Friday, April 12, 2013

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Layer Brownies

I refuse to apologize for these ones. Being slightly senile, I can't say with 100% certainty that these are my favorite brownies I've ever eaten, but they're the best I can remember!

Per my standard, these aren't sweet, but are instead intensely rich and satisfying. With only a small amount of flour and a pared-down amount of sugar, I'd almost call these healthy, but I probably wouldn't be fooling anybody.

I'm keeping this one short and (not too) sweet. Haha.

I hope these tickle your gullet as much as they did mine.

I tried to utilize the same bowls and pans for multiple steps, so you shouldn't have a totally overwhelming pile of dishes at the end!

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Layer Brownies
Brownie recipe adapted from Baking at Home 
Yield: 16 brownies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Peanut Butter Cheesecake
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

For the brownie:
Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Butter the bottom and sides of an 8x8-inch pan or line with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on two sides if you'll want to remove the brownies from the pan in one piece.

Melt butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth and glossy.

In a large metal bowl or stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachement, whip eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt on high speed (8 on a KitchenAid) for 4 minutes.

Pour about 1/4 of the egg mixture into the melted chocolate and stir. Add all of the chocolate into the stand mixer bowl and stir until fully incorporated. Gently stir in the flour, just until combined.

Pour the batter into the buttered pan and bake for 30-40 minutes and the center looks only slightly moist.

Set the pan on a drying rack and cool to room temperature before adding the peanut butter layer.

For the peanut butter cheesecake:
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy whipping cream to light peaks then slowly whisk in the sugar for another 30 seconds. Transfer to another bowl.

Beat the cream cheese and peanut butter in the same stand mixer bowl, this time with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. (No, you shouldn't have to clean the bowl.)

Gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter until no streaks remain.

Spread in a thick layer over the cooled brownies using a spoon or offset spatula.

For the ganache:
Place the finely chopped chocolate in the stand mixer bowl.

Using the same saucepan from the brownie layer (just rinse the chocolate from the pan), heat the heavy whipping cream over medium-low heat until it steams.  

Pour it over the chopped chocolate and allow it to sit for 3 minutes. Whisk until smooth and chocolate is completely melted.

Pour over the peanut butter layer and place in the refrigerator to cool for at least 1 hour.

To serve:
Either cut while the brownies are still in the pan, or use your parchment paper overhang to remove from the pan to slice.

Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 



  1. Christian HalfmannApr 12, 2013, 11:04:00 AM

    I don't know, what to call them ... what about gorgeous? Or luvly? They look great and make me want some right now ...

    1. Thanks! I appreciate it!

  • Tanya-Lemonsforlulu.comApr 15, 2013, 1:17:00 PM

    Be still my heart Loretta! If there is a cheesecake I cannot resist, it would be peanut butter! I could probably eat the whole pan myself! Your pictures are gorgeous!

    1. Thanks Tanya! For some reason I tend to forget about pb in favor of chocolate, but there's no reason why we can't do both :)

  • Natasha @ The Cake MerchantApr 18, 2013, 8:52:00 PM

    As soon as I came to your site, my boyfriend pointed to these and said, "I want those, please make them!" I'm so glad I found your site through Ashton's housewarming, and I will surely be trying this recipe!

    1. Sounds like he has great taste (*wink)! I hope you (and your boyfriend) love them as much as I did!

  • Is this for a 4quart Kitchen Aid Stand mixer? Just curious because it didn't work in my 5 quart. I made a few adjustments and used a hand held mixer and it turned out just fine! Thanks for the guidance!!!

    1. I believe I have the 4 1/2 quart version, so I don't really see why it wouldn't work in the larger one. I'm glad they turned out for you!

  • Would using a sugar subsitute like Stevia work instead of sugar?

    1. It would probably depend a lot on the type of stevia that you use. Since stevia is much sweeter than sugar, you'll use much less, but you still may have a bitter aftertaste. When I use sugar substitutes, the most reliable seems to be xylitol because you use the same volume and the final result is more predictable than stevia. Hope it works for you!

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