Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies... or almost swirl brownies

My New Years resolution from 2014 obviously did not work out. In fact, I haven't been inspired and I haven't been photographing much for myself (photos for clients don't count). But yesterday I felt creative and really enjoyed taking photos. I think it's the weather. It's getting warmer here and brighter outside. Also, these Brownies were delicious and I really wanted to share them.

I've been all about Peanut Butter lately. I got this huge 2kg (!!) jar of PB from Costco against my husband's advice and now I'm trying to prove him wrong and keep adding peanut butter everywhere. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. These brownies work, but what else could you expect from Martha Stewart's recipe? Even though I changed some ingredients and adapted it to what I had in my kitchen. These moist and fudgy cookies (according to Martha brownies are cookies) are better the next day when all the flavours got to meld together.


Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies

For the batter:
Unsalted butter, cut into small pieces - 4 tablespoons
Coconut oil - 3 tablespoons
Semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped - 7 ounces
Flour - 2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon
Baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - a pinch
Sugar - 2/3 cup
Eggs - 3 extra-large
Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon

For the filling:
Cream cheese, softened - 4 tablespoons
Peanut butter, smooth - 3/4 cup
Icing sugar - 1/2 cup
  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper and butter the paper.
  • For the batter, put butter, coconut oil and chocolate pieces into a heatproof bowl set over a simmering water. Stir until fully melted. Let cool a little bit.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Once chocolate mixture cooled a little bit, add sugar to it and mix.
  • Add eggs, vanilla and stir until smooth.
  • Add flour mixture and mix well until combined.
  • For the filling, mix all the ingredients together until fully incorporated.
  • Pour one-third of batter into prepared pan.  Using half of the filling, drop dollops of peanut butter mixture on top. 
  • Pour the rest of the brownie batter on top, spread evenly.
  • Drop spoonfuls of filling on top.
  • Mix with knife a little bit to incorporate the "swirl" into the batter a little bit, but don't over mix. 
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or a little bit longer until toothpick inserted into brownies comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet. 
  • Let cool for 15 minutes in pan, then lift out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.


  • I only had half a stick of butter in my fridge, so I had to improvise. Technically only butter can be used to make the brownies, no need for coconut oil. Or, if you'd like to have a more tropical brownie, then all coconut oil can be used too.
  • Filling also had butter, but see my point above, so I decided to use cream cheese instead. I actually think the flavour profile of cream cheese and peanut butter together is much better than peanut butter and butter. Cream cheese cuts through the richness of PB and gives the filling a little bit of tang. However, original recipe called for melted butter and PB mixed together which resulted in a liquid filling. Cream cheese and PB do not make anything even remotely liquid, so that's why my swirl did not really swirl :) 
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Posted on March 15, 2015 and filed under Recipe.