Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Brownies

So, tomorrow is the big day! Are y'all excited?! This year, we are feeding the missionaries on the 14th, so we obviously won't be able to get all lovey-dovey in front of those sweet boys (that would be severely awkward). So we've decided to stick to our usual plan of going out the night before instead (on the 13th)... which is tonight! It's my year to choose where we go out to dinner, so I'm taking us to one of the tastiest restaurants in downtown SLC: The Red Iguana. After, we'll sneak over to the Cheesecake Factory  to pick out a cheesecake to take home and share (because after stuffing our faces with Mexican food, we probably will need a few hours to chill out our stomachs before something sweet). We don't exchange store-bought gifts for Valentine's Day anymore (because it just gets super expensive really quickly), so we always bring a little sentimental love note or something like that instead. Of course, Ryan always somehow sneaks in some flowers - I'm a sucker for those things. Whatever you decide to do for Valentine's Day, enjoy yourselves! Treat yourselves! Go to town, man. :) 

For me, Valentine's Day also has a really deep overtone of rich lavish chocolate. Maybe it's just me, but they kind of go hand-in-hand. So of course, for tomorrow, we're going to have to throw some serious treats at those missionaries to celebrate Valentine's Day! These peanut butter chocolate swirl brownies were SO easy, (I even cheated a little bit with the brownies), and would be a perfect treat for anyone's Valentine's Day celebration tomorrow, big or small. 

I mean, look at that. Does it not make you want to go run to the nearest fridge and chug all the milk you can stand?! So. Much. Richness going on here. 

When you look through the ingredients, you're going to hate me. How on Earth can this Blondie be recommending using a store-bought brownie mix?! 

Sanity, my friends. Sanity. 

I made these for our some of our favorite babysitters (Kevin and Stephanie are rockstars and we seriously appreciate their willingness to watch our crazy pirate child when they can on weekends sometimes). I didn't have much time, and knew using a brownie mix would take half the time than if I made these babies from scratch. If you have a dynamite scratch recipe, go to town my friends. But sometimes, nothing can beat that store-bought Ghiradelli version of brownies, just sayin'. (not sponsored, just in love, man). It bakes up beautifully without any effort at all, and tastes perfect with the toppings we're about to throw on that lovely bed of warm, cakey, but very gooey, chocolate. 

Melt some peanut butter, toss on some chocolate chips, let it melt, swirl it around, top it with mini peanut butter cups. DONE and DONE. Heavenly dessert status reached. A la mode would be even more amazing. 

Valentine's Day is here, my friends. Enjoy, and happy weekending! 


Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Brownies 
makes 12 rich servings

1 box Ghiradelli fudgy brownies (don't hate, it's just easier) + ingredients listed on package
2/3 C creamy peanut butter
2/3 C semi sweet chocolate chips
1 C mini peanut butter cups, sliced in half

1. Prepare and bake brownies according to directions on the package (or make your own made-from scratch brownies!), in a 8x8 glass dish.
3. Melt peanut butter in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish for 45 seconds, or until completely melted. 
4. When the brownies have just finished baking, remove from the oven and pour over all the melted peanut butter until it covers the surface of the brownies. Toss on chocolate chips, and let sit for 30 seconds. This will soften and melt the chips. With a spatula, slightly swirl melty chocolate chips around making a marbled look on the top of the brownies. Toss on the peanut butter cups, and then let cool completely in the fridge for at least an hour to harden. 
5. To serve, slice brownies with a warmed knife, with a tall, tall, glass of cold milk. 

Recipe source: Baking with Blondie

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