Peanut Butter Brownies with Caramel Frosting

December 17, 2009

Sometimes last minute decisions can actually turn out quite well. Take for example these brownies and disregard all those impulse clothing purchases I made which still hang in the closet with their angry looking tags still hanging from them like monetary albatrosses. No, this time my spur of the moment brain frenzy made me feel a satisfied stomach sort of way. Some people may or may not be aware of my peanut butter addiction. I won't buy a jar unless I know it will be used for baking or else I will consume it in a matter of days, with or without toast. When my mother goes through one of her 'I must put some meat on the bones of my daughter' phases, completely unbeknownst to me, she will casually place a jar of p.b inside my cupboard. As you can imagine, it is not very amusing to me and I go through a stare down contest with the jar of evil. It's not until the seal is officially broken that the Pandora's box is unhinged.
Well after I put these brownies together and even had them in the oven for about 1 minute, the idea to use up most of that jar of peanut butter hit me. I know, here I am complaining about not being able to hold myself back from peanut butter yet I'm making brownies. I can resist eating more than few brownies, unfortunately, the same can't be said for spoonfuls of p.b..So I took care of two issues, my need to bake and the elimination of 1/2 of a jar of peanut butter.

I'm glad I added the p.b. because these brownies were on the cakey side. Very rich and chocolaty though I prefer my brownies to be fudgy. The peanut butter sunk down to the bottom in various spots so every bite was a surprise since you never knew quite when the smooth nutty flavour would strike. As if these were not healthy enough, the caramel frosting would make any personal trainer proud. Just pure sugar, heavy cream, and salt. It reminded me of the maple sugar candies which are so wonderful yet so sweet. You really need to have the deep, rich chocolate foundation to counter act all the sugar. Have some friends near by to help you eat these as well as come cold milk!
Peanut Butter Brownies with Caramel Frosting
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
* printer friendly Recipe *
Brownie Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • At least half a jar of peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)

Caramel Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt


Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter an 8x8 inch square baking pan, Line it with foil and butter the foil.

Using a double boiler method, melt the chocolate and butter together. Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking Powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs together on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add the milk, vanilla, and melted chocolate, mix to combine. On low speed, add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Vigorously mix the jar of peanut butter to loosen it up, Drop heaping spoonful onto the brownies batter and using a spatula or butter knife, gently swirl it into the brownies. It may sink through so don't worry if you can't see the swirls.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Only a crumbs should appear on a toothpick when inserted into the center. Remove and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Caramel Frosting: Bring 1/3 cup water and the sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. When mixture comes to a boil, stop stirring, and wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Continue to cook, swirling pan occasionally, until medium amber, 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove from heat, and immediately add cream,vanilla, and salt. Gently stir with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until smooth. *My caramel began to thicken and harden very fast so spread/pour it over the cool brownies as quickly as possible.*

Allow the frosted brownies to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.


  1. What a sugar rush, but sooo worth it. ALL the great flavors are here in one delectable, decadent bite. WOW!!

  2. Oh my, oh my... These look very sinfully delicious ;)


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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