Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies (Or: Whole Jar of Peanut Butter Brownies)

by Carilyn on September 17, 2019

I really thought my life was over when I realized I needed to cut out gluten to keep my joints from swelling. Really? Gluten free? I’d just as soon eat liver flavored cereal every morning for breakfast than give up cake, doughnuts, and cookies. But, after two years of cleaning up our diet – first with strict keto, then transitioning into Paleo after we “fixed” our problems – I started randomly adding back in regular gluten-filled desserts, usually on vacation. What tasted great on a Mexican beach, or while wearing Mickey ears at Disneyworld, would leave me hobbling and unable to open my beloved bottles of San Pellegrino when I got home.

Seriously. What. The. Hell.

Dessert is my life. How exactly is one supposed to exist without chocolate cake?

For the entire life of this blog, I’ve experimented with different “types” of dessert. I mean, why not? I’m not a dessert snob. I love a Hostess apple pie as much as I do a cannele. A pink (must get pink) Snowball (chocolate and whipped cream and marshmallow, oh my!) rivals any tarte tatin. So, after I stopped sobbing and hobbling, I pulled my big girl panties on and did a full scan of my posts and realized that I had already written about a bunch of delicious treats that also just happened to be gluten free – and it wasn’t even intentional. Surely, if I put my mind to it I could come up with a whole slew of recipes that wouldn’t make me want to steal the motorized scooter-shopping-cart from the Walmart parking lot because my right knee hurt so bad.

So, I started playing around with my favorite desserts, trying cut out the gluten by experimenting with alternate flours, and then tweaking them further to make as many as possible grain free. Luckily, there are so many great gluten free and paleo bakers out there that I didn’t have to do a lot of mad science in my kitchen to come up with some desserts that even my VERY picky, will-not-touch-anyting-healthy father loves. (That is the true test. He can sniff out “health” food from the next state over, and once accused my sister and me of feeding him grass clippings when we tried to get him to drink a smoothie.)

Right now, this brownie recipe is at the top of the rotation. I’ve been taking it to every gathering we’ve gone to in the last month because Peanut Butter. And Chocolate. And then I have to make a second batch just for Tim because there are never any left to bring home, and he says it isn’t fair that he has to go to an office all day, and that I get to stay home and eat brownies, which is complete hogwash, but then I prove him right by eating seven brownies in one day and he says that is excessive, even for me and that I am eating them out of spite.

Tim knows me too well.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

(grain free, gluten free, vegan)

1 jar of smooth peanut butter (16 0z)

2 large eggs

1 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup cocoa powder or cacao powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch salt (I like pink Himalayan)

1 cup chocolate chips – optional (vegan if desired)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 11 x 13 cake pan (pyrex or aluminum).

Mix all the ingredients except the chocolate chips until thoroughly combined. Fold in chocolate chips if you are adding them. Pour into greased pan. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, depending on how fudgy you like your brownies. I cook mine less because we like them to be really moist and dense. But if you prefer them cakier, bake them a little more.

These brownies are amazing topped with some coconut milk whipped cream and strawberries. But then again, isn’t everything?



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