*First of all- Today is the day my wedding is featured on Style Me Pretty! Check out our feature here!!!*
So Ok- do you remember the first time you made a recipe from scratch? I definitely can picture that moment when I first made a cake without a mix, not believing that how easy and delicious it was! When it comes to brownies, I never ever fail to be impressed when a recipe tastes better than a box. I’ve always really loved boxed brownies, but the ingredients aren’t my favorite and I obviously love trying to make everything from scratch.
When it comes to these particular brownies, I keep thinking of a friend from grade school whose Mom used to always make peanut butter swirl brownies for class events and bake sales. I remember being obsessed with them and after awhile asked for the recipe to give my Mom hoping she’d make them for us. (Wishfully thinking she wouldn’t health them up with natural flours and sugars.) I remember my friend’s mom saying they were from a box, and at the time I thought that meant boxed brownies were my favorite thing in the world! Now 20 years later, all I can think about are ways to throw all that out and make them from scratch…
Well I’m sure you can guess that I’m pretty happy with the results. I used the darkest Valharona cocoa powder which gave the brownies an amazing rich taste and texture. The peanut butter layer was everything I wanted it to be- tasting just like Reese’s filling and perfectly nutty and sweet.
As delicious as these brownies turned out, I did realize that I’m a horrible “swirler.” I guess I don’t have the delicate hand needed to gently pull the layers together so a lot of my peanut butter filling ended up in the middle. I totally suck right? You know for ending up with a gooey peanut butter layer that oozed out between the layers of fudgy brownie. How could I? Now I just need a bake sale or something to make these for :)
- ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup boiling water
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- For the filling:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
- ½ cup confectioners' sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8x8 baking pan by either greasing or lining it with parchment.
- In a large bowl, stir together the cocoa and baking soda. Add half of the ⅓ cup of vegetable oil and the boiling water. Mix until well blended and thickened. Stir in the sugar, egg, and remaining oil. Finally, add the flour, vanilla and salt; mix just until all of the flour is incorporated. Don't overmix!
- Stir together the peanut butter, melted butter and vanilla until thinned and smooth. Add the confectioner's sugar and salt. Mix until creamy and well-combined.
- Pour ⅓ of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Dot with half of the peanut butter filling. Pour the rest of the brownie batter into the pan. Spoon the remaining peanut butter filling over the brownie batter. Use a butter knife to gently swirl the peanut butter into the batter, making sure it touches the bottom of the pan. (This doesn't have to be perfect.)
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the brownies comes out clean. Allow to cool a bit before serving.