It’s the last day of brownie week. I know, I’m sad too, but we’re going out with a bang, a fourth of July fireworks show style bang.
Since I can remember, even before I found out I was allergic to chocolate, I was searching for the perfect brownie. I couldn’t say exactly what it was I needed in this illusive brownie. Like so many things, I’d know it when I saw it.
But I never did see it. The brownies I bought or made and tried didn’t live up to the image of brownie I had in my head and on the tip of my tongue.
These brownies don’t look like the perfect brownie. They’re not deep in color, don’t look that rich or fudgy. They aren’t melty in the slightest. When I pulled them out of the oven, I doubted I’d even like them enough to save or post or take more than a bite. They’d be sent off to work with Dad, never to be seen again.
Then I took a bite. I had to. I made them and they deserved a chance. Plus the top was rather crackly like a good box brownie. One bite was all it took to convince me. it might have taken 28 years but they were the brownies I had searched for all those years.
The aforementioned crackly top is a brownie staple. Inside is a dense and chewy but not overly fudgy or chocolatey (caroby doesn’t have the same ring) center before the sturdy bottom crust takes over. The peanut butter swirl adds some good flavor but doesn’t take over the party. It adds to the chewiness as well … think about the texture of a perfect peanut butter cookie.
These brownies may or may not be improved by being topped with marshmallows and heated in the microwave for all the smores and fluffernutter vibes.
These are the best brownies I have ever had in my life. I hope you make them. But I hope you try the other recipes from this week too. I loved them all and they all have a place in the brownie puzzle.Print
Peanut butter swirl
- ¾ cup creamy natural peanut butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
- Heaping ½ cup dark chocolate or carob chips
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 inch square pan.
- Make the peanut butter swirl. In a medium bowl, stir together peanut butter, sugar, vanilla, egg, and salt until well combined.
- Make the brownies. In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the chips and butter in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. If using carob take extra care not to overheat. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the flour until just combined.
- Spread about 1/3 of the brownie mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Dollop peanut butter mixture on top. Dollop remaining brownie batter on top as well, trying to place it between the peanut butter dollops. Using a knife, swirl the peanut butter and brownie mixtures together and smooth the top.
- Bake 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Serve warm (I mean warm brownies … YUM!) or cool complete in pan. Brownies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw at room temperature 1 hour, in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, or really, I doubt they’d be anything but amazing straight from the freezer.
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes