Peanut butter and chocolate is a winning combination that is featured in all manner of desserts and candies. Every time that I think I’ve tried all the possible combinations of chocolate and peanut butter, however, I eventually come up with something I haven’t tasted yet. My Honey Roasted Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies are a good example of this, with a lot of peanut flavor and pops of rich chocolate. These Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies deliver a deep dark chocolate chocolate flavor, accented with swirls of creamy peanut butter for a delicious bar that is rich and addictive.
The brownies have an intense chocolate flavor and a pleasingly chewy texture when you bite into them. It is thick enough to support the swirls of peanut butter that are added to the top, but not so thick that the brownies end up feeling too heavy and dense. They have a really nice balance of textures and flavors. The batter is studded with chunks of dark chocolate, which only add to the overall richness of each bite.
These brownies are not overly sweet. This is in part because they contain a good amount of dark chocolate and cocoa powder, both of which are bittersweet, but also because of the peanut butter swirled on top of the batter. While peanut butter does have some sugar added to it (in most cases, since it helps to really round out the flavor of the peanuts), most peanut butter fillings, toppings and frostings have quite a lot of sugar added to them. As a result, when we see peanut butter in a dessert we kind of expect it to be on the sweet side. That is not the case in this recipe, since the peanut butter is simply swirled on as-is.
I used a national brand (creamy JIF) and recommend using something similar in your brownies for best results. Some of the brands that require stirring before use may separate a bit in the oven and not have quite as pretty a swirl in the finished product.
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
1/2 cup butter
3-oz dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup brownsugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Stir in cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and chocolate mixture. Stir until smooth. Sift flour and salt into the bowl and stir until just combined. Stir in dark chocolate chunks.
Pour brownie batter into prepared pan. Drop small dollops of peanut butter all over the brownie batter. Gently swirl two batters with a butter knife.
Bake for 35-38 minutes, until brownies are set.
Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving.
Makes 16 brownies.