For weeks now I’ve been dreaming of these brownies. Literally, I had a dream about them several weeks ago—I won’t bore you with the details—and have subsequently been unable to get them out of my head.
So I thought maybe the cure would be making them again. That seemed so boring though. I mean, they’re good. They’re really, really delicious and if you haven’t made them you totally should. But recipes I want to make over and over again are few and far between. So I started thinking about another way to incorporate peanut butter into a brownie.
Maybe a swirl of peanut butter on top? Impossible to go wrong. Or maybe I should just mix in some peanut butter chips and call it a day? Still delicious. But the thought of peanut butter chips just didn’t excite me.
I decided I wanted giant chunks of peanut butter. And as far as I know, no one makes large peanut butter chunks for baking purposes. (Although I didn’t do any actual research so I could be totally off on that count.)
So what’s a girl to do when she wants a brownie with huge dollops of peanut butter scattered throughout? She makes her own extra-large peanut butter chips (slash chunks). So I did. And they were good. And I had to make two batches because I sort of devoured half of the first batch. Not my fault; it’s the fault of the chips for being so dang good, and an excellent snack even sans brownie.
Making the peanut butter chunks is super easy so don’t let that step deter you from making the brownie of any chocolate and peanut butter lover’s dream. They’re fudgy and rich and have so much intense chocolate flavor I’m tearing up a little just thinking about it.
And the peanut butter chunks? Let’s just say I won’t judge you for eating half of your first batch either.
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, cut into big chunks
- 1 recipe peanut butter chunks, frozen for at least 4 hours
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Warm peanut butter in microwave until slightly melted, about 45 seconds. Stir all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add a little more milk. Spread onto prepared baking sheet into a layer half an inch thick. Place baking sheet in freezer for 45 minutes, then slice into 1/2-inch squares. Return chunks to freezer until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.
- Combine chocolate chips and butter in a bowl, then microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes, stopping every 15 seconds to stir until butter and chocolate are melted and smooth. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, sugars, vanilla, cocoa powder, and espresso powder together. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour and salt until just combined. Take care not to over-mix at this point or your brownies will be tough (and nobody likes a tough brownie). Stir in chocolate chunks and frozen peanut butter chunks.
- Spread batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool brownies completely before slicing into squares and serving.