Choc Peanut Butter Brownies

Choc Peanut Butter Brownies | she cooks, she gardens

When I’m stressed, I like to eat comfort food. I’m sure I’m not alone in this admission, after all the expression ‘comfort food’ has been around much longer than I. These last couple of weeks have been particularly stressful for us; we’ve had building work going on, essays to write, work pressures and a general feeling of needing another holiday. How great would it be to be able to go on holiday all the time by the way? I think I’d like to go to Paris today, I’ve got a hankering for some freshly baked croissants.

Choc Peanut Brownies | she cooks, she gardens

I find that all of my good intentions go out the window when the pressure is on, our usual healthy eating makes way for pepperoni pizza and sometimes, our food even comes out of a box (gasp!). When I eat like this I am racked with guilt. It is possibly the constant sugar high but it does seem to work for us, at least in the short-term. I try to remind myself that most of the time I eat well, and most of the time we reach a limit and revert to normal. Sometimes I wish I had a personal chef like Oprah or George Clooney who could come and cook me a healthy feast each night, but since that’s never going to happen I’m just going to accept that sometimes I need to bake some brownies and eat them by the fistful. Whatever works, right?

Food guilt is a funny thing. We assign labels to different foods to help us make sense of what we’re putting in our mouths, I imagine that if one thought about this for too long eating would become quite a chore. Thankfully I don’t experience that problem, when I’ve hit my sugar/junk threshold my body starts naturally craving healthier food options and within a few days I’m back in my kitchen cooking and eating as I normally do, with the occasional baked good (or pepperoni pizza) thrown in for good measure.


But for now, brownies. Let’s do this. Let’s eat freakin brownies and be happy about it because hell, life’s too short and sometimes you’ve just gotta eat salty peanut butter coupled with fudgey chocolate and butter. Mmmm. Butter.

This recipe is a bit of a keeper. It was scrawled on the back of an envelope quite some time ago, and I return to it over and over. Simply melt chocolate and butter, combine with eggs and flour and then swirl in some salty peanut butter. I like to use raw sugar in my brownies because sometimes the sugar doesn’t dissolve properly and you get this fantastic sugary crunch. If you’d prefer to avoid this then I’d suggest substituting with light muscovado sugar, or something that’s going to both dissolve and add a caramelised flavour to your batch.


Choc Peanut Butter Brownies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These decadent choc peanut butter brownies are definitely not a health food, but they are simple to create and will taste better than anything you will ever get out of a box.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: Plenty
  • 140g unsalted butter
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 200g raw sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, scraped (or 1 tspn vanilla bean paste/essence)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 85g plain flour (sifted)
  • 2 tbspn peanut butter
  1. Heat your oven to 160 degree centigrade (320 F)
  2. Grease and line a 22cm baking dish or brownie pan.
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan half-filled with simmering water (make sure bowl doesn't touch water). Alternatively, melt in the microwave according to packet instructions.
  4. Remove from heat and add to the bowl of your mixer.
  5. Add sugar and mix on low to combine
  6. Add the vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  7. Add eggs and yolk one at a time, mixing through well before adding the next.
  8. Add flour to the mix and stir through until just combined.
  9. Pour out mixture into pre-prepared pan.
  10. In a small pan heat the peanut butter until melty, then pour over the top of the brownie batter.
  11. Use a chopstick to create a swirly pattern.
  12. Bake for 35-40 minutes - keep an eye on them as each oven can be different.
  13. Check for doneness with a toothpick which should come out clean.
  14. Allow to cool completely in the pan (if you can resist) and turn out on a wire rack if serving.
Choc Peanut Brownies | she cooks, she gardens

Do you eat comfort food when you’re stressed? What is your go-to option when the pressure is on?


  • Liz Posmyk says:

    Oh yes, I am so making this!

  • Sam @ Nourish says:

    I agree, there’s no point feeling guilty about food. In fact I just wrote a post about this very thing; how so many of us beat ourselves up for not being perfect. It’s great that you can roll with what your body (and stress levels!) need at the time 🙂

  • Mel Kettle says:

    I did the awful Michelle Bridges program a few years ago and felt guilty every time I ate something that had more than about 6 calories in it. It took a long time to get over that, but thankfully I did. Mostly. I suspect making these would help me continue to move on from that dreadful food time in my life! I love the PB&C combo.

  • Lizzing Lightly says:

    The brownies look amazing! I will have to try them since I love chocolate and peanut butter. Thanks for sharing. I relate to your food guilt and also (luckily) have an internal shock/overload that kicks in when I eat to much junk food which helps to get me back into healthy eating. I am trying to accept my limitations at the moment and enjoy the time I need to refuel or to do other things in life that are also important to me. I hope you enjoyed eating the brownies. It sounded like you needed them! By the way I love all of your gorgeous pictures

  • Berny @ I Only Eat Desserts says:

    Peanut butter and brownies sounds the perfect combo – must put this on my to bake list for winter 😀 Btw recipes scrawled on the back of an envelope are the best recipes 😉

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