peanut butter brownies

peanut butter brownies

{We are off to Italy right now, but I wanted to leave at least something to be read while we’re away.  If you want to follow along on the trip, I’m trying my best to post on instagram when we have data/internet connections available.}

A couple of Fridays ago we had a group of people over to our house very briefly.  Gerrit’s big into homebrewing right now (I say that as if this is ever going to change, and I don’t see that happening…in fact I’m a little worried we’re going to end up owning a brewery one day), and some old friends/acquaintances of his have asked him to brew a recipe for them.  So they came over on Friday night before they went to dinner to try some of Gerrit’s beers and see his brewing set up.

It’s an odd thing to have people you don’t know at all come into your home and sit down and have beers and make conversation (especially for an introvert like me).  Really I want to think of myself as a gracious hostess, always happy to invite people it.  I want to think of myself as naturally hospitable and welcoming and never at all inconvenienced about having people over.  But the truth, it’s just not like that.  I’m perfectly happy to be polite and seem welcoming, but it’s also the truth that I really like having my own space most of the time.

peanut butter brownie batter

peanut butter brownies

But on Friday I tried to be gracious and welcome these people in and this is what I learned: we have an awful lot in common.  I sat with the girls in front of the television with the Braves game on mute and we chatted about moving and how hard it is to make life decisions and how hard it is to be in new places sometimes.  We talked about travel.  We talked about baseball.  And then someone noticed my Smitten Kitchen Cookbook on the coffee table and said “Oh I just love her site.”  And then we had that in common, too.  One girl had just made Deb’s homemade pop tarts.  Another raved about her apple cake.  (And I had just made her peanut butter brownies).

peanut butter brownie batter

We go through life thinking we are so very different from the people around us.  We judge ourselves according to how others dress or the kinds of jobs other people have or kind of house they live in.  We make ourselves feel better or worse accordingly.  But we don’t need to spend our energy on finding our differences.  The truth is we have so much more in common than we think.  Like the love of a certain sport.  Or beer.  Or certain books.  Or cooking.

{Also related: this lovely post}

peanut butter brownies with chocolate ganache

peanut butter brownies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: Makes one 9x13 inch pan

I’ve done very little to this recipe except give you a few of my tips, like putting the brownies in the fridge to get the chocolate a little harder, especially during the summer. I’ll also tell you that instead of using semisweet chocolate chips I used a mix of semisweet and bittersweet and it was delicious. Also, Deb suggests that about 1/2 teaspoon of salt might be needed if you use a natural peanut butter, but I just used my regular peanut without extra salt and thought it was perfectly fine.


  • For the brownies:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • For the ganache:
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, line it with parchment paper, and then butter the parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Then add the peanut butter. Beat until combined. Add the eggs, the egg yolk, and the vanilla, beating to combine. Then gradually, beating at low speed, add the flour and mix just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Spread the batter out evenly into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until they are beginning to seem golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool, about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours (really, spreading the ganache on still slightly warm brownies is not going to hurt much.)
  4. To make the ganache, put the chocolate chips in a medium-sized heat proof bowl. Bring the cream to a slight boil in a small saucepan and immediately pour it over the chocolate chips. Let sit for about 30 seconds to 1 minute and then stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth (if it doesn’t quite melt all the way, 10-20 seconds in the microwave can help). Add the butter and stir until the butter melts (again, the microwave can help you here if needed).
  5. Spread the ganache evenly on top of the brownies and let sit until the chocolate has set. If the chocolate is not firming up how you’d like it, set the brownies in the fridge for 30 minutes or so before serving.


3 Responses

  1. Becki's Whole Life July 23, 2013 at 7:26 am |

    Have a great trip. Cute story and definintely very true:-).

    Ok, these brownies look amazing. PB and Chocolate is my favorite sweet combo for sure.

  2. Kathryn July 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm |

    Oh I love this post! And these brownies…

  3. Rachel @ Sincerely, Ginger Weddings February 27, 2014 at 7:09 pm |

    Thank you so much for mentioning my post! Love that it resonated with you! And now… off to make some brownies!! :)



Leave a Reply