Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut Butter Brownies
Pi Day (3/14) was earlier this week, but I didn’t get around to baking a pie this year. Fortunately, I am lucky to spend my workdays with the most thoughtful, fun and festive colleagues. Two of them surprised the entire office with an assortment of pies—key lime, apple and s’more, to name a few. It was such a treat to have a little bite of this and that. I made sure to try everything.

A peanut butter pie stole my heart with its silky filling and berry jam top, but I couldn’t help dreaming of chocolate instead of fruit. That magical combination will always be my number 1. I baked a batch of peanut butter brownies that were so good I couldn’t stop myself from devouring a square while making dinner. Don’t worry, my child did not witness me indulging in dessert before the meal.
Peanut Butter Brownies
Peanut Butter Brownies

Adapted from Food & Wine December 2007 and Martha Stewart Living February 2004

Makes 16 brownies

For brownie batter
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for pan
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

For peanut butter swirl
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly butter a foil-lined 9-inch square baking pan.

For the brownie batter, melt the butter and chocolate in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add the cocoa powder, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract thoroughly mixing after each addition. Gently fold in the flour.

For the peanut butter swirl, stir together the butter, confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, salt and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

Spread one-third of the chocolate batter in the bottom of  the prepared baking pan. Spoon tablespoon-sized dollops of the peanut mixture about 1 inch apart in the pan. Spoon the remaining brownie batter around the peanut butter. Gently drag a butter knife through the batter both lengthwise and crosswise to make swirls. Tap the bottom of the pan on a counter to smooth out the batter into an even layer.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a bit of batter.  Cool and cut into 16 squares.

Store in an airtight container.

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