Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

I’m always looking for excuses to bake overly excessive amounts food. Because why not? So when my mom had a dessert party at our place for all of the incoming freshman going to Vassar, (where she went to college) my baking brain was in heaven! I’ll spread out the recipes over a couple of posts so you don’t have to read too much while getting ready for school (something all of us are dreading). Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies: Makes 9 large or 16 small brownies

From Martha Stewart


For the Batter

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped**
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Filling

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray an 8×8 baking pan.
  2. Batter: Microwave the semisweet chocolate and the unsalted butter in a large microwave-proof bowl for about 1 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring after every thirty seconds. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and the baking powder.
  3. Whisk the granulated sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs, and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, and stir until combined.
  4. Filling: Stir together the butter, confectioners sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  5. Pour 1/3 of the batter into the pan and smooth out with a rubber spatula. Drop dollops of peanut butter filling on top of the batter, about 1 inch apart. Drizzle the remaining batter on top, and spread to fill the pan. Drop remaining peanut butter filling on top. Gently swirl with a butter knife, running lengthwise and crosswise through layers.
  6. Bake until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, but not wet, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes then dig in!

** If you would like a less sweet brownie, use 4 ounces semisweet chocolate and 2 ounces bittersweet

It’s peanut butter. It’s chocolate. It’s a brownie. It’s amazing. 🙂

-Rayna 🙂


Toffee Cashew Blondies

When you combine the crumbly goodness of a blondie with the crunch and the warm flavor of a nut with just a touch of toffee bits, what’s not to love? My brother is notorious for complaining about how much I bake with peanut butter, so I figured I would take a break from the endless peanut butter (recipes to come 🙂 ). So, I thought it would be nice to take a break from not only peanut butter, but make a bar cookie- something I haven’t made in awhile. And boy did he love these. So will you!

Toffee Cashew Blondies (from Martha Stewart)


  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped unsalted cashews
  • 1/3 cup toffee bits
  • 1/3 cup butterscotch chips (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×8 baking dish.
  2. Mix together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl.
  3. Cream together the brown sugar and the butter. Add in the eggs and vanilla, and mix until combined.
  4. Add in the flour mixture until well combined. Mix in the cashews, toffee bits, and butterscotch chips (if you’re using them).
  5. Bake until golden brown, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, about 42-45 minutes.

Nutty and Blondies. What’s not to love? 🙂

-Rayna 🙂

Baci Brownies with Nutella Buttercream

Hello there again fellow bakers!

I modified this amazing recipe from Gingerbread Bagels

I switched it up a bit though.

See, I made this because my sister is going away to camp for 6 weeks. And she doesn’t like blondies. Because she’s picky, and because she’s my little sister.

I forgot to take pictures of the steps and all because I was too annoyed at the lack of BUTTER in my household. We have dried chrysanthemum flowers but no BUTTER? There is something wrong with this equation.

That’s what aunts are for though, right? She was so kind to bring me to the grocery store and buy butter with me 🙂 (along with my multigrain low fat waffles :p)

Here’s my modified version, but I’m sure if I had stuck with the original way, they would have turned out better.

Baci Brownies

  • 1 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Baci bar (I used Lindt with Hazelnuts) chopped/broken into pieces


1. Set the oven to 375 degrees and grease an 8×8 baking pan

2. Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa powder. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the light brown sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Once combined, add the eggs in.

4. Slowly add in the dry ingredients (half and half is what I generally do) and fold in. Be careful not to overmix!

5. Add the chopped up Baci bar to the batter and fold to combine

6. Put in the oven for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. (You can add some chocolate chips/ baci bar pieces to the top so they get all melty and yummy :D)

7. Set aside to cool and then glob on the delectable Nutella Buttercream!

Nutella Buttercream

  • 7 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 1-1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

1. In a bowl, mix together the butter, Nutella, and vanilla extract

2. Once well mixed, add in 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, followed by 1/4 cup of heavy cream.

3. Repeat step 2 with the remaining powdered sugar and heavy cream.

4. Use all the willpower to have NOT to eat the entire bowl while mixing (electric mixer works best, I used hand) on high for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy.

Spread the ooey gooey buttercream on the brownies and enjoy!