Midwesterners are notorious for complaining talking about the weather.  With this July shaping up to be the hottest on record for Minnesota, the topic seems to be more on trend than ever.  We have such extremes with the temperatures throughout our seasons.  One hundred degrees with >80% humidity makes you feel like you may melt in the summer and then winter rears it’s head and below zero temperatures and snow drifts taller than I am are fixtures that are present for a good 5-6 months.  This hot and humid summer, I find myself longing for cool autumn days.  I should bite my tongue because the cold will be hear before I know it.

The extreme heat certainly has not stopped me from turning on my oven this summer.  I usually try to refrain from making desserts that are completely over-the-top because I am well aware of my complete lack of will power and self restraint when I’ve got something ooey gooey staring me down.  When I say “over-the-top” desserts, I am not referring to a chocolate chip cookie or a brownie.  I am talking about the cookie-dough-stuffed-brownie-cupcake-with-Nutella-frosting type of over-the-top.  This is why I love being asked to bring a dessert to an event because it gives me the freedom to go hog wild since I know that I will not be trapped all alone with the entire pan of temptation in my kitchen.

Enter Peanut Butter Swirl Fudge Brownies with Peanut Butter Cookie Crust and Peanut Butter Cups.  Yep.  It was pure chocolate peanut butter insanity that came out of my oven a few days ago.

I have always loved the simple sweet and saltiness of a good peanut butter cookie and that’s essentially the way these brownies start out.  Freshly ground peanuts make the flavor particularly peanutty.

Top a peanut butter cookie base with fudgey brownies with a cream cheese and peanut butter filling swirled in and you are almost there.

What could I possibly top these bad boys with other than chopped peanut butter cups? If these over-the-top brownies don’t Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, I don’t know what else I can do for you.

Peanut Butter Swirl Fudge Brownies

by Mercedes Porter

Keywords: bake dessert chocolate peanut butter brownie bar

Ingredients (24 3-inch brownies)

For the crust

  • 1 1/4 cups (20 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup peanuts

For the peanut butter swirl

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk

For the brownie

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips


  • 8 regular-sized peanut butter cups, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 12X18-inch jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides).

For the crust

In a food processor, finely chop the peanuts.

Add other ingredients and pulse until well combined.

Pour crust dough into prepared pan and press down evenly.

Bake 15-20 minutes, remove from oven and set aside.

For the peanut butter swirl

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and beat with an electric mixer until combined. Set aside.

For the brownies

Place chocolate chips into a small, microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave in 30 second increments until melted. Stir and set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl and with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together for 2 minutes.

Add eggs and vanilla and mix.

Add melted chocolate and mix.

Add dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.

Mix in peanut butter chips.

Pour brownie batter over crust and spread evenly.

Drop peanut butter swirl by spoonful over the brownie batter. Use a knife to swirl the peanut butter mixture into the brownie batter.

Bake 27-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs.

Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with chopped peanut butter cups.

Cool completely, or overnight before cutting and serving.

Recipe adapted from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

Powered by Recipage

pour mixed crust dough into prepared pan and bake

combine all ingredients for peanut butter swirl and set aside

for the brownies, cream butter and sugar together

add eggs and vanilla

mix in melted chocolate

add dry ingredients and mix, then peanut butter chips and mix

spread brownie batter evenly over crust

drop peanut butter swirl by spoonful and swirl with a knife

bake and then immediately sprinkle with peanut butter cups

What is the most over-the-top dessert you have ever made or eaten?

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12 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Cassie
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

    PB + chocolate is one of my favorites. I am dying for one of these Mercedes!!


    • Mercedes
      Jul 24, 2012 @ 8:12 pm

      Thanks Cassie, they were pretty intense!


  2. emily (a nutritionist eats)
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

    WHOA! I love that the base is pb cookie!


  3. Shelby N.
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

    Woah, these look fantastic! I can almost taste them those pictures look so great! Definitly going to pin this one to my “to try” board!


    • Mercedes
      Jul 24, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

      Thank you Shelby! These bars were a peanut butter dream!


  4. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

    Wow. These are definitely over the top! Loving all the peanut butter goodness in these!


    • Mercedes
      Jul 24, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

      Thank you Jessica! In my mind, there can never be enough peanut butter!


  5. Julie @ Table for Two
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 8:38 pm

    chocolate & peanut butter? i’d gladly turn on my own to bake these babies up!!


  6. luv what you do
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

    What an incredible recipe! I can’t wait to find a reson to make it! I think we (midwesterners) loved the mild winter, but we are not so thrilled with this crazy hot summer : )

    This fudgey and sweet double chocolate cookie cake is one of the sweetest things I’ve made.

    Can’t wait for it to cool down a bit to head back into the kitchen for some more chocolate baking!


    • Mercedes
      Jul 24, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

      Thank you Jennifer! I hope you find a reason to make these soon too!


  7. Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    Jul 25, 2012 @ 12:36 am

    I love PB with chocolate – these look amazing Mercedes!


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