Peanut Butter Brownies

I used to think I didn’t like brownies. I was wrong. I just didn’t like lots of the brownies I’d tasted. They were too sweet or too chocolatey or so gooey that they always left me feeling a bit sick.

Over the years, I’ve come to realise my ideal brownie. She’s on the cakey side and not too sweet. If I’m honest, she’s a bit salty (rather like myself). That’s why the recipe I’m about to share with you is one of my favourites.

The peanut butter balances the chocolate beautifully and lends a savouriness that make this brownie particularly moreish. It really is a winning combination rather like peanut butter and jelly. At least à mon avis.  

Part of what I didn’t understand for years about brownies is that they serve a specific purpose. They are neither cake nor cookies. In a sense, they’re perfect for the person who wants a smackerel of something sweet but can’t be bothered to bake and frost a cake. They’re for the impatient and greedy who still want nice things to eat.

I hope you enjoy them.



115 g unsalted butter

100 g light brown sugar

100 g caster or granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

65 g flour

35 g cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

4 tbsp + 2 tsp natural peanut butter (I use crunchy, but use smooth if you like)



Preheat the oven to Gas4/350F/180C.

Melt 115 g unsalted butter.

Mix it with 1/2 c light brown sugar and 1/2 c caster sugar.

Add the 2 eggs and the vanilla.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

Stir in 4 tbsp of crunchy peanut butter.

Pour the batter into a greased lined square pan.

Drop the remaining 2 tsp of peanut butter randomly on top of the batter.

Use a butter knife to swirl the peanut butter through the batter. It will have a nice marbled look.

Sprinkle with a bit of extra salt if you desire, then bake for approximately 25 minutes.

Allow the brownies to cool in the pan before lifting them out, cutting, and serving.

Cuckoo for Cocoa Powder Brownies

People say addiction is genetic.  Well both my daughter’s grandmothers are chocoholics.  My husband can take it or leave it.  I like it but prefer pastries or fruit pies.  Or plain old sour gummy candy.  That said, yesterday I made brownies.  When it came time to clean up, I gave in to the great tradition of handing my child the utensils to lick clean.  It was her first real experience with chocolate.  Madness ensued.  She got a crazed look in her eye then ran around like a happy drunk brandishing her whisk in the air.  Today, I’m painting over all the chocolate handprints that didn’t wash off my pale pink walls.  Below is the recipe.  Use with caution or you too might spend the next day repainting your home.

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1/2 cup butter (1 stick/4oz./113g)

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

2 large eggs

1/3 cup flour

1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds


Preheat oven to 325F/175C/Gas3.

Line an 8″ square baking tin with foil.  Not just the bottom but also the sides so there’s an overhang.  Coat lightly with nonstick spray or a bit of butter and flour.

Melt  the butter over medium heat and let cool slightly.

Whisk sugar, cocoa, and salt in a bowl.  Pour the butter into the dry ingredients and whisk constantly to blend.

Whisk in vanilla.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating vigorously with each addition.

Finally add the flour and stir until just combined.  Then stir in the almonds should you want them.  I always do.  Be careful not to over mix.

Use a spatula to scrape the batter into your pan and smooth the top.  Bake until the top begins to crack and a toothpick comes out clean.  Approximately 35 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely in the pan.