Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies

This is another recipe from “before”. If you perused my site in one of its previous incarnations, you probably noticed that I have a bit of a weakness for brownies – from simple to over-the-top-extravagant, as long as they are dense, fudgy chocolate perfection,  I’m in love.

These brownies take the classic pairing of chocolate and peanut butter and add a crispy, crunchy layer that contrasts beautifully with the soft fudgy  brownie base.

Peanut butter crunch brownies

Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies

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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bar, brownie, chocolate, peanut butter
Servings: 40 brownie


  • Baking pan 9"x13"
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • kitchen scale
  • medium bowl
  • double boiler or large heat safe bowl and saucepan
  • whisk
  • rubber spatula
  • medium saucepan


For the brownie layer:

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder dark, unsweetened
  • 11 ounce dark chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 5 eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup salted peanuts
  • 10 ounce peanut butter cups mini or chopped

For the crunch layer:

  • 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips semisweet or bittersweet
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/4 cup Rice Krispies cereal


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.
  • To make the brownies: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
  • Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
  • Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
  • Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle the peanuts and peanut butter cups over the top of the brownies. Return to the oven and continue baking for another 5 minutes or until brownies are done (a tooth pick inserted in the center should come out with moist crumbs clinging to it).
  • Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • To make the crunch layer: Melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat until completely smooth.
  • Stir in the cereal until evenly coated. Immediately pour the mixture over the top of the brownies and spread in an even layer.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours. Slice into 24 large or 40 small bars to serve.

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