Most people like chocolate. Some people like dark, some people like milk. Some people like their chocolate with nuts, others like theirs uninterrupted. Yet chocolate and peanut butter is one of those combinations everyone seems to be able to agree upon — smooth, creamy, rich, nutty, balanced. It’s like the yin and yang of sweets. Who doesn’t like Reeses?
Reeses, meet brownies.
Fudgy brownies swirled with creamy peanut butter and crowned with crunchy pretzels. Unf. Sweet, savory, moist, rich — an instant fan favorite.
For the Brownie:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used chips)
1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Peanut Butter Swirl:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
coarse sea salt for topping
large handful pretzel sticks or crisps
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper so that it overhangs on two sides and grease the parchment paper as well. (*Note: I skipped the parchment paper/extra greasing step and now understand why Joy recommends to do so. These babies stick. Big time. Definitely go the parchment/extra grease route. If not, they’re really tough to coax out of the pan.)
Boil two inches of water in a medium saucepan. Combine butter, chocolate, and coffee powder in a heat proof bowl and place over the simmering water. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted. Use a pot holder to remove the bowl from the double boiler and let mixture cool slightly. Stir in the vanilla extract.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Whisk granulated sugar into the melted chocolate and butter. Make sure the chocolate mixture isn’t too hot and whisk in the eggs one at a time. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and spoon into prepared pan, making sure brownie is evenly distributed.
In another bowl, whisk together peanut butter, melted butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour the peanut butter mixture on top of the brownie batter and use a butter knife to swirl the two together. Top with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt. Arrange pretzel sticks/crisps on top of the brownie batter.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean(ish). Allow to cool for about 30 minutes before slicing and enjoying.
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker.