A thick, fudgy and chewy dark chocolate brownie topped with a light and fluffy peanut butter frosting. Are you intrigued yet? I don't know about you, but I absolutely adore peanut butter and chocolate. It's an adoration bordering on obsession, to be honest. I combine peanut butter and chocolate wherever I can: dipping my Oreos in peanut butter, swirling peanut butter into my chocolate ice cream, and slathering peanut butter on chocolate muffins: these ones, for example. The list goes on. It's true love, people.
These are slightly akin to the Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies I made, but instead of a peanut butter swirl baked into the brownies, the peanut butter is incorporated into a smooth and fluffy frosting that sits on top of the brownies. The frosting is super simple, too. All you do is cream the butter and peanut butter and then add the powdered sugar. If you have any fleur de sel (or any other flaky salt), I think adding that to the top of these brownies would be awesome, and would create a great sweet-and-salty combination.
These brownies were awesome! The brownies themselves aren't too sweet due to the use of Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder-- if you only have regular cocoa powder, however, feel free to use that. The use of Dark cocoa powder doesn't create that bitter flavour that (I find) dark chocolate often has.The brownies on their own are amazing: chewy and slightly dense, with that perfect crackly top. My little sisters wanted to eat just the brownies sans frosting, and they adored these. With the frosting, however, they're just phenomenal. The fudgy chewiness of the brownie combined with the light and fluffy peanut butter icing is just out of this world! If you're a lover of the chocolate-peanut butter combo, these are the brownies for you.
Dark Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder (I used 2/3 cup Hershey's Special Dark, and 1/3 cup natural cocoa powder)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 pinches baking soda
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 baking pan. (I also recommend lining the pan with aluminum foil so it hangs off the sides of the pan. This will allow you to take the entire brownie out of the pan, making it easier to frost. Line the pan with foil before greasing, and then grease the foil and pan.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the sugar and corn syrup. Add in the eggs one at a time, whisking until well combined. In a very small bowl, stir together the vanilla extract and the coffee/espresso powder until it dissolves. Stir this into the liquid mixture in the pan. Add the dry ingredients into the pan as well, and fold with a spatula until the flour has been incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the pan, smooth the tops with your spatula, and bake them on the middle rack of your oven for about 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Let the brownies cool completely before frosting.
- 12 tablespoons (1½ stick) softened butter
- 1½ cup peanut butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Cream the butter and the peanut butter until combined (I used a hand mixer, but feel free to use a standing mixer). Slowly stir in the powdered sugar until completely incorporated. Spread over the cooled brownies.
Frosting recipe adapted from Not Without Salt.