Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownies

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INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
PEANUT BUTTER FILLING
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 2 Tablespoons each chocolate chips and peanut butter chips, optional
DIRECTIONS

1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Or melt via microwave in a medium microwave-safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring after each. Remove from the heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and allow to slightly cool for 10 minutes.

2. While the chocolate mixture is cooling, make the peanut butter filling. In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk together on medium-high speed until combined. The mixture will be very thick. Set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 9″ x 9″ square baking pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.

4. Whisk the sugars into the cooled chocolate/butter mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition until smooth . Whisk in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.

5. Pour/spread half of the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan. Take large chunks of the peanut butter filling and flatten with your hands. Place flat pieces in an even layer on top of the brownie layer. Pour/spread the remaining brownie batter on top. Top with the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips, if desired. Using the back of a spatula, gently press the chips into the brownie batter.

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6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the brownies begin to pull away from the edges of the pan. The brownies may slightly crack in the center because air in between the peanut butter layers is trying to escape, which is normal. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with only a few moist crumbs when the brownies are done. 

7. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.

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NOTES

I doubled the recipe in order to make enough to fill a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. I still didn’t end up with enough for the peanut butter layer to cover the entire pan, but it doesn’t make a big difference in the end, as long as you somewhat evenly distribute the chunks of peanut butter. Why? Because it will all melt and spread as it bakes! I also used Super Chunk Skippy peanut butter instead of creamy peanut butter for the extra crunch. Coarsely chopping the chocolate chips prior to melting it with the butter might reduce the melting time, but it was an extra step that I did not believe was necessary. I also did not add chocolate and peanut butter chips on top of the bars because 1) I didn’t have peanut butter chips and 2) this is already super chocolatey and peanut buttery, there’s really no need to make it even sweeter than it already is, but it’s definitely an option.

These brownies are very thick, but amazingly good! The peanut butter layer is gooey and melts in your mouth. It reminds me of an ice cream cookie sandwich, except it’s warm and there’s no ice cream involved. However, this sweet and salty treat would go very well with milk or ice cream!

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