Name a better combination than peanut butter and chocolate chips. I’ll wait.
Combine them with gooey blondies, and you’ve got a treat that’ll put a smile on anyone’s face.
I love eating them just out of the oven with a cup of coffee, but they’re also delicious with a scoop of ice cream for a decadent dessert.
Why I love this recipe
And why you will too…
- This recipe uses simple, everyday ingredients that you will probably already have to hand if you’ve done any sort of baking before.
- You don’t need any special equipment either. The batter comes together without a blender, and you can adapt it to fit different pan sizes.
- And, of course I have to mention the incredibly gooey texture. The combination of peanut butter and melty chocolate chips is melt-in-your-mouth velvety.
- Unsalted butter: Unsalted butter is best so you can control the amount of salt that goes into the recipe. If you only have salted this will still work, but you’ll need to skip the extra salt.
- Brown sugar: I like using brown butter because I think it results in a chewier texture. The deep, caramel-like sweetness also complements the peanut butter flavor perfectly.
- Peanut butter: You can use any type of peanut butter, but I prefer creamy shelf stable brands because natural peanut butters can be too oily. You can go for crunchy or smooth.
- Eggs: Make sure the eggs are room temperature before adding them into the batter. Room temperature eggs aerate better and you’ll get lighter blondies.
- All-purpose flour: The base of the blondie batter. You can also use cake flour, pastry flour, or even bread flour. Cake flour produces a more flaky blondie, while bread flour will give them a thicker texture.
- Baking powder and baking soda: These are leavening agents that help the blondies rise, make sure the ones you’re using aren’t too old or they lose their potency.
- Salt: To balance out the sweetness of the peanut butter and chocolate, and enhance the overall flavor.
- Chocolate chips: What blondies would be complete with the obligatory chocolate chips! You can use any flavor of chocolate chips you want.
Step 1: Preparation
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease an 8×8-inch square pan.
This will ensure the blondies don’t stick and come out easily after baking. Don’t forget this step – it’s a nightmare if you do!
You can also use parchment paper to line the pan, which will make it really easy to pull the blondies out.
To perfectly line the pan, cut two pieces of parchment paper and lay them in a cross pattern, covering all sides of the pan.
Step 2: Make the peanut butter mixture
Melt the unsalted butter and brown sugar, in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth.
Remove the mixture from the heat, and mix in your peanut butter. Set the mixture aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together sifted all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Step 3: Combine wet and dry ingredients
Add egg to the cooled peanut butter mixture, and mix well. Stir in your vanilla extract and then slowly pour the mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix until a thick, smooth batter forms.
Fold in half of the chocolate chips into the batter, reserving the other half for topping the blondies.
Step 4: Bake
Spread the batter evenly into the greased pan, ensuring it reaches the edges. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top and lightly press them into the batter.
Bake the blondies for 25 minutes, or until the top turns golden and edges are slightly browned. You can also use the toothpick test for doneness, but more on that later.
Allow the blondies to cool in the pan before cutting into them. The blondies will stiffen up as they cool and become much easier to cut.
Adapting the recipe for different pan sizes
I used an 8×8 pan in this recipe, but you can easily adapt it if you have a different size pan.
Here are some guidelines for common pan size adjustments:
- 9×9-inch square pan: If using a slightly larger pan, increase the ingredients by approximately 25%. The batter will be thinner, so start checking for doneness at around 20 minutes.
- 9×13-inch rectangular pan: Double the ingredients with this pan size and be aware the blondies will take longer to bake (around 30 minutes).
- Muffin tin: If you prefer individual portions, you can use a muffin tin. Fill each cup about 2/3 full with batter, and reduce the baking time to around 15-20 minutes.
How to make peanut butter brownies instead of blondies
Blondies are just brownies without the cocoa powder, some people describe them as a really thick, chewy cookie.
If you want to turn these blondies into brownies you just need to add cocoa powder to the batter.
Incorporate ¼ to ⅓ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder to the dry ingredients in step 3. And reduce the flour you use to 1 cup instead of 1 ¼ cup.
You can also increase the amount of chocolate chips you add to get a really intense chocolate flavor.
How to tell if your blondies are done
Determining when your blondies are perfectly baked can be tricky because they should be slightly gooey when you take them out, which some people mistake for under-doneness.
But overbaking can lead to dry, crumbly blondies (disaster!!)
Here are some tips to help you determine when your blondies are done:
- Visual cues: Observe the edges of the blondies as they bake. When the edges are set and slightly browned, and the top has a golden color, it’s a good indication that they’re nearly done.
- Surface: The surface of the blondies should look slightly cracked and no longer glossy. A shiny surface usually indicates that the batter is still wet and not fully cooked. Also if the middle jiggles when you shake the pan, the blondies need a bit longer.
- Toothpick test: Insert a toothpick or a thin knife into the center of the blondies. It should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, but not completely covered in wet batter. If the toothpick comes out clean, the blondies are overbaked.
(I know the pictures are for brownies, but it’s good for illustrating my point!)
Remember, the blondies will continue to cook when you take them out of the oven. And you can fix undercooked blondies (see the next section), but you can’t fix overcooked blondies.
So start checking them a few minutes before you think they should be done and be cautious!
What to do if your blondies come out underbaked
If you’ve taken your blondies out of the oven and realize that they’re underbaked, don’t worry you can simply return them to the oven and continue to bake them (yes, even if you’ve left them cooling for a while).
Keep a close eye on the blondies, checking them every 2-3 minutes, using a toothpick to determine when they’re done.
If the blondies are only slightly underbaked, you put them in the fridge of the freezer to firm them up.
The fridge will give the brownies a more fudgy and dense texture, while the freezer can turn them into a chocolate bar-type snack!
Still in need of help? I have an entire article on how to fix undercooked brownies (and blondies) with even more tips!
Dietary substitutions for blondies
If you need to adapt my peanut butter chocolate chip blondies recipe to accommodate specific dietary requirements or preferences, here are some suggestions for alternative ingredients.
- Gluten-free: replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour in a 1:1 ratio.
- Dairy-free: use a dairy-free butter substitute like Miyoko’s Creamery or Earth Balance.
- Egg-free: Make a flax egg or chia egg by mixing one tablespoon of ground flaxseed or chia seed with 2 tablespoons of water. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes and it should turn into a gel.
- Nut-free: replace the peanut butter with cookie butter spread or sunflower seed butter. Easy peasy!
- Refined sugar-free: Use coconut sugar or date sugar instead of brown sugar. You may need to add a little bit more liquid because these sugar replacements have less moisture than brown sugar. They’re also slightly less sweet.
- Lower-fat: replace half of the butter with unsweetened applesauce. You’ll also get a nice fruity hint to the blondies!
Note: I haven’t tested all of these substitutions in this recipe, so your mileage may vary.
If you do test them, let me know how they work out in the comments.
Variations and customizations
The basic peanut butter chocolate chip blondies recipe can be easily customized to suit different tastes and occasions. Here are some ideas for variations:
- Different mix-ins and toppings: Instead of chocolate chips, try incorporating other mix-ins like butterscotch chips, chopped nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, or pecans), or dried fruits (like cranberries, raisins, or cherries). You can also experiment with toppings like flaky sea salt for popping candy.
- Browned butter: For a deeper, nuttier flavor, try browning the butter before adding it to the brown sugar in the saucepan. Cook the butter over medium heat until it turns golden brown and gives off a nutty aroma, then proceed with the recipe as instructed. YUM!
- Celebration blondies: Customize the blondies for special occasions by adding colorful sprinkles, candy-coated chocolates (like M&M’s), or themed decorations that match the event. Red white and blue for 4th of July anyone?
- Boozy blondies: For an adult twist, add a tablespoon or two of your favorite liqueur to the batter, such as Baileys Irish Cream, Frangelico, or Kahlúa. Just don’t go too crazy! We don’t want runny batter.
Room temperature: Store cooled leftover blondies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. To prevent sticking, place a piece of parchment paper between each layer of blondies.
Refrigerator: If you prefer your blondies chilled or want to extend their shelf life, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Top tip: don’t cut the blondies until you want to eat them, this will help them last longer.
Freezing: these blondies can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, wrap each blondie individually in plastic wrap, then place them in an airtight container or zip-top freezer bag. This will help preserve their freshness and prevent them from sticking together. When you’re ready to enjoy the frozen blondies, let them thaw at room temperature for a few hours or in the refrigerator overnight.
To reheat the blondies, zap them in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds. Or place them in a 350-degree oven for 5-10 minutes.
For even more tips, be sure to check out my entire guide to reheating and storing blondies and brownies.
Making ahead tip: you can prepare the batter and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Note that cold batter will require a few extra minutes of baking time.
Got some leftover blondies that have gone a bit stale? Or maybe you overbaked the first batch, and now you need a fix.
Here are some creative ideas on what to do with spare peanut butter blondies:
- Crumble them over ice cream for a delicious topping.
- Layer the blondie pieces with whipped cream and fruit to create a trifle or parfait.
- Use the crumbled blondies as a base for cheesecake or pie.
- Make a blondie sundae with warm blondies, ice cream, whipped cream, and sauce.
- Use the blondies in the place of bread in bread pudding, they’ll soak up the custard mixture and create a rich, dense, and delicious dessert. Blondies and brownies can even be used as a substitute for ladyfingers!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips I probably used closer to 1/2 cup!
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8″ square pan and set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter. Allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the egg to the butter & sugar mixture and mix well. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared dry ingredients, and stir to create a thick, smooth batter. Fold in half the chocolate chips, reserving the rest for sprinkling on top.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading the batter evenly to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and lightly press them into the batter.
- Bake for 25 minutes until the top is golden and the edges are slightly browned. Allow to cool in the pan. Cut into squares and serve.