set aside.

To Make the Brownies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch pan, set aside.
  3. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl, set aside.
  4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, stirring until smooth.
  5. Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar.
  6. Whisk in the eggs one at a time.
  7. Whisk in the vanilla.
  8. Fold in flour mixture in three additions, until smooth.
  9. Pour 2/3 of the batter into the pan.
  10. Spoon dollops of the peanut butter swirl mixture on top of the chocolate batter.
  11. Spoon the remaining chocolate batter on top, filling in the gaps in between the peanut butter mixture.
  12. Swirl the chocolate and peanut butter together with a knife.
  13. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
  14. Cool on a rack for at least an hour.
  15. Cut into squares.
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