Hi, I’m Alison and I’m a peanut butter addict.
I don’t quite recall when this started, but it’s become a jar-a-week habit. Not only do I eat it on toast for breakfast, I often have it on my sandwich for lunch, and eat it straight out of the jar during the mid-afternoon slump. If it was up to me, there would be peanut butter sandwiches on regular dinnertime rotation, but alas, I am married with children, and my significant others require a balanced diet! My husband in particular cannot understand my addiction. Whenever our son asks for a “pea-tutt butter” sandwich, Alex always lets me get it, as he can’t even stand the smell of it.
Recently I shared the link to a skookie recipe on social media, and while I had no intention of making it because a) I do not own a skillet pan and b) I already have a damn fine recipe for peanut butter choc chip cookies, I had a pretty good idea who would be drawn to it… like bees to honey. I wasn’t wrong. Two friends who are similar in many other respects (e.g. chosen career, number of children, parenting style and schooling choice, etc) both also completely addicted to chocolate, but more pertinently, love the peanut butter and chocolate flavour combo. I mean, who doesn’t?
The home of the original brownie and the inventors of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are to blame for this addiction… it’s clear that North Americans just know how to do extravagant really well! Like I said, I have been a big fan for a long time, but it was growing up with American friends in Papua New Guinea that tipped me over the edge. It was there that I discovered the awesomeness of peanut butter and jelly (jam) on bread, and the height of all hedonism… peanut butter and maple syrup on pancakes! These brownies join that enviable category – with glorious, fudgy, chocolate abandon!
“Popular in America since the first half of the 20th century, this dense chocolate cake is slightly under-baked and cut into individual servings. This decadent recipe pays homage to the American love of peanut butter…” SBS Food
Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
Inspired by a Taste magazine I bought especially and specifically for the brownie recipes (there were several), and adapted from a recent recipe posted by simmer & boyle.
For a gf version, simply substitute the flour with 110g (1 cup) almond meal.
180g unsalted butter, chopped
180g dark chocolate, chopped (I used Whittaker’s 72% dark chocolate)
275g (1 cup + 3 tablespoons) white sugar
115g (¾ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
30g (¼ cup) Dutch cocoa powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
¾ cup smooth peanut butter
Pre-heat oven to 175degC/347degF. Grease a 23cm (9-inch) square cake pan and line with baking paper, allowing paper to overhang long sides.
Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa and set aside. Place butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. (Don’t let the bowl touch the water). Stir with a metal spoon until melted. Remove from heat.
Beat eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl until thick and creamy, then fold through melted chocolate. Gently fold through the flour and cocoa powder, vanilla and salt and stir until just combined. Pour into prepared pan.
Place peanut butter in a small heatproof bowl and heat in microwave on HIGH for 30 secs. Drop dollops of peanut butter filling (about 1 tablespoon each) on top of batter, spacing evenly apart. Gently swirl peanut butter into batter with a knife, running the knife lengthwise and crosswise through the layers (there is no science to this; just do your best!). Bake for 25 minutes or until brownie is dry and firm to touch. Set aside to cool completely before cutting into squares to serve.
*Brownies get better with time; so if you can, leave them to eat the next day!