Holly B’s Peanut Butter Brownies

September 29, 2009


(If you are new here, I am baking my way through a wonderful local baking cookbook.  For more info and more recipes from this treasure, click “Holly B’s” on the sidebar to your right.)

My neighbor and friend Julie just visited Lopez Island for the first time with her husband.  Before they left, we sat down for coffee so I could give her the down low on what to do.  I gave her directions on how to find Watmough Beach, a spot so hidden that my parents were unable to locate it all the years that their children were campers on the island.  (They were starting to wonder if the camp directors were putting funny things in our food.)  I told her that it was absolutely imperative that they order for Chocolate Gateau for dessert at the Bay Cafe since it is the single most perfect chocolate dessert I have ever had.  (And no, they won’t give me the recipe.  I ask every time we are there.)  But I didn’t have to tell her to visit Holly B’s.  She reads my blog.  My posts about the bakery were one of the primary reasons she wanted to visit the island.

I just heard from her in a brief email that they visited the bakery three times in 24 hours.  That is impressive, even by my standards.  She told me they had the cinnamon rolls, the almond butterhorns, the Mexican pizza, and I can’t wait to hear what else.  I wonder if they got a peanut butter brownie.


Brownies, in this chocolate lover’s opinion, should be chocolate.  Not only should they be chocolate but they should be all chocolate with no nuts.  Then why am I crazy for this peanut butter brownie?  I don’t know.  That Holly B works magic.  There is plenty of chocolate here and if you take yours out of the oven a little too early, as I did, you might think you are eating a gooey Reese’s peanut butter cup.  As tempting as that might sound, I would encourage you to let them bake a little longer and allow them to get a little more cakey.


To buy Holly B’s cookbook, please visit this site.

Peanut Butter Brownies
With Love and Butter
Makes 12 huge squares or 24 small ones

You have your choice here of creamy or chunky peanut butter and I used chunky.  When baking with peanut butter, you almost always want to use something like Jif or Skippy, not the all-natural kind.

2 eggs
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup peanut butter, at room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
2 tbsp. molasses
2 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F and move the rack to the middle position.  Butter a 9×13-inch pan.

Whip the eggs and brown sugar together with an electric mixer.  Add the peanut butter, melted butter, molasses, honey, vanilla, salt, and flour.  Mix.  Stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips by hand.

Spread the batter evenly in the pan.  Strew the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips over the surface.  Bake 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake 15 minutes more or until the brownies turn golden and the center is set (doesnt’ jiggle when you shake the pan firmly).  Cool and cut into squares.


  1. I need a glass of milk and a plate of those brownies:) They look delicious!

    Comment by Maria — September 29, 2009 @ 3:22 pm

  2. No peanut butter in our house, but I’m thinking we might be able to pull this off using almond butter. YUM!

    Comment by Katie @ goodLife {eats} — September 29, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

  3. OH, I feel special! How silly but I do – I’m on your blog post. :) They didn’t have the peanut butter brownies at Holly B this weekend. However, Zack told me this morning he’s going back into work at 9pm tonight to deploy a new feature with his team and I promised him treats and milk to bring with him. These brownies will be PERFECT!

    Thank you again for all the wonderful island advice. I think the Lopez weekend is a must for everyone. It’s a beautiful, special place without a doubt and we ate SO well!

    Comment by Julie — September 29, 2009 @ 4:05 pm

  4. um yes, due to your posts, i would visit that place a number of times as well! These look like the perfect match for a good vanilla bean ice cream.

    Comment by Sprouted Kitchen — September 29, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

  5. Peanut butter and molasses? This could become my favorite brownie! These sound really great.

    Comment by lisaiscooking — September 29, 2009 @ 4:22 pm

  6. There is a bakery in Arkansas that my family and I always used to stop at on the way to visit family in Chicago that had peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. I insisted on one everytime we stopped there! I’ll bet these would taste just as delicious.

    Comment by The Cooking Bride — September 29, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

  7. Okay. Gooey Reese’s peanut butter cup? Sold.
    Thanks for the recipe!

    Comment by Michelle — September 29, 2009 @ 7:25 pm

  8. Oh! These brownies look so yummie…peanut butter and chocolate chips…cannot go wrong ;-)

    Comment by Juliana — September 29, 2009 @ 7:36 pm

  9. I’m with you about chocolate brownies but these look yummy I’m willing to over look that rule! :)

    Comment by veron — September 29, 2009 @ 10:50 pm

  10. It was so nice to meet you this past weekend Dana. I love the brownies. I gotta give these a try!

    Comment by megan — September 29, 2009 @ 10:54 pm

  11. Dana,
    I believe I’ll be needing one of these PB brownie. I am so in the mood for it. Doesn’t seem that difficult either. YUM!

    Comment by elra — September 30, 2009 @ 1:32 am

  12. I agree with you about the brownies – all chocolate, no nuts, no fancy stuff! Sadly, I’m not big on the PB/chocolate combo but these look gorgeous!

    Comment by maris — September 30, 2009 @ 1:34 am

  13. Oh my this would be a favorite in my house. We love chocolate and PB. What a great treat.

    Comment by Hélène — September 30, 2009 @ 2:42 am

  14. Just baked um! Perfection!

    Comment by thegoldenpiglet — September 30, 2009 @ 3:34 am

  15. Mmm, the roof of my mouth is sticky just thinking about them. Peanut butter brownies…delish.

    Comment by peabody — September 30, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

  16. Damn, I kind of wish I hadn’t seen these… maybe I’ll request them in lieu of a birthday cake?

    Comment by Julie — October 1, 2009 @ 4:18 am

  17. Dana, these look incredible. I’ll be making them as soon as I get my hands on some chocolate chips!

    Comment by kickpleat — October 1, 2009 @ 4:37 am

  18. This is Randy. If anyone in Seattle made these, can you please save me some! I was in NYC last week and did not get to have even one :(
    Killing me.

    Comment by dana — October 1, 2009 @ 5:01 am

  19. whoa dana! these look so awesome!

    Comment by kelly — October 1, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

  20. Care to send me one…? They look amazing!

    Comment by chocolate shavings — October 1, 2009 @ 12:52 pm

  21. OM NOM NOM!

    Comment by TheWoman — October 1, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

  22. Love peanut butter! and i love this Brownies .

    Comment by Bryan V. — October 1, 2009 @ 3:34 pm

  23. These sound and look absolutely awesome. I love that there’s no chocolate in the base (though I do love regular brownies too) and that instead there’s lots of peanut butter.

    Comment by Ashley — October 2, 2009 @ 5:04 am

  24. I made these last night and for the most part they’re really good — made two batches so I just doubled the recipe. Next time I’d put less molasses in (or more peanut butter) b/c the molasses was a bit strong.

    I also agree on the “leaving it in longer suggestion” as undercooked ones are really gooey. But if you plan on putting it in the fridge overnight to take to work in the morning, smaller and gooier tends to work.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    Comment by Danny — October 2, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

  25. Made these last night- so delicious! I left them at my mom’s house because I was afraid I wouold eat the whole pan. At this point I’m regretting that decision because I want one! Thanks for the recipe!

    Comment by Laura — October 3, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

  26. Oooh, what a wonderful flavor combo. Rich, decadent and perfect!

    Comment by gaga — October 12, 2009 @ 4:51 am

  27. I just made these bad boys tonight for my pb-loving co-worker. I think he’ll enjoy them!

    Comment by Taves — October 12, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

  28. […] Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out quite as I hoped.  The first recipe was these totally decadent bars from Holly B’s cookbook, which I found via Dana Treat.  Let me tell you, I love Dana’s […]

    Pingback by Cooking fail « The Daily J — January 18, 2010 @ 6:30 pm

  29. Not sure how well I would like these.. I myself am a firm believer in chocolate only brownies.. but these look different. And by the looks of it, you definitely have changed your mind! Wonder if I can get ’em sent to Houston…..

    Comment by 601 Cigars — March 8, 2010 @ 12:22 am

  30. Oh girl! I actually made a small whimper when I looked at these. My mother’s birthday is coming up and she loves these peanut butter nummies. I will be making them.
    Bon Appétit

    Comment by Dana Zia — March 14, 2010 @ 5:14 am

  31. plz tell me are peanut butter cakes supposed to be on the salty side? ive tried peanut butter cakes once n those were rather salty.. im skeptic about them now but these look tmpting.. plz reply..

    Comment by baker — December 6, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

  32. Made these last night. Absolutely delicious! I was skeptical about the lack of baking powder or soda but the result is so rich and yummy! I used unsalted butter and felt is wasn’t too salty at all I’ll definitely keep these in my arsenal! Thanks for publishing, Dana!

    Comment by Jen C — December 25, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

  33. I’ve made these multiple times now, and I had to come back and comment: “Wow!!!” Thanks for sharing this recipe :) It is amazing, and easy to make with small helpers too.

    Comment by Kathy — May 28, 2011 @ 2:04 am

  34. Mmmmm! Found these, hunting for a recipe to fill my PB molasses craving. Yum! Definitely making these again, plus it could esily be halved, if necessary.

    Comment by Rebecca — August 23, 2014 @ 12:32 pm

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