fact: cabin brownies taste better.
kidding. I have more to say, but seriously, these brownies. make them in a cabin, in the woods, where there is no cell service to upload your insta-worthy glamour shots. just savor the peanut butter chocolatey goodness. they’ll taste better, trust me.
if you couldn’t tell, we spent a long lazy weekend at the cabin. We watched (on VHS) The Aristocats, The Jungle Book, The Empire Strikes Back, My Cousin Vinny and Shrek (because in the morning, I made waffles). We played Scrabble and followed only 60% of the rules. Jesse leveled up in Super Mario, Metroid, Sonic and Zelda while I finished 1.5 books and at least 10 cups of tea. We played in the yard with the pups until our toes froze, then came inside to warm up by the wood stove. We made pizza the first night per Jim Lahey’s recipe, slip’n’slided up a very muddy road to drink beer at Brocklebank, noshed on truffle fries at the Worthy Burger and ate more cheetos than I care to admit. There were also waffles, as I mention, and these brownies. oh these brownies.
this recipe is adapted from a family favorite – my great (great?) Aunt Bobbie’s Brownies (that has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Bobbie’s Brownies). I’m not exactly sure how old that makes the recipe, but it is by far one of the most tattered and chocolate smudged cards in my mom’s recipe book…which means this recipe gets a lot of love. Aunt Bobbie’s recipe calls for melted chocolate in the batter, but my mom adapted hers to use dark cocoa powder plus some extra oil. I split the difference and do both. And then I toss in some extra chopped up peanut butter cups and chocolate chunks and top the whole thing off with a generous swirling of peanut butter…because too much of a good thing is an excellent thing, right? Or do I have that wrong?
anyways, these brownies are unapologetically rich, gooey and full of peanut butter. No hidden cans of beans or avocado here.
I think it goes without saying that this is Jesse’s #1 asked for dessert…possibly even overall favorite food, second to pasta, of course. #teampasta4ever
Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
what you’ll need
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup mix ins, I like half chopped peanut butter cups and half chocolate chunks
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter, for swirling
Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder is my favorite to use in this recipe because it’s a blend of unsweetened and dutch cocoas, which just give the chocolate level in these brownies a rich oomph that regular baking cocoa doesn’t. If you don’t have that on hand, I find just plain ol’ unsweetened cocoa powder works best.
Sorry, no weights on this recipe (yet!). Since I whipped it up at the cabin, I didn’t have my kitchen scale. I’ll update when I make it again at home..which probably won’t be too long from now because they’re just so dang good.
how to whip it up
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 8×8 pan with parchment.
In a small microwave safe dish, melt butter. Pour in chocolate chunks and microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Stir until all the chocolate is melted, you shouldn’t have to microwave again, just be persistant with that stirring. Once you have a smooth consistency, stir in the sugar until dissolved. Let rest. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour and cocoa powder, create a little well in center. Crack eggs into the flour well and whisk eggs until smooth. Pour in chocolate mixture and vanilla extract. Whisk together until combined, don’t over mix. Gently fold in mix ins.
Using a large spoon, dollop the brownie batter into the parchment lined pan then dollop the peanut butter in between the dollops of brownie batter. Use a knife to swirl the peanut butter into the brownie batter until it is mostly smoothed out and level in the pan.
Bake at 350°, start checking for doneness at 25 minutes. You want a tooth pick to come out gooey but not wet. Gooey means the brownies are done baking, but won’t dry out. Wet and runny means they need more time.
Let cool as long as you can resist. which probably won’t be very long. BUT I can promise you that these brownies taste best after sitting in the fridge overnight (if you’re into cold, fudgy desserts, which I am queen of). So if you can wait, or even save half the pan for the next day, it is well worth your effort. Enjoy!