In just a few hours, we’ll be kicking off Labor Day weekend.

I had a long list of things I wanted to get done, but that was so misguided. This is the last three-day weekend until Thanksgiving! Time to hang out with friends, fire up the grill, go to the lake, throw a tailgate party or have one last summer picnic. Or get sucked into a marathon of “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.” Don’t you judge me! Those L&O marathons are powerful.

I’m not sure what adventure this weekend will bring, but I know it will include a batch of Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies. You make a simple chocolate brownie batter and a peanut filling, layer the two in a baking pan, and swirl them with a butter knife. I should have taken a photo of the pretty swirly top,  but when the brownies were cool enough to slice and eat, I totally did.

Any weekend that starts with this rich, fudgy, peanut-buttery goodness is destined for greatness. And a very tall glass of milk.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Adapted from “Martha Stewart Living”(February 2004)

Makes 9 large or 16 small brownies

    Chocolate Batter:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan
  • 2 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    Peanut Butter Filling:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Butter lining (not overhang).
  2. For Chocolate Batter: Put butter and chocolates in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Let cool slightly. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Whisk granulated sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir until well incorporated.
  4. For Peanut Butter Filling: Stir together butter, confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.
  5. Pour one-third of batter into prepared pan; spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Drop dollops of peanut butter filling (about 1 tablespoon each) on top of batter, spacing about 1 inch apart. Drizzle remaining batter on top, and gently spread to fill pan. Drop dollops of remaining filling on top. Gently swirl peanut butter filling into batter with a butter knife, running it through the layers three times lengthwise and three times crosswise.
  6. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.