Peanut Butter Brownie Bars

What can I say, while I don’t eat white processed sugar, I am still a sucker for sweets. So for my hubby and my 8 year anniversary this year I had to make something new. I tried making 2 new recipes using peanut butter. One turned out amazing, the other needs some work. So I am sharing the Peanut Butter Brownie Bars recipe that was a hit for all members of our family.

In past years we have bought a giant Dairy Queen peanut butter cup cake and ingested large quantities of sugar and who knows what other ingredients (I refuse to look up the ingredients of my beloved DQ cake). This year (while I did give my hubby a DQ gift card so he could go pick up whatever treats he wanted), I wanted to personally keep away from that addictive white sugar. So, we celebrated by dressing up and heading to Fogo de Chao (amazing restaurant). We ate far too much meat, then enjoyed our brownie bars the next day once we had recovered from our meat coma. My husband enjoyed both brownie bars and DQ heaven.

8 yeas

(Oh, and a little plug for my amazingly talented sister in law. She made the pretty bird necklace I am wearing in the photo. Almost any jewelry I wear is made by Ashlee. If you would like to check out her blog click here, or her store “My Sweet Nomsa click here).

These peanut butter brownie bars are sweetened with dates so they are higher glycemic. But they make for a great once in a while sweet treat! The fat from the nuts in this recipe also help lower the insulin spike you would receive if you were just eating straight carbs and sugar. These are also grain/gluten free, so bonus for those who can’t handle gluten.

I adapted this recipe from one I found on pinterest. I used practically the same brownie base except I tweaked a few ingredient options. And the peanut butter and chocolate crumble topping is different from what Texanarin Baking uses. Check out her recipe here.

brownie bars cut labled (dusk)

My adapted recipe is as follows:

Peanut Butter Brownie Bars

Brownie layer:

9 Medjool dates (be sure to pit them before using)

¼ cup almond butter (all natural store bought or you can make your own)

1 TBS lemon juice (about one lemon worth)

1 TBS coconut oil (I buy Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil from tropical traditions < affiliated link *see note below)

¼ cup coconut cream concentrate (I buy this from Tropical Traditions  however I highly recommend this brand that I buy from amazon because it is sweeter and is perfect for this recipe)

2 tsp vanilla extract (no corn syrup added)

¼ cup coconut flour

1 pasture raised egg

1/3 cup cacao powder

½ tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup beef gelatin collagen (optional for a protein punch)

Peanut Butter swirl:

1/4 cup peanut butter (dry roasted, no added oil or make your own. I found some good stuff at Trader Joes) **See update below

(I actually prefer using my homemade almond butter since ditching peanuts from my diet but any nut butter will do)

2 TBS coconut cream concentrate

4 medjool dates (make sure to pit them before using)

Chocolate crumb layer:

2 ounces unsweetened bakers chocolate

5 medjool dates (make sure to pit them before using)

3 TBS coconut cream concentrate

Splash of vanilla extract (no corn syrup added)

Pinch of salt

Splash of lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

Brownies:

  1. Preaheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9×9 Pyrex pan with coconut oil.
  3. Place 9 pitted medjool dates into a food processor and process till pasty and smooth.
  4. Add vanilla, almond butter, lemon juice, coconut cream concentrate, coconut oil and blend together well.
  5. Add coconut flour, cacoa powder, baking powder, salt and blend together well.
  6. Lastly, add your egg and blend thoroughly into the mixture.
  7. Place mixture into your 9×9 Pyrex dish. Spread evenly with a spatula or spoon.

brownie base

Peanut butter swirl:

You don’t need to clean the food processor.

  1. Place 2 pitted medjool dates into food processor and blend till pasty.
  2. Add peanut butter and coconut oil.
  3. Take multiple spoonfuls of peanut butter mixture and add dollops to your brownies.brownie plus peanut butter scoops
  4. Take a butter knife and swirl the peanut butter mixture into your brownies. It doesn’t have to be too pretty since you will be putting chocolate crumbs on top of this layer soon.

brownie plus pb swirl

Chocolate crumb layer:

Make sure you get most of the peanut butter mixture out of the food processor but it doesn’t have to be entirely clean.

  1. Place 4 pitted medjool dates into your food processor and blend till pasty and smooth.
  2. Add your 2 ounces of chocolate and chop it up with the dates in the food processor.
  3. Add coconut oil, a splash of vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and (if using) a splash of lemon juice.
  4. Take your chocolate mixture and scoop on top of brownies and peanut butter. brownie and chocolate topping
  5. You can use the same butter knife to spread the mixture around.brownie plus chocolate topping pre cook

Baking:

  1. Place your brownie pan in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. You don’t want to over cook the brownies. If you have used a pastured egg you don’t have to worry so much that the egg is fully cooked.
  2. Check the brownies after 10 minutes. The top should have set but they will seem a little squishy/soft. If they are not done, you can place them back in the oven watching carefully till they are done.brownies cooked
  3. Let the brownies cool a bit on the stove. Then place them in the refrigerator to cool completely. You can cut them after they have fully cooled. These brownies are the best when served cold rather than warm out of the oven.
  4. Try to not eat the whole pan in one setting. Good luck. They are pretty rich so that helps a little.

**UPDATE: I recently gave up peanut butter and replaced the pb in this recipe with my home made almond butter. They turned out just as amazing! I was pleasantly surprised.

*Some of the above links are affiliate links.  Click here to learn more about affiliate links.

 

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2 Responses

  1. May 21, 2014

    […] make me feel good. So for birthdays I made cakes with maple syrup or honey. For anniversaries I made date sweetened brownies. And guess what, I was just as satisfied with these treats as I would have been with grocery store […]

  2. November 20, 2015

    […] Peanut Butter Brownie Bars (gluten/grain free) […]

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