These buckeye brownies are made up of rich, fudgy chocolate brownie topped with an even richer peanut butter mixture and a smooth chocolate ganache. They are the perfect chocolate-peanut butter combo.
Grab a glass of cold milk and prepare for an explosion of chocolate-peanut butter goodness. These buckeye brownies are some of the richest, most delicious brownies I have ever tasted.
Buckeye brownies are named after buckeye candies; confections consisting of rich peanut butter fudge covered in hardened chocolate. Following this theme, these brownies are loaded with chocolate-peanut butter goodness. The brownies themselves are chewy and fudgy and are topped with a smooth, sweet peanut butter layer which is then coated in a heavenly chocolate ganache. For those of us who adore the delectable combination of chocolate and peanut butter, this dessert is an absolute dream come true.
Why You'll Love These Buckeye Brownies
These brownies are a real treat. They are loaded with sweet, rich flavors and have the best texture to them. Plus they're surprisingly easy to put together. Let me walk you through some of the reasons I love them so much.
- Richer than a king. Any dessert that combines peanut butter and chocolate is going to be rich but these buckeye brownies take it to the next level. Rich, fudgy brownies, an even richer, gooey peanut butter, AND chocolate ganache? What more could you ask for?
- Moist and chewy. The texture of these confections is pretty unbeatable. The brownie is perfectly moist and chewy and the peanut butter layer is wonderfully gooey but still firm enough to be satisfying to sink your teeth into.
- Surprisingly quick. A 3 layer dessert might sound intimidating but you will only need to set aside about 30 minutes of active time in the kitchen for these beauties.
What Are Buckeyes?
A buckeye is a tree native to North America. It produces relatively round, large nuts that are dark brown with a lighter brown dot. The tree gets its name because the nut is said to resemble the eye of a buck (deer).
The concept of a buckeye nut has been turned into a delicious candy. The confection is made up of a ball of peanut butter fudge dipped in chocolate so that you can still see just a little bit of the peanut butter (the light brown "pupil" of the buckeye). It bears a shocking resemblance to the nut of the buckeye tree.
Here is a list of ingredients needed to make these chocolate peanut butter brownies. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for exact measurements.
- Unsalted Butter
- Granulated Sugar
- Bensdorp Dutch Cocoa Powder - You could use natural unsweetened cocoa powder instead but you won't get the same deep chocolate flavor.
- Vegetable Oil - Other brownie recipes call for only butter. Don't do it. Oil contributes greatly to the fudgy, chewy texture of the dessert.
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- Egg and Egg Yolk - The eggs should be at room temperature. Cold eggs won't mix well with the warm chocolate mixture.
- Baking Powder
- All-Purpose - Gluten intolerant? No problem. Use your favorite 1:1 gluten-free flour instead.
- Chocolate - I like semi-sweet chocolate but feel free to try dark chocolate and/or milk chocolate instead. You can use chips, chunks, or a chopped chocolate bar or two.
Peanut Butter Layer
- Salted Butter
- Creamy Peanut Butter - I suppose you could use crunchy peanut butter but it will drastically change the texture of the dessert.
- Vanilla Extract
- Confectioner’s Sugar
- Chocolate Chips - I used semi-sweet but you could use dark chocolate or milk chocolate instead.
- Heavy Cream
How to Make Buckeye Brownies
Feeling overwhelmed by the notion of making a 3 part dessert? Don't be. Each component of this buckeye brownie recipe is actually super simple to make. Here's a quick rundown of how to do it. Don't forget to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
To make the brownies
- Prep. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, line a 9X9-inch square baking pan with foil, and grease the foil liberally.
- Combine and cook. In a large pot, mix together the water, butter, sugar, and cocoa powder and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Mix in the oil and vanilla extract and cook over low heat for another minute.
- Cool. Take the pot off the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolk.
- Add the dry ingredients. Add the baking soda, salt, and cornstarch, and mix to combine. Fold in the flour until just combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Bake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 22-27 minutes.
- Cool. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.
For the peanut butter layer
- Make the filling. Mix together the melted butter, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar.
- Scoop the cookie scoops of the peanut butter filling over the surface of the brownies and spread it into an even layer.
- Chill in the freeze for 30 minutes.
Make the chocolate ganache and assemble
- Melt the chocolate chips and the heavy cream in a double broiler (or in the microwave in 30-second intervals). Whisk until smooth.
- Assemble. Remove the brownie pan from the freezer and spread the chocolate ganache in an even layer over the peanut butter layer.
- Chill in the freeze for 15 minutes.
- Slice. Cut the brownies into small squares with a sharp knife.
Tips for Success
Tips and tricks coming your way! Study up in order to turn this buckeye brownies recipe into a masterpiece.
- Room temperature eggs. It is important that the egg and egg yolk are at room temperature before being worked into the warm chocolate mixture. If the eggs are cold, they will not incorporate into the chocolate mixture smoothly and easily.
- Don't over-mix. When folding the dry ingredients into the brownie batter, do so gently and only until everything is just combined. No more. Over-mixing the brownie batter will cause the glutens to overdevelop ending you with a tough, dense dessert.
- Don't overbake the brownies. Overbaking the brownies will make them tough. You want a toothpick inserted into the center to come out with moist crumbs, not completely dry.
- Make clean cuts. Wipe your knife after each slice with a damp, clean kitchen towel to make the cleanest cuts possible.
- Keep the brownies small. These brownies are rich, fudgy, and utterly delicious. It doesn't take much of them to satisfy a sweet tooth. So cut the brownies into small squares.
What to Serve with These Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
While these tasty treats are amazing on their own, I think they are undeniably better when served with a sweet accompaniment. Here are some of my favorites.
- Ice cream. Serve these brownies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to break up some of the richness or throw all caution to the wind and try it with a rich peanut butter ice cream.
- Whipped cream. Top buckeye brownies with a dollop of whipped cream. Grab some from the store or try your hand at the Stabilized Whipped Cream. Feeling extra chocolaty? The chocolate whipped cream from my Chocolate Cream Puffs recipe would be a great way to go.
- Sauce. I love drizzling these brownies with my Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce. I highly recommend making it from scratch but, in a pinch, a store-bought caramel or chocolate sauce would work as well.
- Milk. This is almost a non-negotiable for me. Wash these decadent treats down with a glass of cold milk.
How to Store Leftovers
If you find yourself with leftover chocolate peanut butter brownies, wrap the brownie pan in a double layer of plastic wrap. Alternatively, you can slice the brownies and arrange them in an airtight container with parchment paper separating any layers. In either case, store them at room temperature for up to 4 days. If you live in a slightly warmer environment, store the brownies in the refrigerator to keep the chocolate from melting.
Can I Freeze These?
You can! They actually freeze beautifully. Wrap the whole brownie pan in a double layer of plastic wrap and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. You could also wrap individual brownies in a double layer of plastic wrap and store them in the freezer (again, for up to 3 months) for the perfect single-serve treat. Allow the brownie/s to thaw at room temperature before serving.
More Brownie Recipes
These chocolate peanut butter brownies are at the top of my brownie list but I do have a plethora of other brownie recipes for you to try as well. Here are some of my favorites.
- S'mores Brownies
- Slutty Brownies
- M&M Brownies
- Oreo Brownies
- Pecan Pie Brownies
- Cheesecake Brownies
- Homemade Brownies
- 2oz (¼ Cup) Water
- 1oz (2 Tbsp) Unsalted Butter
- 200 Grams(1 Cup) Granulated Sugar
- 90 Grams (Scant Cup) Bensdorp Dutch Cocoa Powder
- 3oz (scant ⅓ cup) Vegetable Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Large Egg Yolk and 1 Large Egg, at room temp.
- ⅛ Teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch/ Cornflour
- 60 Grams (scant ½ cup) All-Purpose/ Plain Flour
- 2oz Chocolate (chips, chunks, or bars chopped)
Peanut Butter Layer
- 4oz (½ Cup) Salted Butter, melted
- 8oz (1 Cup) Creamy Peanut Butter
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 240 Grams (2 Cups) Confectioner’s Sugar
- 6oz (1 Cup) Chocolate Chips
- 1.5oz (3 Tablespoons) Heavy Cream
- Preheat your oven to 350F/180C and line a 9X9 square pan with foil and grease heavily.
- In a large pot add the water, butter, sugar, and cocoa powder. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until it is all combined together, the mixture will look weird and not liquidy enough, that is fine. Then add the oil and vanilla extract. Cook on low for an additional minute and mix to combine everything.
- Take off of the heat, let sit for 5 minutes then add the egg and egg yolk. Whisk to combine.
- Add the baking soda, salt, and cornstarch, and mix to combine. Gently add the flour by using a spatula to fold in until just combined, just before there are no flour streaks add your chocolate chunks/ chips. Do not over-mix, this will affect the end product.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 22-27 minutes. Everyone’s oven is different, for me, the brownies always bake within 25 minutes, but I would start checking at 22 minutes for your oven.
- Don't overbake the brownies. You want a toothpick in the center to come out with moist crumbs, not completely dry. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely for five minutes.
- While the brownies are cooling in a medium bowl mix together the melted butter, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Use a cookie scoop to scoop the peanut butter filling on top of the warm brownies then use an angled spatula to spread it into an even layer. Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up (be careful what you put the warm pan on in the freezer).
- In a small bowl melt together the chocolate chips and heavy cream you can use a microwave and do 30-second increments or use a double boiler. Spread the chocolate ganache on top of the peanut butter layer and chill in the freezer again for 15 minutes until the chocolate layer is set.
- Use a knife to cut the brownies, they can be cut quite small as they are very rich. To achieve clean slices, wipe your knife clean after each slice, I grab a clean kitchen towel and wet half of it so I can wipe clean and dry the knife. Store brownies in an airtight container, if you live in a cold environment room temperature is fine but if slightly warm the chocolate will melt so store it in the refrigerator.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Chill Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: buckeye brownies, buckeye brownie recipe, chocolate peanut butter brownies