Here’s the proof, I’m just not into New Year’s diets.  For those of you on that bandwagon, click away immediately.  Otherwise, I give you one of the most indulgent desserts I’ve made in a while.  As I mentioned recently, I’ve been on a bit of a peanut butter-chocolate kick these days.  Last week I was at work when the need for a birthday treat arose suddenly and unexpectedly.  I checked for any special requests or preferences but was given free reign over the decision.  In an effort to 1. satisfy my peanut-butter chocolate craving, 2. avoid a trip to the grocery store, and 3. bring an awesome birthday treat, I chose these brownies.  Very, very good decision.

I think nearly 90% of those who tried them asked when the recipe would be posted on the blog…that should speak for itself.  Per my usual, I have doubled the recipe to fit a 9 x 13-inch pan because anything less is just not enough.  If you are in the fudgy brownie camp (holla!), you’ll love these.  The addition of cream cheese to the actual brownie batter results in a brownie that is dense, moist and super fudgy.  Then add the peanut butter cheesecake swirl, and well, I think I’m off to go have one from the fridge.  (I’m so not kidding.)

  • Yield about 30-36 brownies


For the brownies:
14 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
2 cups sugar
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the peanut butter cheesecake swirl:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
6 tbsp. sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  To make the brownie batter, combine the butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over simmering water.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.  Remove the bowl from the heat.  Whisk in the cocoa powder, sugar, eggs and cream cheese until smooth and well blended.  Mix in the vanilla and salt.  Add the flour to the bowl and whisk just until incorporated.  Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula.

  • 02

    To make the peanut butter cheesecake portion, combine the cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until completely smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the egg and vanilla until incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.

  • 03

    Drop spoonfuls of the peanut butter mixture over the brownie batter in the pan, creating a cobblestone appearance.  Use a knife or wooden skewer to gently swirl together the peanut butter mixture and brownie batter.  Bake 30-35 minutes, until the center is just set.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate until well chilled before slicing and serving.