This recipe for Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies is adapted from an old state fair winner. Or to be more specific, the Dutchess County Fair Junior Division circa 1984. It worked well for me on the first try (though I had some doubts!) but I have modified it a bit to make it even better. Sometimes peanut butter recipes, even good ones, can be a little dry. To ensure that these aren’t dry, I’ve added some tips plus notes on the best type of flour, peanut butter, etc. So hopefully the notes will be helpful.
Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies are baked in a 9 inch pan. I originally made them in an 8 inch pan, but they were kind of thick and had a higher ratio of cake to toppings. The 9 inch pan version gives you a better ratio of crust to toppings. You have a sturdy and tasty, chewy but not overly rich base, then a topping of very rich peanut butter and melted chocolate.
Once baked and cooled, you spread a mixture of melted peanut butter and butter over the top, let that cool a bit, then marble with melted semisweet or dark chocolate.
Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies Notes
- Flour — Use no more than 190 grams of AP flour, otherwise the base might be too dry. It’s supposed to be slightly dry to balance with the marble and the topping, but not chalky dry. I think 190 grams of pastry flour might work well too.
- Peanut Butter — use a really tasty mainstream one with sugar and salt. I’ve used Reese’s and my latest favorite, Peanut Delight No-Stir Creamy from Aldi, which is surprisingly good. Aesthetically, creamy is best. However, you can use chunky if you commit to decorating with peanut butter cups and candies. The chunky just doesn’t look as pretty by itself.
- Semisweet or Dark Chocolate — You can use whatever semisweet or dark you have, but I don’t recommend chips as they will not melt as smoothly. For my last batch I used my old standby, Trader Joe’s Dark.
Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (190 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 scant teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup generous — slightly heaping peanut butter (70 grams)
- 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed (200 grams)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature**
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Peanut Butter Topping:
- ½ cup peanut butter, creamy (130 grams)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate Swirl Topping:
- 1 ½ to 2 ounces semisweet chocolate – one that melts nicely if possible (Dove)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 inch square metal pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.
- Thoroughly stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. If you don't have a scale be sure to measure your flour with a light hand or by spooning it into the cup.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, peanut butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and beat on low speed just until blended (do not whip). Add flour mixture, stir until incorporated, then spread in pan. To spread evenly, dampen your fingers with some water and tamp down on the batter to flatten.
- Prepare chocolate swirl. Melt chopped chocolate and butter together in the microwave on high stirring every 30 seconds. Drop by spoonfuls on top of peanut butter batter and drag a knife through the batter to marble. The chocolate mixture will be sitting on top of the batter and sinking in a little.
- Bake on center rack for 25 minutes or until edges appear brown and center appears set. Do not overbake.
- Allow the bars to cool slightly while you make the peanut butter topping. To make the peanut butter topping, stir together peanut butter and melted butter. Spread this mixture over the warm (not piping hot, not cool) brownies. Let cool for about half an hour.
- Prepare Chocolate Swirl. Put chocolate in a heavy duty freezer bag. Microwave the bag for 30 seconds. Knead it with your hands to melt chocolate. Repeat, microwaving another 30 seconds and kneading bag, until chocolate is completely melted. Make sure there are no lumps. Snip a tiny hole in bottom corner of bag and drizzle chocolate decoratively over peanut butter. Or skip the bag, melt the chocolate in a custard cup and splatter across top with a spoon.
- Decorate with peanut butter cups and candies if you want — especially if you used crunchy peanut butter.
- Put the brownies in the freezer for about 10 minutes or just until chocolate drizzle is set.
- When set, lift from pan and slice brownies in to squares or bars. If they’re too firm to slice, let them sit at room temperature Let come to room temperature before eating. Store covered and at room temperature for softer brownies.
2. Make sure your baking powder is fresh.
3. Measure your flour properly. If it’s still in the sack, dump it out and stir it to aerate. If you have a scale, weigh out 6.75 ounces or 190 grams. I also recommend using bleached flour. Pastry flour might work as well, though I haven’t tested it.
Thanks for trying the brownies! It’s been a while since I’ve made those, but I could use a batch right about now. Speaking of JIF, they have a new one on their website which I’ve been meaning to try. It’s a boxed mix recipe with a mixture of peanut butter and honey swirled through it. I may try coming up with a scratch version.
These are seriously good! I’m making these at least twice a week for my husband! Keeping Jif in business! 🙂
I am new in learning how to bake and want to develop my new-found hobby. 😀 Thus, I find your brownie recipe interesting ’cause it’s not that easy but not that quite hard too. This marbled peanut butter brownie will be a good start for me. Thank you!
No matter how my baking results.. i’ll it though. 😀
I made cookies with this recipe after adding a little more flour and peanut butter. The ‘batter’ is kind of stiff as is, and if you’re careful you’ll end up with a cookie and not a puddle of peanut butter. Spreading melted chocolate in a swirl-ish fashion on top of the balls of dough before baking created the same lovely marbled results. Instead of spreading the topping, I put them in separate plastic bags and drizzled them over the tops of the cookies. Either in a pan or on a sheet, this is a fabulous recipe.
This is a great recipe, I used to have a very simulair recipe in a recipe book, although i lost the book, and am so happy to find this recipe again!
Sorry just noticed all the other comments are from a while ago!
Hi Anna, I made these at the weekend am not sure I got it 100% right. They looked great (almost as good as yours!) but the texture wasn’t right…as Becky said before me the mixture was very thick- my resulting brownie had a very dry, cakey almost bread-like texture. It rose really nicely and the taste was there, but I was disappointed with the texture.
I am thinking maybe I added too much flour…I do have problems using US “Cup” measurements- do you know how much a cup of flour should weigh? Or perhaps not enough butter…someone even suggested that UK peanut butter might have a different consistency to US which might have affected it- what do you think?
Becky how did yours turn out?
Hi all. New to the sight, and peanut butter/chocolate anything calls my name. I have these brownies in the oven as I type, but I’m a little worried cause the batter seems stiffer than any brownie I’ve ever made before. It was a little tough “swirling” but I got her done.
I’ll check back and let you all know how it went.
Nice website, I’ve found quite a lot that interests me. Thanks.
Yummo! I saw these late last week and knew I just had to try them. I made them yesterday and they were as good as they looked! My husband thinks whoever came up with mixing peanut butter and chocolate is a genius. Too bad I can’t take the credit for that, just for a good brownie (and really I can’t even take all the credit for that). Thanks.
Oh wow, now those look sinfully delicious!
Wow. Those are gorgeous. My marbling never comes out so pretty!
better than good? if we are going by the way they look, the results are amazing!
They look totally yummy! Great photo!
Hey, Anna! These look great and are being added to my list (if I can ever stop making Razmatazz bars!). I thought you would like to know that I made a Pizza Bianca recipe with a lot of success today. I highly recommend it as something you and fuzz could do together!
Check it out! It was SO good and I didn’t even use a mixer or a pizza stone– perfect results.
Just came here again and printed out the recipe… now, out to the kitchen. Thanks for the tips!
Kelli, I’d have to send them in a refrigerated truck.
Sue, that’s what I was going for.
VeggieGirl, TGIF! You know, I don’t even go to work and I still get excited about Fridays.
K. Scrapbook, I’m looking forward to your picture. This recipe was easy to follow. The trick was melting the chocolate properly and having the patience to let the brownies set. You can use any type chocolate for the top, but something that drizzles nicely might be easier to work with. I used melted chocolate chips for the chocolate batter swirl and a little Dove chocolate for the top. You could use melted chocolate chips on the top, but they never seem to melt as smoothly and don’t always drizzle right. Then again, that’s probably my fault. Sometimes I get impatient and try to melt chocolate on too high a heat.
Ok, this one got me. I’ve got all this stuff on hand (except Dove choc, but I’ll see if regular works), I’m going to make them this afternoon. I’ll post it on my site later tonight or tomorrow and send people over here… I oughta steal your picture, but I won’t. 🙂
Those brownies DEFINITELY make me want to shout, “TGIF!!”
Mmmm! Mmmmmm!! That brownie looks so scrumptious! The photo makes me want to grab it off the screen!!
Oh. My. Gosh. Can I order some of those for delivery???
Oh, my. Those look great. Much better than the recipe I made last night, it came out, kinda spongy? It’s hard to describe, not chewy or fudgy…
I’ll have to make them this weekend!