Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownie Sandwiches

Being a procrastinator is awesome. I made these Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownie Sandwiches last week and fully intended to post them over the weekend. Well, things happened—things like running 18 miles on Saturday (yes, long distance training is back!) and not-coincidental things like zonking out at 9pm on Sunday night and sleeping for 10 hours. My point is, this post was a little longer in the making than I intended, but in a wonderful bit of serendipity, today is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownie Sandwiches | SugarHero.com

Look at me and my bad self! I am no longer a procrastinator; instead, I’m a psychic super-planner with a knack for posting the perfect recipe for any given made-up food holiday. Yeah, you’d better believe I’ve already ordered those business cards.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownie Sandwiches | SugarHero.com

Now, I haven’t tested every peanut butter & jelly dessert ever, but I feel pretty confident in saying that these brownie sandwiches are one of the most delicious ways you could choose to consume this time-honored combination. Two dense, fudgy salt-topped brownies are the “bread” that sandwiches two layers of chocolate ganache: one a salted peanut butter ganache, and one a sweet-tart fresh raspberry ganache.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownie Sandwiches | SugarHero.com

Although it’s hard to see the two distinct layers of ganache in the pictures, you absolutely taste each individual flavor in every bite. It’s a wonderful mix of salted peanutty goodness, fruity raspberries, and of course, rich chocolate in both the ganache and brownies.Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownie Sandwiches | SugarHero.com

I gave the sandwiches a quick “crust” of crushed honey-roasted peanuts and freeze-dried berries. (Yes, my very favorite ingredient makes another appearance! As regular readers know, I’m freeze-dried fruit’s #1 fan, and I basically try to cram it into as many dishes as possible. Sorry not sorry.) Spread a little chocolate on the edges, press the nuts and fruit into the sides, and you have a beautiful, striking decoration that also adds a great flavor and texture to the dish.

In the interest of science, I tried serving these sandwiches with vanilla bean ice cream, and after a few grueling taste tests, I can officially give this combination two thumbs up. I also recommend microwaving the sandwiches for 10-15 seconds, until the brownies are warm and the ganache layers are gooey and start to melt ever so slightly.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownie Sandwiches | SugarHero.com

This dish was inspired by one I saw at Dandelion Chocolates in San Francisco a few weeks ago. They serve something with a similar description—I was so stuffed with ice cream I didn’t have a chance to try it (or one of their $8 chocolate bars, indignant cough)—so I can’t say how my version compares to the original. Although I’m sure my recipe/construction is different, I do have to give them credit for inspiring this dish. I’d love to hear from anyone who’s tried their version—it’s on my must-eat list for my next visit to SF!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownie Sandwiches | SugarHero.com

Happy Peanut Butter and Jelly Day! How are you celebrating?

If you need to get in a PB&J mood, here are a few more of my favorite peanut butter desserts:

Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies | SugarHero.com

Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge | SugarHero.com

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies | SugarHero.com

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies


Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownie Sandwiches
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Brownies
Serves: 18
Ingredients
For the Brownies:
  • 12 oz unsalted butter, cubed
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 14 oz (2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 15 oz (2 cups) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 8.5 oz (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt (I like Maldon)
For the Peanut Butter Ganache:
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy is fine
For the Raspberry Ganache:
  • 10 oz frozen raspberries, defrosted
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar
For the Optional Garnishes:
  • 1 cup honey-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup freeze-dried raspberries or strawberries, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup chocolate candy coating
Instructions
To Make the Brownies:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two 9x13-inch baking pans with foil that extends up over the sides, and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds, until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Let cool until lukewarm.
  3. Add the cocoa and sugar and whisk well. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Finally, add the vanilla extract and then the flour, and stir with a spatula until everything is combined.
  4. Divide the batter equally between the two pans. If you want to use a scale, place about 32 oz of batter in each pan. Sprinkle half of the flaked sea salt generously over the top of each pan. Bake the pans for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool the brownies completely before assembly. While you wait for them to cool, prepare the ganaches.
To Make the Ganaches and Assemble:
  1. To make the peanut butter ganache, combine the chopped chocolate and the cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Add the peanut butter and whisk it in. Press a layer of cling wrap on top of the ganache and keep it at room temperature until you’re ready to use it.
  2. To make the raspberry ganache, puree the defrosted raspberries in a blender or food processor. Strain them through a fine wire mesh strainer to remove most of the seeds—a few stray seeds is okay! Pour the raspberry puree into a small saucepan and heat it over medium-low heat until it reduces down to ¼ cup—this will give your ganache a very intense raspberry flavor.
  3. Once the puree is down to ¼ cup, add the ½ cup of cream and the powdered sugar and turn the heat to medium. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl nearby. Bring the cream/raspberry mixture to a simmer, then pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for 1 minute to soften the chocolate, then whisk together until smooth. Press a layer of cling wrap on top of the ganache and keep it at room temperature until you’re ready to use it.
  4. Once the brownies are cool, scrape the peanut butter ganache on top of one of the brownie pans, and spread it into an even layer. Refrigerate the pan until the ganache is partially set, about 20 minutes. Pour the raspberry ganache on top of the peanut butter ganache, and again spread it into an even layer. Refrigerate the pan again to set the ganache until it is firm enough to support the weight of the second brownie layer, for about 20-30 minutes.
  5. Remove the second brownie layer from the pan using the foil as handles, and peel the foil off the back. Carefully slide the second brownie on top of the ganache layer. Refrigerate the pan for several hours to make sure the brownies and ganache are firmly sealed together.
  6. Remove the slab of brownie sandwich from the tray using the foil as handles. Cut them into small triangles (to mimic sandwiches) or squares. If you want to decorate the sides of the sandwiches like I did, melt the chocolate candy coating in the microwave. Mix the chopped peanuts and freeze-dried fruit together. Spread a thin layer of coating on the side of a triangle, and quickly press a thick layer of nuts and fruit onto the coating before it dries.
  7. This recipe yields about 18 4x3-inch triangle “sandwiches.” They can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. For the best taste and texture, serve them either at room temperature or warmed for 10-15 seconds in the microwave.
Notes
If you want to substitute kosher salt for the sea salt, use only ¾ tsp. I do not recommend using table salt instead. The brownie recipe was adapted from Food & Wine magazine.

 

38 Responses to Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownie Sandwiches
  1. Emily says:

    Oh my gosh. I love your blog! Everything looks so good!

    I want to make this very soon. I have so many of your recipe bookmarked.

  2. Danguole says:

    Ohhhh man. Who would’ve thunk it? YOU would’ve thunk it. This sounds too good to be true–except I know it’s true, because there are pictures. #hardevidenceofmindblowingdessert.

  3. Medeja says:

    This recipe is so amazing! These brownies are just like brownie cake! I love it!!! :)

  4. Liz says:

    If you ever need anyone to taste-test your recipes, I’m always game! This looks so moist and deeeeelicious! :)

  5. Johlene says:

    Love this idea.. only you can come up with it! The photos are stunning :-) 18 miles.. wow.. I´m jealous, I dont think I´ll ever get there.. good on you girl!!
    Happy weekenddddddddddd….. xoxo

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Johlene! Honestly the distance thing is sneaky–one long run leads to another and before you know it you’ve tricked yourself into going 18 miles. It turns out I’m not to be trusted. :) But it’s (usually) fun so it’s all good!

  6. Oh my freaking oh my gosh. This is the best thing. Ever. I eat PB&Js way more often than I should because I always feed them to my kids and make a little extra one for me. Why have I never thought to sub brownies for bread??

    Are you gearing up for a marathon?? Look at you go Elizabeth!!

    • Elizabeth says:

      I’ve just gotten back into the PB&J business too! Well actually SB&J, because my son’s school is peanut-free so he does sunflower butter…but you get the idea. Totally easy, totally classic, totally good. You know your kids would adore you if you subbed brownies in for bread one day. :) And yes, training for a few 50ks, which are a bit more than a marathon! I used to run them a lot pre-kid and I’m seeing if I can get back into it. Thanks Karen!

  7. Kudos for running 18 miles! I love to run but I usually do about 3 miles…peanuts compared to you. ;) Is it wrong to be craving this decadent brownie sandich for breakfast?! This looks amazing!! :)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Um, I’m pretty sure the point of running is that you get to have whatever you want for breakfast occasionally! :) Brownie sandwiches it is!

  8. Holy cow, these brownies look insanely good!…and decadent. Did you run 18 miles because you sampled a few too many? ;) Definitely an awesome take on the regular old pb+j.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Ha! It’s like you know me or something. :) Honestly running makes me want to be a really virtuous eater…it’s only when I’ve fallen out of the running habit that my diet starts to slip a bit. Weird, right?!

  9. I knew I shouldn’t have stalked your blog when I was hungry. This totally trumps the regular PBJ I was planning to have for lunch. Now I want to sandwich everything in brownies!

  10. Laura says:

    wow..which lucky person taste tests for you??? :D

    • Elizabeth says:

      Haha, my husband (always) then a rotating cast of friends and neighbors. I often get texts from people who will be in the area, asking if there’s anything they can take off my hands. It’s win-win because I don’t eat it all, and I don’t feel like it’s going to waste!

  11. Oh wow wow wow! These look miles better than the average pb + jelly sandwich – I’m so drooling right now! Seriously, how do you always make stuff look so decadent??? I need these now!
    Have a lovely weekend! xx

  12. I can’t even handle how delicious these look!! Best sandwich I have ever seen. YUM! Also, extremely bummed that I missed national PBJ day! Marking the calendar for next year!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Cate! It was really random–I was planning on posting this, then I got a press release about PB&J day basically right before I started writing the post. Totally didn’t plan it, totally happy about it! Sweet serendipity. :)

  13. cj says:

    WOW – Would love to see this submitted at Food Foto Gallery . com so I can share with all my foodie friends :)

  14. Sign me up to eat about 8 of these babies. SWOON.

  15. Holy Hannah. This look so DECADENT! Milk would be a must have, I presume? And running 18 miles? I maxed at 5. humph.

  16. Kudos for not being a procrastinator and setting up this amazingly awesome post! If anyone appreciates how difficult it is to time posts with stupid food holidays, it’s me!

    This looks stunning. I mean, wow. I didn’t notice the two layers of ganache till I really looked. And when I did, I almost applauded.

    Great job!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks! And it seems like there’s at least one food holiday every week (every day? Every HOUR?! What’s that about?!) It’s almost impossible to keep up!

  17. Lnbaer says:

    This looks like an amazing combination of flavors. Can’t wait to try it at home!

  18. Laura says:

    Just found this recipe and made these today. Peanut butter and jelly AND chocolate just could not wait! Everything about your recipe is perfect, from the texture and thickness of the brownie layers to the fine details, like reducing the raspberry purée to what seems like an impossibly small volume and using honey roasted peanuts instead of plain for garnish. These are decadently good and as pretty as any plated dessert, and I will make them often, even though a knee injury is keeping me from running off extra calories much anymore.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Laura, thank you so much for the comment! I’m thrilled that you made them and enjoyed them (and found the detailed recipe helpful! I am a chronic over-writer but I do like to be specific :) ). Thanks for the feedback, and I wish you many more months & years of happy eating!

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