For those who know me well… you can attest I can’t possibly pass on a good brownie. They’re one of my favorite things to eat and bake, ever! The blog has almond flour brownies, buckwheat brownies, and it was (about) time to develop a brownie that was a bit more standard in terms of flour. But once you get a fudgy batter, add a couple blobs of all-natural peanut butter and proceed to swirl them into the batter- they become anything BUT standard. They are perfect.
For the record; I consider chocolate and peanut butter to be major food groups. 🙂 Sooooo…. if you can think of anything better than these fudgy + swirly peanut butter brownies that taste of PB cups in every bite- let me know, OK?
Now let’s talk a bit about my brownie obsession…. In case you guessed it, I got it from my mama! She makes the absolute best brownies; but she uses regular ingredients like butter, white sugar and white flour. This attempts to recreate her fudgy brownie interior- using my kind of ingredients.
One of my culinary heroes, Ina Garten, once said: “Anyone who tries to make brownies without butter should be arrested”. This quote doubled me up with laughter because butter is at the heart of every good brownie. I hear you, Ina. It’s literally the equivalent of trying to make crème brûlée without cream. Well, this simple recipe gives you the option of using: REAL grass fed butter or vanilla ghee (clarified butter) or high-heat avocado oil as your go-to vegan option.
And, am happy to report all three passed the bake test with flying colors! p.s. you could use coconut oil, too! Am just trying to change it for my peeps who’ve asked me for something totally different- and no coconut taste.
I must report, I had a prettyyy large focus group this time around… It was comprised of my husband and munchkins (all chocolate lovers by technical default) my friend Danielle and her kiddos- and… (insert new) my office coworkers! Yep. I brought them some super fudgy brownies on a fine Friday and they all loved the PB Cup variety. I love seeing people’s reactions when I tell them they’re eating a gluten, dairy and refined sugar free treat. (they tested the avocado oil variety).
I have to confess guys, I kinda tried to keep my Instagram recipe-writing thingamajig an offline secret- but let’s just say that didn’t work out very well. Nope. Somehow, they all found out. I crunch numbers during the day and I continue to work my kitchen during the evening. As long a my (very long) day ends with chocolate, I figure we’re still alright. Am I right? (p.s. I do realize this last sentence has riddle-like qualities)
Also, try this recipe. It’s not complicated at all and it’s easily customizable. You guys will love! Here’s a few pointers:
- out of all 3 oil options, it tastes better with organic or grass-fed butter
- these are great if you slightly under bake them. You’ll guarantee a gooey interior.
- don’t be afraid/shy about that 1 tsp of instant coffee or espresso- it enhances the chocolatey factor and nope, they don’t taste of coffee!
Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
- 1 cup of all-purpose gluten-free flour *
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup of cacao or good quality cocoa powder. *I really recommend Dutch process cocoa powder; it’s darker and richer in color.
- 1.5 cups of organic, raw coconut sugar OR 1/2 cup of maple syrup, date syrup or raw honey (for sweeter palates: try 2 cups of coconut sugar
- 1 tsp of good-quality instant coffee or espresso powder
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt
- 1 tbsp of pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 3/4 cup of: grass-fed butter, vanilla ghee, or avocado oil.*
- 1 cup of dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
- 4-6 tbsp of crunchy, all-natural peanut butter
(*make sure you buy one that has xantham gum) If you’re not gluten-sensitive, this recipe works really well with regular, unbleached flour, too.)
*avocado oil and vanilla ghee are dairy free options. Ghee is clarified butter (lactose free) and has a host of health benefits!
- Preheat your oven to 350F and line a 9×13 inch pan with your choice of parchment paper or aluminum foil (I always use parchment paper)
- Just like my double chocolate almond flour brownies I like to melt the chocolate chips or chopped coarse chocolate with the avocado oil or grass fed butter. Use a heat-proof bowl that’s placed directly over a gently simmering saucepan filled with water. You could microwave them, too. Just make sure not to scorch/burn the chocolate.
- Pour all the remaining dry ingredients into a large bowl: flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, sea salt and whisk well. (if you opt for coconut sugar, throw it in here, too!)
- Once the chocolate and oil mixture has cooled down you could crack the eggs into that very bowl and whisk well. If you’re using date or maple syrup, mix it in with the wet ingredient bowl, as well.
- Gently pour the wet ingredient bowl into the dry ingredient bowl and whisk well to integrate. The batter should be rich, thick and fudgy already.
- Use a spatula to help spread out batter over the pan.
- Then use a spoon to drop/dump peanut butter “blobs” on top of the batter. Use a sharp knife or toothpick to swirl the peanut butter into the batter.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 25-28 mins. I like to slightly under bake them for a richer brownie. Standard bake-time is about 30 mins.
By: Aleyda | The Dish On Healthy