Chewy, fudgy and rich peanut butter brownies are the bar for true peanut butter lovers. The perfect brownie texture, topped with your favorite chips!
I like to think of myself as a purist. If you call them peanut butter brownies, they shouldn't just be chocolate brownies with, say, a peanut butter swirl. Those would be peanut butter swirl brownies.
These are straight-up peanut butter brownies. Of course, everything starts to break down when I realize that maybe they're actually blondies, since they're not, well, brown(ie). Then I'm really just not sure.
But I do know this: they're perfectly chewy, fudgy and packed with peanut butter flavor. The chocolate chips are up to you, but who doesn't like peanut butter and chocolate anyway? In fact, if you're looking for a no bake chocolate peanut butter experience, these No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars from Demeter at Beaming Baker look amazing.
Do you ever wonder why a recipe might specify, say, melted butter over room temperature butter? Maybe you thought it was just on a whim. It's not!
I truly love one bowl recipes (cases in point: one bowl banana bread and one bowl chocolate cake) for their ease and simplicity. But one bowl baking isn't always appropriate. If you're looking for a light and airy vanilla cake, one bowl isn't going to work—and neither is melted butter.
For a light and airy texture, you need to cream room temperature butter with sugar until it's light and fluffy. That creates air bubbles in the mix, which fill with carbon dioxide during baking.
Melted butter adds richness alone. For chewy and dense brownies, we want richness. You take that first bite of these brownies and the moist crumbs melt in your mouth. Heaven!
Ingredients and Substitutions
If you have other dietary restrictions and you want to make these amazing peanut butter brownies, I want to help as best I can! I don't have any suggestions for replacing the peanut butter, though, since they're peanut butter brownies.
I do have a recipe for 4 ingredient peanut butter brownies that are made with peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs, and almond flour if you'd like a rice flour-free version. They're shockingly good!
Dairy: The first time I tested this new recipe, I actually used nondairy butter. And I think I even liked it better than the “regular” recipe (!).
I used Earth Balance whipped buttery spread (to be exact), melted and cooled. The brownies didn't burn as easily as they can when you're baking with butter but tasted exactly the same. I say go for it.
Eggs: There are two eggs in this recipe, and I confess that I haven't tried using an egg substitute. Two eggs is my upper limit for feeling good about a chia egg replacement. Proceed with caution!
Chocolate Chips: You can leave them out, replace them with another type of chip (peanut butter? white chocolate? dark chocolate?), but don't add much more than 4 ounces total. It will negatively affect even baking.
Sugar: Swerve brand non-sugar sweeteners make both granulated and brown sugar varieties. Try those!
Peanut Butter Brownies
1 cup (256 g) smooth no stir peanut butter
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (164 g) packed light brown sugar
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell), at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (140 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch x 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside.
In a large bowl, place the peanut butter, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla, and mix to combine well, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar. Add the flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and about 3/4 of the chocolate chips, and mix until just combined. The batter should be thick and relatively smooth. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. A small offset spatula is ideal for this task. Scatter the remaining chocolate chips evenly on top of the batter, and press gently to help them adhere.
Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan 180° and reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Continue baking until lightly golden brown all over, set in the center and mostly firm when touched in the center (about another 15 minutes). The toothpick test isn’t reliable here as the brownies are very fudgy.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan before removing, slicing into 9 or 12 equal squares and serving. Leftovers can be stored at room temperature for a few days or frozen in sealed containers for longer storage.
Tried it with all natural peanut butter not no stir – as am very sensitive to corn and it’s derivatives and it worked just fine. Make again very soon as it was very yummy!
Nicole Hunn says
Good to know, Gillian. Glad you liked the PB brownies!
I tried this with natural crunchy peanut butter (it was mostly peanut chunks) and it worked really well! I didn’t have any xanthan gum so tried it without & it seemed perfectly fine. Thanks for the recipe :)))
Nicole Hunn says
Hi, Bonnie, I’m glad you had success with your substitutions. For the benefit of others, I want to mention that crunchy peanut butter won’t incorporate into the mixture like smooth no-stir peanut butter, which would likely produce a relatively fragile brownie, especially without xanthan gum. But if that doesn’t bother you, go for it!