Saturday, 25 January 2020

Peanut butter and chocolate brownies

Emma Bridgewater, Andrea Camilleri, Chez Maximka

Peanut butter and chocolate is a classic combination, and there are plenty of recipes online which look tempting. Years ago, in 2011 to be precise, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall wrote an article with Brownie recipes for The Guardian.
I cooked the peanut butter and chocolate brownies only once, they were pretty good, and it was time to revisit the recipe. I don't have the magazine cutting any longer, but the Internet is a wondrous thing, you can find anything you want.
I have adapted Hugh's recipe by cutting down the amount of sugar and also almost halving the cream cheese. I used one pack of Original Philadelphia, and it was plenty. Mixed with peanut butter, it gave a lovely fudgy taste and consistency of a cheesecake. Not sure more cream cheese would necessarily be a bonus, but do check out Hugh's recipe (link above).

Peanut butter and chocolate brownies
for the chocolate brownie layer:
2 x 100g chocolate bars (I used one milk and one dark bar), broken into pieces
100g butter, diced
90g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
120g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/2tsp ground cinnamon

for the peanut butter cheesecake layer:
1 tub of Philadelphia Original
1 jar of 200g smooth peanut butter
80g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1tsp vanilla
2tbsp plain flour
1tbsp cornflour

Melt broken chocolate and diced butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water until smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool.

Beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla. Sift in the flour and baking powder, add a pinch of salt and cinnamon. Add the chocolate butter mix to the batter, and combine well.

In a separate medium sized bowl prepare a peanut butter layer by beating together cream cheese with peanut butter and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, flour and cornflour and mix well until well blended. You can skip the cornflour, and add an extra tbsp of flour instead.

You will now have two dough types.

Chez Maximka, making brownies from scratch

Pour the chocolate brownie dough into a greased brownie tin (I lined it with a foil, so that it's easier to take out of the tin once the brownie is cooked), leaving about 1/4 separate.
Then spoon in the thicker peanut butter layer over the brownie layer.
Dot the peanut butter layer with chocolate brownie mix.

Chez Maximka

Using a wooden toothpick, make swirls through the chocolate batter, making a pattern.

Chez Maximka, peanut butter bakes

Place the brownie tin in the oven preheated to 180C, bake for about 30+ minutes, until the edges are firm and puffy. If you like gooey brownie, take out now, if you prefer it slightly more set, keep it in the oven for another 5 minutes, though you do want the fudgy texture.
Cool on the rack before slicing into pieces.

Chez Maximka, peanut butter bakes

The brownie got mixed reviews from my family. While my husband and elder son loved it and asked for seconds, my younger son wasn't very enthusiastic and said he prefers my salted caramel brownies.

Chez Maximka, easy brownie recipe

In this recipe I used a jar of Sun-Pat smooth peanut butter, as found in the latest Degustabox food box delivery. It's packed with 96% peanuts and is palm oil-free. It's a good source of protein too.

If you don't have this particular brand of peanut butter, use any other peanut butter, preferably without palm oil. You can also use a crunchy peanut butter, though it would change the texture of the brownie.

baking with peanut butter, Chez Maximka

Emma Bridgewater, Andrea Camilleri, Chez Maximka

Anca from CookStyle made a variation of these brownies, using a coconut yogurt rather than cream cheese. Have a peek at her Peanut butter cheesecake brownies, don't they look delicious?!


  1. Oh this looks really yummi! and I love PB. I like the idea of mixing it with cream cheese actually...

    1. Thank you, Fede, peanut butter with cream cheese makes a satisfying gooey layer.

  2. This looks delicious. I'm wondering if it would work with vegan yoghurt instead of cream cheese. What do you think?

    1. Hi Anca, is there a vegan cream cheese substitute? I think yogurt is fine, but you might need more flour/cornflour to the blonde layer.

    2. There are, but most of them are with herbs or onions. Really nice on sandwiches, but not suitable for a brownie. The range is still quite basic, with only a few options. I'm going to try this brownies with yoghurt and I'm going to let you know how they turned out.

    3. Yes please, do let me know when you bake the brownies with yogurt, I'm very curious.

    4. Thank you so much for linking to my recipe. xx