It's a good thing we stock up on peanut butter, because we're going to need it. Averie Sunshine's new cookbook, Peanut Butter Comfort, has over 100 innovative, delicious and yes, totally comforting peanut butter recipes. Next up, a brownie recipe with a delicious identity crisis.
This recipe is a two-fer. You know, a two-for-one special. There’s a layer of rich peanut butter cheesecake on top and a dense fudgy brownie layer on the bottom. It’s like hitting the blue light special of desserts and now you don’t have to decide if you want brownies or cheesecake for dessert; you can have both with this two-fer.
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
- 6 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate, melted
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons brewed coffee (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Peanut butter cheesecake layer
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened (I prefer whipped cream cheese)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
For the brownies:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, add butter and chocolate and heat on high power to melt, about 60 to 90 seconds. Stop to stir. Heat in 10-second bursts until mixture has melted and can be stirred smooth. Add the sugars and stir to combine; batter will seem granular.
- Add the coffee and vanilla and stir until well mixed and smooth.
- Add the eggs and whisk or stir to combine. Add the flour and stir until just combined.
- Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips; set aside.
For the peanut butter cheesecake layer:
- To the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese, butter, egg, sugar, salt and vanilla and mix on medium-high to high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, stopping at least once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the peanut butter and beat for 2 minutes on medium-high speed, or until peanut butter is incorporated and batter has fluffed. Pour this mixture over the brownie layer, smoothing it lightly with a spatula, if necessary.
- Swirl the batter with a knife in a zigzag pattern to create marbling between the two layers.
- Bake for 38 to 42 minutes, or until top is golden and center is set but a bit loose, since it will firm as it cools. A toothpick test will not be effective due to the density and moistness of both layers.
- Allow brownies to cool at room temperature for at least one hour then place the pan in the refrigerator for at least three hours to chill the brownies completely before slicing and serving. Store brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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