These are a popular treat – they are pretty, not hard to make, and delicious. I also like that they actually taste better when they are completely cooled, so go ahead and make them way ahead of time. The peanut butter flavor is not overpowering, in fact it’s rather subtle. If you want a more peanut-buttery punch of taste, then add Reese’s peanut butter chips instead of the chocolate chips. Or go crazy and add both kinds!
Peanut Butter Marbled Brownies
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tb milk
1 cup butter, melted *for lower fat version read note
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
Lightly grease 9×13 inch baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, beat together first 5 ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together melted butter, 2 cups sugar, and vanilla. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; mix into the batter. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread batter into prepared pan. Drop the peanut butter filling on top by the large spoonful. Using a butter knife, gently swirl peanut butter filling through the chocolate batter to create a marbled effect. (The batter is stiff so this is a little difficult. The key is not to over swirl it.) Once you are done swirling, you may need to tap the pan on a towel covered counter to make the batter settle. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted one inch from the edge comes out clean. Cool completely, then cut into small squares.
*To cut calories you can substitute 1/4 cup butter for 1/4 cup of applesauce. In fact, with most recipes you can substitute up to 1/3 of the fat with applesauce without compromising the taste.