Every year, my friend Andi asks for a PB&J themed birthday treat…and one year, I’m terrified that I am going to run out of ideas and have to repeat. Or I’m going to end up making her a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. I threatened her with that option this year and she laughed and told me I’d figure it out…or I could always bring back a winner from the past. (So far we’ve done gluten-free peanut butter & jelly cupcakes and gluten-free peanut butter & jelly whoopie pies.) And you know repeating isn’t an option. I’ve got to keep trying new things.
I got lucky this year. A surprise gift from Mammacakes of Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food gave me a recipe to solve this year’s birthday treat dilemma. Peanut Butter & Jelly Brownies.
Now, I’ve made peanut butter swirl brownies and I’ve made brownies filled with a jelly center. Why I didn’t consider combining the two before Jamie Oliver told me it was not only possible but a good idea, I don’t know. I mean, peanut butter, jelly and chocolate. All amazingly delicious things.
I mean, look at these babies. Ooey gooey. Rich, dark chocolate decadence. Blobs of jelly popping up.
Oh yes, we have a winner.
- For the custard
- 1 cup milk*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons softened butter
- 1 heaping tablespoon tapioca starch
- 2 heaping tablespoons peanut butter
- For the brownies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 8 ounces (225 grams) high quality dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa)
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour blend**
- 1/8-1/4 cup jelly (you don’t have to be super precise about this – you just dot small bits around the top)
- optional handful of fresh strawberries or raspberries (to match your jelly flavor)
- In a sauce pan over low heat, combine the milk and the vanilla bean paste. Meanwhile, whisk together your egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar with the softened butter and tapioca starch. Once the milk is hot, add it to the egg mixture slowly while continuing to whisk. Pour the whole thing back into the sauce pan and return to the stove. Cook this over low-medium heat for 3-4 minutes – until the custard starts to thicken. Stir in the peanut butter and remove from the heat.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line with parchment and grease an 8×12″ baking dish. Over medium heat, melt the chocolate and butter together. Make sure you keep stirring slowly and gently until everything is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Next, add the eggs one at a time making sure you fully incorporate one egg before you add the next. Sift in your flour in 2 parts, slowly stirring until it is all combined. You never want to stir to fast or hard because brownies are supposed to be dense and fudgy – over stirring will change the texture.
- Pour the brownie batter into your prepared pan. pour the custard over the batter in blobs and swirl the two together. Next, drop small spoonfuls of your jam all around the top. (You can slightly warm your jelly first to make it possible to swirl it if you like.)
- These are best made the night before – they fall apart a little when they are too warm.