These Peanut Butter Brownies are the ultimate fudgy, gooey gluten free chocolate brownies recipe. Super-easy to make, a batch can be created whatever your baking skills. Optional dairy free too!
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The ultimate gluten free Peanut Butter Brownies recipe
At Gluten Free Alchemist we have a good selection of gluten free brownies recipes. But these Peanut Butter Brownies are up there with the best. How do I know? Because I recently messed with my favourite base recipe, and got reprimanded as a result. In an attempt to ‘improve’ it, I subbed some of the chocolate for cocoa and added more sugar… And that was just for starters. The response from those who know my brownies was loud and clear… ‘You’ve changed your brownies… go back to the old recipe’.
So, I did… And now these Peanut Butter Brownies are creamily fudgy, utterly gooey and sumptuously delicious. They are a perfect duo of addictively yummy chocolate and peanut in one of the nation’s favourite treats. I reckon they would even make a Paul Hollywood chocolate brownies list.
Should all chocolate brownies be sickly sweet?
One of the key complaints about the brownie changes tested, was that the baked brownies were simply too sweet. It was an interesting revelation… Because in trying to understand whether popular bloggers had better brownie recipes, I actually road-tested a few. And those were the ones that were criticised for being sickly sweet.
Maybe we are a family (with friends) who don’t enjoy an excessive sugar load… But it does beg the question… ‘should brownies be sickly sweet’? My personal view is that too much sugar masks the depth of the chocolate… And after all, it’s a chocolate brownie right?
Calorific values in brownies recipes – Do they matter?
I won’t name names, but I tested alternative brownie recipes from no less than 3 alternative exceptionally successful gluten free bloggers. What was notable was that in all three, the added sugar content (for the same size base mix) was at least twice as much as my gluten free brownies and in one case, 3 times as much… And that was before (in one case) piles of additional sweets had also been folded into the mixture.
The calorific value per brownie slice soared as a result… with the alternatives coming in at nearly 2 to 3 times higher. I’ll be honest… I was genuinely SHOCKED. I know brownies are a treat, but in one case, one single brownie from elsewhere clocked in at way over a third of the daily recommended calorie limit for women. That has to be a bad thing!
Just to be clear though… There is NO claim that this gluten free Peanut Butter Brownies recipe is healthy. Far from it. But the figures have to count for something right?
The chocolate content in these gluten free Peanut Butter Brownies
The other interesting variable was how much actual chocolate was contained in the other gluten free brownie recipes tested. Most recipes use a portion of cocoa in the mix and a lower chocolate ratio. And some used a portion of milk chocolate (which would also add to the sweetness).
The Peanut Butter Brownies recipe shared here uses all chocolate… and specifically dark chocolate. This gives the richest, and most chocolatey depth to the bake. And since the brownies will not be over-sweet (on account of the lesser added sugar content), the chocolate is showcased in all its glory. While this is not meant to be a ‘chewy’ toffee-like brownie, it has the most smoothly baked, gooey fudge texture.
Which dark chocolate is best for Peanut Butter Brownies?
If the chocolate needs to shine, I strongly advise using a good quality dark chocolate for making brownies. But it doesn’t need to be ultra-dark. For me, the best brownies are made with a mid-cocoa solids content. 40 to 55% content is fine. But it’s definitely worth investing in quality chocolate even for cooking, such as the popular Callebaut Brand which comes in a range of chocolate-types. And weight for weight, there is not much difference in price when compared with a popular national brand of dark chocolate.
Should Peanut Butter Brownies be made with smooth or crunch peanut butter?
Whether Peanut Butter Brownies should be made with smooth or crunchy peanut butter is a matter of choice. And ultimately it comes down to whether you want your brownies to be smooth of texture or flecked with the crunch of nuts. The decision is yours! And either will work just as well for the recipe. I made mine with crunchy peanut butter.
What’s the best tin for baking chocolate brownies?
There appear to be different schools of thought on this question. But I always bake brownies in a square 8 inch (20 cm) or 9 inch (23 cm) loose-bottomed non-stick baking tin. Both mine are made by Masterclass and are still going strong after 10+ years. Why do I use this type of tin?
- The non-stick coating means the brownie is easy to loosen from the sides.
- A loose base makes it easy to remove the brownie without trashing the paper-thin dry surface that characteristically tops the best brownies. Simply place the whole tin onto a small, stable bowl so that the main tin structure falls away. Then slide the brownie onto a cutting board.
- Call me obsessive, but I like my brownies to be evenly cut. Using a square tin means that the brownies can be cut into equal square pieces.
NOTE : The gluten free Peanut Butter Brownie recipe offered below is calculated for an 8 inch square bake.
Tips for making the BEST Peanut Butter Brownies
Brownies are pretty easy to make… whatever the recipe. They require little skill and the batter can be whipped up in 15 to 20 minutes. But there are still a few things to remember that will help you make the best gluten free Peanut Butter Brownies…
Be sure to…
- Base-line your baking tin with good quality baking paper (I always use Lakeland parchment). It doesn’t matter how non-stick your equipment is, a gooey chocolate brownie will be way easier to remove if the paper is there.
- Although I use Gluten Free Alchemist White Flour Blend A to make Peanut Butter Brownies, a good alternative such as Doves Freee plain white flour should work just as well. Do not use self-raising flour. These brownies should be dense and gooey and not risen like a cake sponge.
- Warm the peanut butter slightly (but not that it is hot), just before swirling into the brownie batter. It will be easier to work with. Most cold peanut butter straight from the jar will be to firm to mix easily. Pop into the microwave for a few seconds to loosen. Or stand the bowl in a couple of centimetres of hot water and stir through.
- Don’t over-bake the brownie. This is probably the number one reason for chocolate brownies not working. For a gooey brownie, a poked skewer should be ‘almost’ clean with a few crumbs when done and the bake should have ‘just’ firmed. Remember, the batter will continue to cook for a couple of minutes after removing from the oven.
- Leave the Peanut Butter Brownie uncut in the tin to cool completely. Then chill in the fridge to firm up well before taking out of the tin and cutting. It’s the best way to get even, clean-cut slices. And don’t worry… As the brownie comes back to room temperature, its gooeyness will magically return.
Can I make Peanut Butter Brownies dairy free?
Yes. This brownie recipe is already wheat free, gluten free and Coeliac safe. But it can also be made dairy free by simply subbing the butter for a good dairy free alternative and using dairy free dark chocolate. As a butter alternative, I recommend Stork or Flora baking blocks.
The recipe relies on eggs and I have not tried making it with an egg substitute. As such, I don’t suggest it as suitable for Vegans. Sorry.
Ready to make Peanut Butter Brownies?
I hope you love these super-gooey Peanut Butter Brownies. If you make them, leave a comment or rate the recipe. And don’t forget to pop a photo on social media and tag me in… Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
Thanks for visiting Gluten Free Alchemist. We hope to see you again soon.
More gluten free chocolate Brownies Recipe Love…
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Brownies
- 8 inch/20 cm square baking tin
- small saucepan or microwave and glass bowl
- large mixing spoon/spatula
- flat-bladed knife
- 300 g dark chocolate dairy free if needed – ensure chocolate is gluten free as required.
- 150 g unsalted butter or dairy free block alternative
- 3 large eggs room temperature – UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 70 g golden caster sugar
- 70 g soft light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract optional
- 130 g plain gluten free flour blend I used GFA blend A – See NOTES
- 150 g crunchy peanut butter (or smooth as preferred)
- Mini Reeces Peanut Butter Cups (80g approx weight) optional
- Base-line a square non-stick 8 inch/20 cm baking tin with baking paper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Using a heat-proof bowl, melt and stir the chocolate with the butter over a saucepan of lightly simmering water, or in the microwave (medium setting, 30 second bursts, stirring between each).
- Once melted and smoothly blended, set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugars together until well-blended and airy.
- Add the vanilla extract (if using) and beat through.
- Add the chocolate mixture and beat until blended.
- Lastly, add the flour and fold through with a wooden or silicone spoon/spatula until combined. The mixture should be a thick dropping consistency.
- Transfer the brownie mixture to the baking tin.
- Warm the peanut butter slightly in the microwave (set at 'warm' for 10 to 15 seconds max), or by standing the bowl of peanut butter in a couple of centimetres of hot water for a few seconds. Stir through to loosen. The peanut butter should be looser, but NOT hot.
- Dollop the peanut butter across the top of the brownie batter and using a flat-bladed knife, swirl through, being sure not to over-mix so that some of the peanut butter remains as 'pockets' in the brownie.
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until firm to the touch, but a skewer inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
- Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool completely.
- It may help to refrigerate before slicing to make the cutting easier, and then bring back to room temperature before eating.
© 2019-2022 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist
Peanut Butter Brownies shared with
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