Hey there– This is a “What shall I take along to the bar-b-que potluck?” kind of recipe– a sweet chocolatey square at the end of a savory meal. There’s the chewy brownie layer on bottom, creamy cheesy peanut butter in the middle and rich chocolate ganache to top it off. It’s almost a Reese’s peanut butter cup in a baking pan. Hope you try it!!
BROWNIE PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE BARS
1 stick butter (1/2 cup) melted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa*
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup flour
Peanut butter layer:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup peanut butter**
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tab. butter
2 tab. corn syrup (optional)***
1 1/3 cup chocolate chips (8 oz.)
To make the brownie layer, melt the butter in the microwave and mix in just the cocoa to form a pretty chocolate paste. The stir in the sugar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and finally thoroughly stir in the flour.
Scrape the brownie batter into a 9″ (or 7’x11″) baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Set it aside for now.
For the peanut butter layer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter with an electric mixer. Then beat in the sugar, egg and vanilla.
Drop the mixture by small spoonfuls over the brownie batter in the pan. And with a knife, oh so carefully, spread the peanut butter mixture over the brownies, careful not to mix the two layers. (This is the only tricky part!)
Pop that all into the oven a 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes–until the brownies are cooked through. Poke the tip of a small knife in to see if you pull out small crumbs.
When it’s cooled, bring the cream, butter and corn syrup to a low simmer in a pan on the stove top. Remove it from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until they are all melted. Then beat it al with a wooden spoon for 3 or 4 minutes.
Spread the chocolate ganache over the brownies and set it into the fridge for an hour or so until the topping sets up firm and then cut into delicious squares!
*We love the Hershey’s dark unsweetened baking cocoa.
** the recipe I worked from asked for creamy peanut butter– but I used super chunky–love all those little peanut bits!
*** I often leave out the corn syrup– but it does give the ganache that pretty shine.