Cheesecake Brownies

It’s National Peanut Butter Day y’all! This calls for lip-smacking Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies. This ultra-awesome nutty spread may be an American staple, but it is enjoyed all over. 

First Tryst with Peanut Butter 

I caught the peanut butter bug pretty late – in my mid-teens to be honest. Not that I’m proud of it, but as they say, better late than never. The first time I had peanut butter was in the form of Peanut butter and Jelly sandwich. This notoriously delicious sandwich had me hooked from the first bite. Slightly salty peanut butter with a tart strawberry compôte, slathered between two slices of sandwich loaf – yum 😋. That sweet and salty taste with the rich mouthfeel makes the PB&J moreish. 

Chunky or Smooth?

The type of peanut butter I use depends on the product. I prefer the chunky version for Peanut Butter Jelly sandwich [the crunch provides yet another texture] and breakfast smoothies. The smoother version I use for other products [it’s particularly useful for a silky smooth Satay sauce]. 

Personally, I prefer lightly salted, sugar-free smooth AF peanut butter, which is why I blend my own most of the times. That said, I don’t shy away from using the commercial stuff, especially when I am short on time. 

For this recipe, use whichever version you prefer. You do you, boo. 

Cheesecake Brownies

By this time, you guys must have known that I am a sucker for brownies. These devilish little things are a delight to the senses. It’s fucking difficult to not have them right out of the oven. But my self-preserving mode kicks in to save me from having burnt fingers or tongue. 

Pretty similar to the Cheesecake Swirl Brownies, I decided to incorporate two of my favorite foods – brownies and peanut butter. The bittersweet dark chocolate, earthiness of the brown sugar, and the slight saltiness of the peanut butter – the brownie is an orchestra of flavors and tastes. 

Take my word for it – there’s nothing more comforting than a batch of warm brownies on a cold, sultry day. 

Cheesecake Brownies

A brownie square
Peanut Butter Swirl Brownie
  • Servings: 16
  • Time: 45 mins + chilling
  • Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients

a) Brownie base

  • 100g butter
  • 80g dark chocolate
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 125g castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5mL vanilla extract
  • 210g flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder

b) Cheesecake Swirl 

  • 125g cream cheese 
  • 10g butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 5mL vanilla extract 

Procedure

a) Pre-preparation

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Grease and line an 8” square tin with butter paper.
  3. Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
  4. Chop the dark chocolate and set aside.

b) Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy.
  2. Crack in the eggs one at a time until properly mixed.
  3. Add the melted butter-chocolate mixture and vanilla extract, and whisk again.
  4. Fold in the sifted flour. Mix well until combined. Add to the tin, and spread using an offset spatula. 
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, butter, egg and vanilla until well combined. 
  6. Pour this over the brownie, make swirls using a toothpick. Bake at 180C for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre has a few crumbs.

c) Finishing

After removing from the oven, immediately transfer the baking tin to the freezer, and let it cool for half an hour. Remove the tin from the freezer, cut into 2” squares and serve. 

Notes

  • Use the best quality dark chocolate available at hand.
  • I generally swap the vanilla extract with coffee powder. Use freshly ground coffee beans if possible.
  • Go nuts! Add toasted chopped nuts of your choice to the brownie. I prefer almonds and walnuts, not necessarily together.
  • Storing brownies shouldn’t be a pain in the ass – wrap the entire brownie sheet in aluminium foil, and double-wrap with plastic cling foil.

What Wine to Pair with?

A dessert wine, or a fortified wine like Port.

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