Crazy for Crust

Nov 17

Fudgy Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

These Fudgy Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies are SO delicious, you might cry.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies |

Last Monday, I was sitting in my car at Jordan’s dance class, minding my own business, waiting for her to be done, when I look up and a man is driving a big truck in the parking lot wearing a ski mask.

Now, my first thought was “is there a bank nearby?” but there isn’t. I did, however remember there is a liquor store in the corner of the shopping center. I began to panic, thinking I am the only witness to a robbery. The guy is going to go in and steal some Wild Turkey or something and try to get away in his huge white truck with his ski mask on and I’ll be the only witness – if he lets me live.

Then, the truck stops driving, and pulls into a parking spot in front of Jordan’s dance class. I started to sweat. In the approximately 1.5 seconds since I first saw ski mask dude driving, I am now convinced he is not going to rob the convenience store, but instead go in and hold 5 little girls hostage. In a second I’m freaking out because I’m the BAD MOM who wanted to sit in her car instead of listening to the incessant jabbering of the owner and her mother, who is obsessed that I am still wearing flip flops in November.

Instead, I’ll be stuck outside while my daughter is being held hostage by a ski mask driving white pick-up truck man. #momfail

As I’m about to dial 911 or shout or do…something…a girl hops out of the truck. She runs inside and joins Jordan’s dance class. The truck drives off.

So it appears that one of the girls in Jordan’s dance class has a psycho for a father. One who thinks it’s okay to drive around town wearing a ski mask freaking out other parents.

Yeah, dads? Don’t drive wearing a ski mask. Unless you buy me a bottle of vodka at the liquor store, mmkay?

Thank God I came home to these Fudgy Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies. They were just what I needed.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies |

I mean…peanut butter. And brownies. Is there anything better?

This is my standard brownie recipe that I’ve been using for about a year now. You can make them in a 9×13″ pan for a thinner brownie, or in a 9×9″ pan for a thicker and extra super fudgy brownie.

You can frost them with orange frosting, or coconut frosting. You can stuff them with Oreos or make them into truffles. This is the BEST brownie recipe!

The recipe includes three kinds of chocolate: melted unsweetened and semi-sweet, and cocoa powder. You can use regular cocoa powder, or you can use Dark Cocoa Powder. If you’ve never used Dark – DO IT. It gives it such a rich and fudgy flavor, seriously you’ll cry.

FYI, my daughter hates dark chocolate. She avoids it at all costs. She ate these brownies and loved them. It doesn’t make them unsweet-dark, it just gives them an extra layer of flavor and adds richness. It’s like eating fudge. But it’s a brownie.

The peanut butter topping is simple to make. It’s made with powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla. The peanut butter mixture by itself tastes like a peanut butter cup. And then you put it on top of fudgy brownies and you know what happens?

They blow your mind.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies |

Best brownies ever. Perfect for a note of chocolate at Thanksgiving, and especially perfect for your holiday treat platters.

Make them, mmmkay?

Fudgy Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Yield: 9-16 brownies

Rich and fudgy brownies with a peanut butter swirl! These are some serious brownies!


For the Brownies

  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I love using Hershey’s Dark, but you can use either regular or dark)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

For the peanut butter swirl:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9x9” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Place the two baking chocolates and butter in a large, microwave safe bowl. Heat on HIGH power for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is smooth. Stir in sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, and cocoa and stir well. Add flour and stir carefully. Spread batter in prepared pan.
  3. Stir together peanut butter, melted butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Drop spoonfuls on top of the brownies then swirl with a butter knife or the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. Bake about 28-30 minutes, until a toothpick 2 inches from the outside of the pan comes out clean. Let cool before cutting.

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Sweets from friends:
Oreo Cream Brownies by Something Swanky
Samoa Brownies by Chef-in-Training
Thick and Fudgy Toffee Brownies by Handle the Heat

94 Responses to “Fudgy Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies”

  1. Tieghan posted on November 17, 2013 at 5:40 am (#)

    Oh my gosh, I would have totally thought the same thing! That is just plain freaky and weird! Glad it turned out ok though! And these brownies are the perfect cure for pretty much anything. Total heaven!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 17th, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      Me too! LOL, thanks Tieghan!


  2. Jocelyn @BruCrew Lifec posted on November 17, 2013 at 6:48 am (#)

    My mind would totally have thought the exact same thing! Who drives around with a full ski mask? Seriously just dumb!!! Glad you had these awesome brownies to calm your nerves down! Love that peanut butter swirl!!!!


  3. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) posted on November 17, 2013 at 7:40 am (#)

    OMG I totally would’ve panicked too! lol weeeird

    and these brownies look SO delicious! I looove dark chocolate, esp when there’s pb involved! SO FUDGY!


  4. Kindra posted on November 17, 2013 at 11:15 am (#)

    There is a commercial (VW convertible I think) where people drive around in ski masks. The guy goes into the convenience store and forgets to take his mask off and they think he is going to rob the store. It’s pretty funny. These brownies will be made at my house this week. Love your peanut butter addiction and recipes, as my husband is a peanut butter-aholic.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 17th, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      LOL, I’ve never seen that commercial! I bet that’s why he was doing it. :)


  5. Amy posted on November 17, 2013 at 1:27 pm (#)

    Oh man, I’m ALL about the thick fudgy dark chocolaty brownies! If Jordan declined hers, I definitely would’ve snapped it up in a heartbeat. And you are NOT a bad mom at all — you kept your (outward) cool and waited to see if there would really be a problem. Good for you Dorothy!!

    P.S. Love love love the complementary colors in your photographs, and I’m positively swooning (still) over that burlap fabric!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 17th, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      Thanks Amy! I saw burlap ribbon at Walmart today, on an end-cap near the ribbon/sewing dept. It’s really wide ribbon, I bought some green/tealish color but they had plain brown too!


      • Amy replied on November 17th, 2013 at 10:35 pm

        Oooh thanks for the tip! I had no idea it was ribbon — that’s so creative and much easier! :)

  6. Julianne @ Beyond Frosting posted on November 17, 2013 at 2:13 pm (#)

    You have GOT to be kidding me. How scary is that??!?! But in the back of my mind I was reading this and all I could think of was Dance moms, less about the moms and more about the owners of the dance schools and how crazy they are.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 17th, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      LOL, I think it too!!! :)


  7. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent posted on November 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm (#)

    Wow! What a crazy story. I hope it was at least cold out. Love these brownies. PB and chocolate can’t go wrong :)


  8. Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life posted on November 17, 2013 at 3:53 pm (#)

    That sounds like me to a T … I see something a little off and suddenly that person is a convicted criminal ready to maul my little sister next to me. Yeah. I have a problem with being judgemental. Maybe these brownies could help me out … with a happy sweet tooth, I might be more inclined to give everyone the benefit of the doubt:) Sounds like I’m going to need a couple pans of these! Thanks for sharing Dorothy!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 17th, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      Benefit of the doubt + ski masks don’t go together, lol!!! Thanks Mary Frances!


  9. Alana posted on November 17, 2013 at 4:51 pm (#)

    These look amazingly delicious! I am pinning them to try :)


  10. Brianna posted on November 17, 2013 at 4:51 pm (#)

    I’m sorry there’s a psycho dad in your town – that’s a little odd. These brownies sound utterly amazing, though.


  11. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on November 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm (#)

    melted unsweetened and semi-sweet, and cocoa powder. = YES PLEASE
    and how does Jordan not like chocolate? I guess that’s not that uncommon b/c if it’s dark/bitter it can be a little much…thankfully my taste-tester loves her chocolate :)

    These are the best brownies you’ve ever made. I mean I know it’s the same base, but the photos truly convey! Pinned!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 17th, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      Thank you Averie! :) And she’s just funny about dark chocolate. I think she likes it, she’s scared of it, lol.


  12. Mom posted on November 17, 2013 at 5:36 pm (#)

    Wow, these look great. I can’t believe this post…yesterday on my walk I was thinking about something similar & was going to ask you if you’d ever made brownies and just taken scoops of pb mixed with a little of the brownie mixture and swirl it in (light you do for a marble cake). I was thinking that it sounded really good and then I see this!!!! lol


  13. Linda Bradshaw posted on November 17, 2013 at 7:15 pm (#)

    I accidently put my twitter username on the pinterest Nikki Gladd instead of my pinterest name. It switched on me from twitter to pinterest and I hit enter before I could stop. :( It is not couponinglsb it is teachinmomma123.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 18th, 2013 at 6:57 am

      I’ll make a note of it!! Thanks for letting me know!


  14. Laurie F. posted on November 17, 2013 at 7:19 pm (#)

    I don’t like peanut butter in my chocolate, but I’ m always looking for a good brownie recipe! And about the flip-flops, I’m with you. When I was a teenager I would even wear them to basketball games, in January, at night, in the tule fog. Maybe we are channelling our inner Hawaiian!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 18th, 2013 at 6:57 am

      This is my favorite one Laurie! Use a 9×9 or a 9×13 pan, regular cocoa or dark. They’re so good! It’s funny, that lady is OBSESSED with them. She’s one of those older ladies who is very…proper? (i.e. judgmental) and I don’t think that she approves of jeans and sweatshirts either. :)


  15. Erin | The Emerging Foodie posted on November 17, 2013 at 7:20 pm (#)

    Ohhhh, Dorothy. Dangerous, dangerous. But so delicious. I want to make these RIGHT NOW. But my belly is already sickly full of sweets. So these will wait. But, oh boy, are they going to the top of the list!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 18th, 2013 at 6:55 am

      My belly is always sickly full of sweets! #occupationalhazard


  16. Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen posted on November 17, 2013 at 7:25 pm (#)

    Thanks for the giveaway! :-)
    Brownies and peanut butter has to be one of my top 5 all time favorite desserts! *drool*!


  17. Heather @ French Press posted on November 17, 2013 at 8:36 pm (#)

    holy crap – I would totally have freaked – it hasn’t even been cold here WTH – but the brownies I SO need in my life right now


    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 18th, 2013 at 6:52 am

      I know right??? Thanks Heather!


  18. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie posted on November 18, 2013 at 7:58 am (#)

    You have to know that I would be all over these


    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 18th, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      Like I’m all over your cake roll!


  19. Gloria @ Simply Gloria posted on November 18, 2013 at 9:18 am (#)

    On my, I would have done the same thing and just sat there wondering what the “main move” he was going to do. Whew…at least you didn’t have to get out with your flippies in the middle of November! Too funny! Love these brownies…the texture on the pb part looks to die for!


  20. Matskafferiet posted on November 18, 2013 at 10:04 am (#)

    These brownies look very delicious!


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  22. Taylor @ FoodFaithFitness posted on November 18, 2013 at 12:09 pm (#)

    First off, holy scary incident! I totally would have thought the same thing! Secondly, I feel like once my face experiences the deliciousness that is these Fudgy Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies, my life will be complete.


  23. Keely posted on November 18, 2013 at 12:15 pm (#)

    Love your page!


  24. Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie posted on November 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm (#)

    Haha – I would have totally thought the same thing! What a weirdo…

    These brownies look downright dangerous!


  25. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking posted on November 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm (#)

    Peanut butter + chocolate = love. These are mouthwatering, Dorothy! Thanks for sharing this recipe and the great giveaway!


  26. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen posted on November 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm (#)

    What a CREEEPER!! I would totally freak out, but yes at least you had these to come home to. Seriously these look so rich and fudgy and the peanut butter topping- when you said its like a pb cup I just about died and had to clean off all the drool on my laptop!!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 18th, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      LOL! Thanks Elizabeth!


  27. Shawn @ I Wash You Dry posted on November 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm (#)

    Dorothy! I was seriously freaking out just reading this!! That would have scared the crap outta me!! I’m so glad it just turned out to be weirdo dad, and not a real creeper. These brownies look incredible. Love chocolate and peanut butter!!


  28. Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl posted on November 18, 2013 at 6:27 pm (#)

    DYING over these photos Dorothy! They’re amazing!!


  29. Trish - Mom On Timeout posted on November 18, 2013 at 7:29 pm (#)

    Some people are just cray cray! Glad you had these brownies to come home to – seriously, brownie perfection!


  30. Nutmeg Nanny posted on November 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm (#)

    These look amazing! Chocolate and peanut butter are my weakness!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 20th, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Thanks so much!! Mine too!


  31. Jennifer posted on November 20, 2013 at 1:56 am (#)

    I make these same kind of brownies, but I add cream cheese and an egg to the pb mix and it’s just pure awesomeness. :) I also use regular sugar. I’ve been thinking about maybe using cream cheese and brown sugar to get a cookie type taste. I’m always experimenting with different flavors of the same recipes! :)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on November 20th, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Oooooh that sounds awesome!


  32. alex posted on November 20, 2013 at 2:03 pm (#)

    um…that is scary!!! ski masks should just not be worn at all! these brownies would be the only thing to fix that ordeal!


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  34. Tina T. posted on November 21, 2013 at 4:28 pm (#)

    Love!!!! I will try these soon. They look wonderful and chocolate peanut butter is so delish! Thanks for sharing


  35. Dina posted on November 22, 2013 at 6:39 am (#)

    never had pb brownies but they sound good!


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  37. Julie posted on December 7, 2013 at 5:51 am (#)

    Isit okay if i use baking paper? and only semi sweet chocolate? I cudnt find unsweetened chocolate.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 7th, 2013 at 8:15 am

      Instead of foil? You can use parchment. Or nothing, I just like to be able to remove the entire brownie from the pan before cutting for pretty pictures. You can use all semi-sweet but it may be a little sweeter than normal, but they will bake up just fine! Enjoy!


      • Julie replied on December 7th, 2013 at 9:07 pm

        THank you for replying :)
        SWeeter than normal, should i reduce the sugar? Or Just leave it? 😀

        • Dorothy Kern replied on December 8th, 2013 at 3:39 pm

          I think you could reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup and it would be fine! Or just leave it, but the little extra sweetness in the chocolate may make them a little sweeter than what I’ve made. I need to try all semi next time and see what happens!

  38. Margaret posted on January 27, 2014 at 6:51 pm (#)

    Can this recipe be doubled effectively and baked in a 9×13 pan????


    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 28th, 2014 at 7:15 am

      You can bake the brownie layer without doubling it in the 9×13 pan (I normally bake it in a 9×13 unless I want a thicker brownie) but you should double the peanut butter topping. If you want a really thick brownie, then you can double both. Baking time will be affected either way, so just check it sooner for the first option, later for the second. :) Enjoy!


      • DINA replied on March 9th, 2014 at 9:50 am


        • Dorothy Kern replied on March 9th, 2014 at 7:38 pm

          I’m not sure how long it would bake for, but I know that other brownies in a 9×13 bake for about 25 minutes. That’s not doubling the brownie recipe, however. I would start checking at 20 and check every 5 until they start looking close, then every couple minutes until they’re done!

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  40. R posted on February 7, 2014 at 6:29 am (#)

    Thanks for the delicious recipe – just made these last night. I do have to say though that I had to increase the baking time to 55 minutes, which is quite different than the time given in the recipe. The center was just a goopy, gloppy mess – and I’m one who loves a slightly underbaked, extremely fudgy brownie. Made these in the 9 x 9 pan. Other than the texture, the taste was wonderful, and I will definitely try these again.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 7th, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Sorry about that! I’m not sure why it took longer to bake, other than I know that different ovens can bake differently. I’m glad you liked them even with the extended time!


  41. Dani posted on February 8, 2014 at 9:43 pm (#)

    These were a big hit at home and work alike! I doubled both brownie and PB and baked longer (to be expected…larger pan). Thanks for sharing!


    • DINA replied on March 9th, 2014 at 10:01 am



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  44. Mandi posted on April 7, 2014 at 9:36 am (#)

    OHEMGEE. These are amazing. I also followed your advice to add Oreos, and they are sooooo rich, but extremely tasty. I was trying to find an easy treat to mail to my brother in college, and these were perfect. And they combined the three things he loves most: chocolate, peanut butter, and Oreos. I am now addicted to your blog.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 7th, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      Totally rich! Like fudge, I bet. My problem is still only eating one. Or four. :)


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  47. Karen posted on May 23, 2014 at 10:35 pm (#)

    I’m not good at conversions but would love to make this as a slab for my associates. Any suggestions?


  48. Lauren Sticca posted on June 14, 2014 at 6:12 am (#)

    Hi – I’ve made these brownies twice now and they are amazing!! The only problem I have is that they do not look at all like your picture! When I make the peanut butter topping and swirl it in, then bake the brownies, they come out brown on top. You can’t see any peanut butter on top at all because it sinks into the brownie batter while cooking! Just wondering if I’m doing something wrong?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on June 14th, 2014 at 6:48 am

      Hi Lauren, I replied to your email, but I’ll reply here too in case others are having the same problem. I have a feeling there is too much mixing happening when swirling in the PB. I usually drop the PB mixture on top and swirl it gently with a wooden spoon. You don’t want to over mix it into the batter. Then it should stay more on the top. If the mixture is very liquidy let me know, mine was thicker. There may be an issue there as well, because something with more liquid would sink down. Possibly in that case, a little more powdered sugar would help.


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  50. Mel posted on September 19, 2014 at 7:10 am (#)

    These look way too good. Did you save any? lol


    • Dorothy Kern replied on September 19th, 2014 at 7:25 am

      Ha ha thanks sweetie!


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