Peanut Butter-Swirled Cocoa Brownies

November 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

DSC_0764 I cannot believe I am leaving Sydney in less than two weeks! It feels like my first day in July was so long ago but the semester seemed to fly by somehow. It stinks that after I’ve started knowing my way around the city and making local friends, I have to leave. I am definitely going to miss living in such a beautiful city where there are heaps of beaches, parks, and outdoor markets that are all easily accessible, in addition to the typical urban environment. I guess this means I’ll just have to visit again! To help use up some ingredients before I leave (and to take a much needed study break during finals period), I made these Peanut Butter-Swirled Cocoa Brownies. DSC_0741 It took awhile to find a promising brownie recipe that only required cocoa powder, which I have a lot of, rather than melting solid chocolate. When I found this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, one of the food blogs I follow, I had a feeling the brownies were going to turn out well. Since I was in the mood for peanut butter and chocolate, I made a simple peanut butter topping to swirl into the brownies. DSC_0733 These brownies are so delicious! They are moist, decadent, and extremely fudgy. The cocoa powder surprisingly gives the brownies an intense chocolate flavor and the peanut butter on top puts these brownies over the edge! They are quite rich, which simply means these are great with a cold glass of milk. These are the perfect treats to help combat the Monday (or Tuesday) blues, so treat yo’ self by making these delicious brownies. DSC_0748

Peanut Butter-Swirled Cocoa Brownies

Yield: 16 brownies

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen



  • 10 tbsp (140 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

Peanut butter swirl

  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Few splashes of milk


Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper or foil, ensuring that there is an overhang on two opposite sides.

In a medium pot, combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt over medium-low heat. Stir the mixture fairly frequently until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot enough that if you place your finger in it, you want to remove it within a few seconds. It is normal for the mixture to look gritty at this point. Let it cool briefly until it is just warm.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in the vanilla extract. After cracking the eggs in a separate bowl, add the eggs one at a time and stir vigorously after each addition. When the mixture looks smooth and shiny, add the flour and stir to combine.

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and smooth evenly.

To make the peanut butter topping, combine all ingredients with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. The consistency should be similar to that of the brownie batter so adjust the amount of milk accordingly. Dollop the peanut butter mixture on top of the brownie batter and use a knife to swirl the two together.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs attached to it. Place on a rack to cool completely. Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan by using the parchment paper or foil overhang and cut them on a cutting board. DSC_0769


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