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Soft and chewy brownies sit atop a peanut butter cookie crust and get swirled with peanut butter cookie batter to create peanut butter brownies unlike any other!
We’re talking the ultimate duo today, friends. Chocolate + peanut butter is one of those combos that always gets a lot of attention when I post a recipe that features it.
The love is real.
Today’s brownie recipe is the 6th installment in my Brownie of The Month series, which means we’re halfway through the brownie adventure! Have you been having a blast?
Have you made any yet? Which one was your favorite?
In today’s peanut butter + chocolate feature, we’re making peanut butter cookie brownies. So… Not just any peanut butter brownies, but brownies that take the addition of peanut butter to a whole new level.
I thought long and hard about these brownies (#foodbloggerlife). I didn’t want to simply add peanut butter chips, a peanut butter cheesecake swirl, or even less, just peanut butter to my brownies.
I wanted to feature peanut butter in a slightly unconventional way and also add a brownie to the Brownie of The Month club that was a little different than the ones before it.
A lightbulb went off when I wondered how I could get my favorite peanut butter blossom cookie base (which I used to create these top notch ultimate peanut butter cookies) all up in my classic, no fail, tried and true homemade fudgy brownie recipe.
See my homemade fudgy brownies, which is the trusted base recipe for all of my brownies.
You know I love me a good “remix” on a recipe that already exists.
I whipped up my peanut butter cookie base, but I halved the recipe. And while I loveeee the addition of a little cinnamon to my peanut butter cookies, I removed it because the flavor would definitely get lost in the chocolate + peanut butter shuffle with these brownies.
These brownies start with a peanut butter cookie base, so I spread 1 cup of the peanut butter cookie dough onto the bottom of my baking pan. I reserved some dough for swirling.
My brownie batter remains unchanged here, and it all goes in at once, right on top of the peanut butter cookie dough base.
I was left with about 7 Tablespoons of cookie dough, which I dolloped all over the surface of the brownie batter.
The batter is a little on the thick side (not like the smooth red velvet cupcake element we swirled into our red velvet brownies), but with a patient hand, swirling the cookie dough into the brownie batter worked wonderfully.
The brownies baked up beautifully, and once they were cooled and cut, I feasted my eyes on exactly what I was looking for in a peanut butter brownie: a fudgy brownie wrapped in a peanut butter cookie hug, and one that was unlike any brownie I’d made or had before.
The peanut butter cookie dough stays soft and chewy, and the brownies remain mostly dense and fudgy. While the brownies take on a TAD more of a cakey texture, this is sort of expected, since we’re adding more flour to the brownie batter with the cookie dough (remember: little flour = fudgy brownies, a lot of flour = cakey brownies).
These brownies were a gigantic hit in our house, lasting only a few days. We had a really hot day while these brownies were around, and the kids and neighbors spent an entire afternoon with the sprinkler and splash pool.
Needless to say when I emerged from the kitchen with a plate of peanut butter cookie brownies, I was everyone’s favorite for the 2 minutes it took for them to inhale them.
I’d love for you to try these brownies and see that they’re not your typical peanut butter brownies using brownie mix. They take a little extra time and elbow grease, but if I’ve learned anything from making brownies from scratch for many years, that extra effort is always worth it.
Plus, any excuse to get a jar of non-natural peanut butter (we call it “candy peanut butter” in our house) in the pantry for a bit? Sign me up for all the after-dinner spoonfuls!
Peanut Butter Cookie Brownies
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter cut into 6-8 slices
- 8 ounces (227g) semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup (150g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature preferred*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (90g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE LAYER
- ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons (75g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 Tablespoons (58g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- ¼ cup (25g) granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 6 Tablespoons (96g) peanut butter not natural
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line an 8" or 9" square baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring frequently until completely smooth. Allow mixture to cool while you move onto the peanut butter cookie batter.
PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE LAYER
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (approximately 3 minutes). Add the peanut butter and beat again on medium speed until combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again until completely combined.
- Turn the speed down to low and slowly add the flour mixture until dough forms. Set aside and move onto finishing the brownie batter.
FINISH THE BROWNIE LAYER
- Whisk sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla.
- Add the flour and salt and stir gently until completely combined. Set aside.
- Spread 1 cup of the peanut butter cookie batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. I like to put ¼ cup of batter in each corner and then gently spread it around with a spatula. Be gentle and patient.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan right on top of the peanut butter cookie base, then top the brownie batter with the remaining peanut butter cookie dough in Tablespoon portions (you should have 6-7 Tablespoons left).
- Using a butter knife, gently swirl the cookie dough around in the brownie batter. The batter will have some resistance and drag because of the texture of the cookie dough, but keep swirling.
- Bake brownies for 32-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting into squares.
- When you are ready to cut the brownies, remove the brownies by lifting the foil overhang straight up. Peel back remaining foil and place brownie block onto a large cutting board. Store leftover brownies at room temperature up to 1 week. Brownies freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight.