Yummy brownies loaded with a peanut butter layer, peanut butter cups, and chocolate chips.

Heavenly Peanut Butter Brownie Bars Recipe


Who doesn’t love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate? It’s no wonder that peanut butter cups are at the top of the majority of candy wish lists. Peanut butter cookies are a fond childhood memory, and chocolate brownies are a girl’s best friend. Roll all three into a cookie bar, and it’s heaven in your mouth. These are irresistible. Because they are so rich, cut them smaller than you would a brownie square. Then, eat two because they are yummy enough to overpower your guilt.

Heavenly Peanut Butter Brownie Bars Recipe

Brownie Layer:
1-1/2 cups (6-1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups (10-1/2 ounces) sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder (not baking soda)
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick, 3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
3/4 cup (2-1/4 ounces) cocoa powder, Ghiradelli preferred
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (may use chips)
1-1/2 cups miniature Reese’s peanut butter cup baking pieces (see Notes)

Peanut Butter Cookie Layer:
1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional Chocolate Drizzle:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a 9- x -13-inch baking pan with non-stick foil.

Brownie Layer:
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until evenly mixed. Set aside.

Scrape the melted butter into a smaller bowl with a spatula and add the cocoa powder. Stir until combined and no lumps remain. Mix vanilla extract with eggs, then whisk into cocoa butter mixture until smooth and thickened.

Add the wet chocolate mixture to the dry flour mixture and mix thoroughly by hand with a rubber spatula. It may seem as if you need more liquid, but do not add any. Just keep folding and pressing until the mixture comes together. It will eventually reach the consistency of stiff brownie batter. Fold in chocolate chips.

Press the brownie mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing gently outward to the edges of the pan using a spatula. Sprinkle with the peanut butter cup baking pieces and lightly press into the brownies.

• You Might Also Like: Yummy Chunky Chocolate Brownies

Peanut Butter Cookie Layer:
Beat sugar, peanut butter, egg, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. The mixture will appear crumbly. Spoon evenly over the top of the baking pieces and lightly press to form a layer. Not all of the brownie layer will be covered.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before adding the chocolate drizzle or cutting to serve.

Optional Chocolate Drizzle:
Melt chocolate in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring each time until melted. Do not overcook or the chocolate will seize up and become hard. Alternatively, melt chocolate chops in the top of a double-boiler until smooth.

Transfer melted chocolate to a zip-top baggie, press out all the air, and seal. Snip off one corner of the bottom of the bag and use it as a pastry bag to squeeze out the chocolate drizzle over the top of the bars. Refrigerate to set the drizzle.

Remove brownies from the pan and cut into squares or bars. I cut them small because they are very rich.

Yield: 24 to 48 servings, depending on cut size

• If you cannot find the Reese’s baking pieces, you can chop regular or miniature peanut butter cups into 1/2-inch chunks.

• Chunky peanut butter may be substituted for smooth.

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Heavenly Peanut Butter Brownie Bars Recipe Photo © 2017 Peggy Filippone
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