Thursday, November 1, 2012

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

As an alum of a Big Ten school (technically, two of them), I have many fond memories of autumn football games:  stadium blankets, flasks of schnapps-laced cocoa, bellowing fight songs, and -- ta da! -- tailgating!

Even though I've now worked in a college environment for seven years, I thought going to football games as faculty instead of as a student simply wouldn't be the same.  But last fall a group of my friends and I got tickets for a single game.  We tailgated before and then trekked across the road to University of North Texas's brand new stadium . . . and we had a blast.  First, the stadium is gorgeous (I've yet to encounter a line for the bathroom).  Second, it turns out that UNT has lots of fun traditions, such as shooting off fireworks every time the home team scores.  And, finally, it was great hanging out with good friends both before and during the game.

So this year we bought season tickets.

We generally try to arrive near the stadium about 2 hours before kick-off, unpack our camp chairs, and dine on sandwiches, chips, sodas, beer, and something sweet.  We've worked out a certain division of labor, each of us playing to our strengths.  So far this year, I've been on dessert duty . . . a task I relish.

Alas, I don't always have time to make something elaborate or from scratch.  These pimped out brownie-mix brownies are a snap to make and completely delicious.  What's more, the peanut butter just screams fall to me, so these brownies seem perfect for a football tailgate or party.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

1 box brownie mix (for a 9x13 pan), the batter prepared according to instructions on the box.
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 Tbs. powdered sugar

Preheat the oven per package instructions.  Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper or nonstick foil (to make removing the brownies much easier).  Pour the prepared brownie batter into the pan.

Heat the peanut butter in the microwave for 15 seconds, and then in 5 second increments, until it is a bit runny.  Stir the powdered sugar into the peanut butter.

Dollops of peanut butter on the brownie batter

Drop dollops of the peanut butter on the brownie batter, then swirl with a knife.  Bake the brownies according to package instructions.  When cool, lift out of pan by the parchment paper / foil.  Cut and ENJOY!
Right out of the oven


  1. Wendy, Annie, I didn't know you went to 2 Big 10 schools. I'm a Pac 12 girl. :) (But my character Charlotte went to OSU!!) Love the peanut butter in the brownies. Nice.

    ~Daryl aka Avery

  2. Aha! I did my undergraduate work at Michigan and my PhD at OSU ... nearly caused a family crisis when I said I might be a buckeye. Finally, my little sister said "It's about the education, not about the football." My parents stopped griping, but I'm not sure they were convinced. :)

  3. Chocolate and peanut butter What more can one ask? How about gilding the lily with dark chocolate chips in the brownie batter and chopped peanuts in the swirl? Too much? And a phone programed with speed dial for EMTs!

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  5. Wendy, the brownies look amazing! Go UNT! My husband and I are UNT alums, the stadium does look awesome.

    By the way, my husband teaches at UNT in the CJ department. What a small world we live in.

  6. Karen - very small world, indeed! In addition to teaching, I'm the pre-law advisor, so I bet a ton of his students pass through my office. :)

    And Libby, I used a dark chocolate brownie mix, but I see no reason not to add more chocolate/peanutty goodness!

  7. Wendy, these look delicious! Love that peanut butter swirl!

    ~ Krista