Chocolate and peanut butter is an addictive combination in any form it comes in. I’ve made brownies with a peanut butter swirl in them before, but took a different approach to this classic flavor combination by using peanut brittle in the brownie batter for these Peanut Brittle Brownies.
Peanut brittle is a candy where pieces of roasted peanuts (or other nuts, in other types of brittles) are embedded in a hard, toffee-like candy base. Even though it has some similarities to plain toffee, peanut brittle tends to be less sweet due to the inclusion of so many nuts, so it delivers lots of roasted peanut flavor and makes a salty-sweet snack all on its own.
For this recipe, I took a bunch of one of my favorite peanut brittles – made by See’s Candy – and chopped it up into a mixture of coarse and fine pieces. No pieces should be larger than a single peanut, as you want to get as even a distribution as possible of brittle throughout the brownies. You should have a good mix of toffee and whole nuts after chopping up the brittle. In the brownies, that will translate to pockets of toffee sweetness and roasted peanut crunch that contrast very well with the rich, fudgy brownies.
I used my One-Bowl Brownies for the base of this recipe, as it is one of my favorites and never fails to produce fudgy brownies. The batter is easy to make and is the perfect background for the peanut brittle. Each bite is a delicious combination of fudgy brownie (and chewy edges, if you get an edge piece!), sweet toffee and salty peanuts. While it doesn’t have peanut butter directly in the batter, peanut butter and chocolate fans are sure to love this unusual brownie treat!
Peanut Brittle Brownies
1/2 cup butter
2-oz dark chocolate (60-70% cacao)
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 – 2/3 cup finely chopped peanut brittle (I used See’s Candy)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a large microwave safe mixing bowl (or a small microwave-safe bowl), melt together butter and dark chocolate in the microwave. This should be done in 30-second intervals to avoid overcooking the mixture. Allow butter to cool slightly.
Whisk sugar and cocoa power into butter mixture. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, followed by the salt and vanilla extract. Whisk in the all purpose flour and stir until flour is just incorporated and no streaks remain. Fold in chopped peanut brittle.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Allow brownies to cool in the pan, then lift the foil to easily remove them before slicing.
Makes 16-20 (depending on the size you slice them).