Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies from Cooking with Paula Deen, January/February 2014

Ok, raise of hands. Who remembers ‘Plop, plop. Fizz, fizz’? Can you finish the next line? If that was enough to move a little dust around in your mind but not help you remember all the way, how about the beginning part of the thing; ‘I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.’ Ringing any bells now?

There aren’t many commercials that stick in my mind like that one does. It also dates me back to 1972 (trust me, I go farther back than that).  The commercial was hilarious and the jingle created an ear worm that took days to get rid of.

I’ll be honest and admit that up until the 70’s, I’d never realized that putting peanut butter and chocolate together was a ‘thing.’ It wasn’t until another commercial that showed two oblivious people colliding as they rounded a corner aired that I found out about it. Remember, ‘Hey, you got your chocolate in my peanut butter’?

Even though I’m not a huge chocolate fan, there really is something about that combination that works well. Very well. So well, in fact, that when I saw Paula’s version in brownie form, I couldn’t resist.

So, I got peanut butter in my chocolate.

The Process

First, the confession. I couldn’t follow the recipe exactly. Paula uses a teaspoon of peanut butter extract. Supposedly it can be found at one of those big box stores, but mine didn’t have it, so I had to go without.

Making the brownies was easy. In fact, I was able to do it with just two bowls. I whisked the eggs, butter and vanilla in one and the dry stuff in another. After gradually adding the dry stuff to the egg mixture, I used the same dry stuff bowl to mix the peanut butter layers. It’s all about less dish washing in my book.

I saved out a cup of the brownie batter and spread the rest in my prepared pan. The peanut butter mixture went on top of that and then I plopped the reserved batter on it by the tablespoonful, doing my best to swirl the thick mixture around.

Forty-two minutes in the oven and the brownies were done.

The Verdict

I am, of course, the wrong person to ask about these chocolate treats. Hubby and Dudette were more than willing to taste test them for me. In fact, Dudette, who had the flu for two days, made a remarkably quick recovery so she’d be able to sample a square.

Both family members were underwhelmed. The brownie was good, but Hubby and Dudette weren’t thrilled with the peanut butter layer. So, I tasted it myself and know exactly what they mean.

I think the ratio of peanut butter to cream cheese is off.The tanginess of the cream cheese comes through more strongly than the taste of the peanut butter. The addition of the egg also creates more of a cheesecake texture instead of a creamy peanut butter mouth-feel. It’s not bad, but it’s not ‘oh wow, these are delicious’ good.

What I’d Do Different Next Time

For the filling, I’d use a quarter cup of softened butter, the cup of peanut butter, the 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar, the two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and a pinch of salt instead of what the recipe says. I would also leave out the flour.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies from Cooking with Paula Deen, January/February 2014
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Source:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peanut butter extract
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 3540. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with baking spray (it has flour in it).
  2. Whisk together the melted butter, 3 of the eggs, vanilla and peanut butter extracts until smooth in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the sugar, 1¼ cups of the flour, the cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter in several steps, mixing well between each.
  3. Reserve a cup of batter and spread the rest in the prepared pan.
  4. In a medium bow, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the peanut butter, confectioners' sugar and remaining ¼ cup flour. Beat until smooth. Add the cream and egg and beat to combine.
  5. Spread the peanut butter mixture over the batter. Drop the reserved batter by tablespoonful on the peanut butter mixture, then swirl both layers together with a knife.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes,. Let cool complete in the pan on a wire rack.
What I'd Do Different Next Time
For the filling, I'd use a quarter cup of softened butter, the cup of peanut butter, the ½ cup of confectioners' sugar, the two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and a pinch of salt instead of what the recipe says. I would also leave out the flour.

 

So, how many knew what the ‘plop, plop’ thing was? Did you have to look it up? Just checking.

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13 Responses to Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies from Cooking with Paula Deen, January/February 2014

  1. Hubby says:

    Ahhha, I get it now … don't trust me or my opinion. What was the look and comment I got after giving my verdict??? Pfffffftttttt!!

  2. seana says:

    Do you think the reason the cream cheese tang came through more was due to the lack of PB extract in the PB portion? It might have made the PB part stand out. I probably would have done the same thing and skipped the extract. Back from a major trip to the market where I did some serious damage. However, that's what happens when you don't go for 3 weeks. I did get all the ingredients for the chicken enchilada soup you posted the other day. If not for the green enchilada sauce, I would not have had to go to a 2nd market. I am torn to do the chicken part and then throw it into the crockpot to simmer all day. Obviously without the sour cream, cheese and scallions.

    • That's the thing, Seana, there wasn't supposed to be peanut butter extract in the peanut butter portion. It was supposed to be added to the brownie portion. Very weird. I'm sure it would have helped with the flavor, but not the consistency. I can't wait to hear what you think of the chili. I'm finishing up the last bit of it for lunch right now. :)

  3. Ayshela says:

    Oh what a relief it is… yeah, I remember those commercials. But then, 1972 was the year my much younger brother was born. I also remember running across the room to change channels for my dad. heh.

    Sounds like, if cheesecake brownies were what you were *going* for this would fit the bill, but otherwise not so much, eh? I love your "What I'd do differently" suggestions.

  4. Brooks says:

    Oh what a relief it is to know someone dates back along with me. Christiane, this is a fair assessment of the recipe, and I suspect the peanut butter extract would have boosted the peanut-y flavor. I'm just proud you overlooked the chocolate to taste them for your self. Good on you!

    • Hey Brooks. I think there are a lot of us in that age bracket, eh? :) The peanut butter extract would help, but remember, it's added to the brownie batter, not the peanut butter filling. I think the biggest issue was with the consistency of the filling. It was very cheesecake-ish for brownies. And, if I'm gonna make it, I have to taste it.

  5. They may have been underwhelming but you could have fooled me from the picture. What a beautiful shot you took. Actually I"m kind of happy they weren't out of this world delicious or I might have gotten my oven going and I'm really trying to be good!

  6. My Family love Brownies and Peanut Butter so these will go down a treat
    Will have to Make then soon

  7. Curry and Comfort says:

    The title and the photo brought me such promise. I love the combo of chocolate and PB! Sorry the PB layer was a miss for you guys… I shall have to make your changes so I can truly enjoy these. :)

  8. Jessica says:

    These look absolutely delicious!

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