Buckeye Brownies

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Are you ready for the ultimate chocolate and peanut butter experience? Look no further than these Buckeye Brownies! Taking inspiration from the beloved Buckeye candies, these brownies feature a trifecta of deliciousness: a moist chocolate brownie base, a creamy peanut butter filling, and a decadent chocolate ganache topping. Each bite is a harmonious blend of textures and flavors that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more. Get ready for the ultimate chocolate and peanut butter indulgence!

Check out some other delicious chocolate and peanut butter treats like the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie or Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Image of the buckeye brownies stacked on top of eachother

Our Favorite Buckeye Brownies

Buckeyes are a traditional candy from Ohio, USA made from a mixture of peanut butter and powdered sugar, shaped into balls, and dipped in chocolate. They are named after the Ohio Buckeye tree and are particularly popular during the holiday season. The origin of Buckeyes is uncertain, but it is believed that they were first made by Ohio residents in the late 1800s or early 1900s.

Today, Buckeyes can be found commercially and enjoyed by people all over the country. When I lived in Ohio, I had easy access to a variety of Buckeye candies and desserts. Since moving away, I crave these candies all the time. That’s why I created Buckeye Brownies, which have three delicious layers – a chocolate brownie base, a creamy peanut butter filling, and a delicious chocolate ganache topping.

Process shots-- images of the butter, peanut butter, salt, vanilla, and powdered sugar all being mixed together in a bowl

How To Make Buckeye Brownies

The key to these delicious Buckeye Brownies is in the layers. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

Brownie Base: To start, we use a boxed brownie mix for convenience. However, if you prefer to make your brownies from scratch, you can use your favorite brownie recipe in place of the mix in this recipe. Just make sure it fills an 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan. Two of our favorite mixes to use are Betty Crocker’s Supreme Triple Chunk® (17.8 ounces) or Ghirardelli Ultimate Chocolate Brownie Mix® (19 ounces). Of those two, we prefer the Betty Crocker mix.

Peanut Butter Filling: The middle layer of these brownies is a creamy peanut butter filling that adds a delicious contrast to the chocolate brownie base.It’s simple to make with ingredients such as creamy peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt. Use a smooth and creamy peanut butter, not the natural kind that tends to separate.

Chocolate Ganache Topping: Finally, the crowning jewel of these Buckeye Brownies is the chocolate ganache topping. This rich and smooth topping is made using semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips. Keep in mind that the topping needs time to firm up before cutting and serving. Using high-quality chocolate will enhance the taste of these delicious brownies.

Process shots of buckeye brownies-- images of the chocolate ganache layer being made

Here are some tips to help you make the perfect Buckeye Brownies:

  • For easier bar removal, line the pan with parchment paper. With the extra layers of peanut butter filling and ganache, you’ll thank me later! This will make it easy for you to remove the brownies from the pan without them falling apart or sticking to the sides.
  • If your brownie mix comes with a fudge layer, leave it out of the mix and spread it onto the brownies straight from the oven instead. This gives you another delicious layer!
  • Be patient in layering. The brownies need to be completely cooled and firm before adding the peanut butter layer and the peanut butter layer needs to be chilled before adding the chocolate ganache. Take your time layering this dessert for the best results. I usually make the brownie base the night before.
  • For easier slicing, run your knife under hot water and then wipe off with a towel between slices. This will make it easier to get a clean cut and will keep your knife from sticking to the chocolate.

By following these tips and being patient in layering, you’ll be able to achieve perfect Buckeye Brownies every time!

Process shots of buckeye-- images of the peanut butter layer being added on top of the cooked brownies and then the cooled ganache being layered on top of the peanut butter

Chocolate Ganache

As ganache cools, it thickens due to solidified fat which helps bind the mixture and achieve a thicker consistency. High-quality chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids will result in a firmer ganache. Cooling also causes cocoa particles to bind together, contributing to thickness.

Here are some tips to make a chocolate ganache that is the ideal consistency for spreading on top of these brownies:

  1. Use high-quality chocolate: The quality of the chocolate you use will greatly affect the taste and texture of your ganache. Use high-quality chocolate that has a high percentage of cocoa solids.
  2. Use heavy cream: Heavy cream will give you a rich, smooth texture.
  3. Heat the cream: Heat the heavy cream until it is hot but not boiling. You can do this in a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave.
  4. Allow it to cool: Once the ganache is fully mixed, let it sit at room temperature until it nicely thickens to a soft frosting-like consistency.
  5. Adjust the consistency: If the ganache is too thick, you can add more cream or milk to make it thinner. If it is too thin, you can add more melted chocolate to make it thicker.
  6. Use it at the right temperature: The temperature of your ganache will affect its consistency and how it can be used. For pouring and glazing, we want a ganache to be warm, but for spreading (like frosting on top of these brownies), it needs to be fully cooled.

Image of the buckeye brownies being held up ready to be enjoyed

VARIATIONS

Here are a few ideas for variations of Buckeye Brownies:

  • Add nuts to the brownie base for added texture and crunch. Chopped peanuts or walnuts would work well.
  • Add a sprinkle of sea salt to the chocolate ganache topping for a salty-sweet contrast.
  • Use a different type of nut butter, like almond or cashew, in the filling.
  • For a richer chocolate flavor, you can add some espresso powder to the brownie base.
  • Use dark chocolate chips in the ganache for a richer, more intense chocolate flavor.
  • Mix in some peanut butter cups or Reese’s Pieces into the brownie batter for even more peanut butter flavor!

Image of a bite being taken out of one of the treats

STORAGE

To store leftovers, place leftover brownies in an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator. They should be consumed within 3-4 days for best taste. Freezing is not recommended for these buckeye brownies as the dairy in the filling and ganache does not hold up well during the thawing process.

More Brownie-Based Desserts

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Buckeye Brownies

5 from 5 votes
Are you ready for the ultimate chocolate and peanut butter experience? Look no further than these Buckeye Brownies! Taking inspiration from the beloved Buckeye candies, these brownies feature a trifecta of deliciousness: a moist chocolate brownie base, a creamy peanut butter filling, and a decadent chocolate ganache topping. Each bite is a harmonious blend of textures and flavors that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more. Get ready for the ultimate chocolate and peanut butter indulgence!
Print Recipe

Buckeye Brownies

5 from 5 votes
Are you ready for the ultimate chocolate and peanut butter experience? Look no further than these Buckeye Brownies! Taking inspiration from the beloved Buckeye candies, these brownies feature a trifecta of deliciousness: a moist chocolate brownie base, a creamy peanut butter filling, and a decadent chocolate ganache topping. Each bite is a harmonious blend of textures and flavors that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more. Get ready for the ultimate chocolate and peanut butter indulgence!
Course Dessert, treat
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword buckeye brownie recipe, Buckeye Brownies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 5 minutes
Servings 20 bars (cut 'em small, they're RICH!)
Calories 299kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $8.12

Ingredients

  • 1 package (18 oz.) brownie mix, and ingredients listed on the package (Note 2)

Peanut Butter Filling

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, but not hot
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • tiny pinch of salt

Ganache

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup full-fat heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Instructions

  • NUMBER 1 TIP: Allow yourself plenty of time to make this dessert so the layers aren't rushed. Each layer needs a good amount of time to chill or rest. We like making the brownies a day ahead!
    BROWNIES: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9-inch baking pan (8x8-inch works too, just thicker brownies) with parchment paper, leaving an overhang. Prepare the brownie mix according to package instructions and transfer to the prepared pan. Bake according to package instructions, being careful not to over-bake. Remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool for 20 minutes. Then cover and place in the fridge (or freezer) while preparing the peanut butter layer.
  • PEANUT BUTTER: In a large bowl, mix together melted butter, peanut butter, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar until a thick dough forms. Drop this mixture in dollups over the cooled brownies and use the back of a spoon to gently coax and spread it into an even layer, pressing it to the very edges of the pan and fully sealing the brownies with this layer. (This will take some patience to ensure the peanut butter layer doesn't lift up the brownies!) Cover and place in the fridge until the ganache is ready.
  • GANACHE: (See Note 2 for tips!) To make the ganache, measure the chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl. In a glass measuring cup, add the heavy cream and butter and microwave until steaming hot (but not boiling), about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate chips. Do not stir. Cover the bowl with the chocolate chips to keep in the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Then, stir until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth. If needed, microwave the mixture for 15 seconds to further melt. Let ganache stand for 45 minutes up to an hour at room temperature or until very thick (like a soft frosting consistency). Stir again and then scoop over the peanut butter layer. Smooth evenly on top with a butter knife.
  • SERVE: Cover bars and refrigerate for 3-6 hours or until the chocolate topping is firm. Using the parchment overhang, remove brownies from the pan and cut with a very sharp knife. To get clean cuts, run your knife under very hot water, dry, and then slice in quick fast cuts. Serve and enjoy! Return leftovers, covered tightly, to the fridge. Let sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before enjoying!

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Brownie Base: To start, we use a boxed brownie mix for convenience. However, if you prefer to make your brownies from scratch, you can use your favorite brownie recipe in place of the mix in this recipe. Just make sure it fills an 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan. Two of our favorite mixes to use are Betty Crocker's Supreme Triple Chunk® (17.8 ounces) or Ghirardelli Ultimate Chocolate Brownie Mix® (19 ounces). Of those two, we prefer the Betty Crocker mix.
Note 2: Ganache Tips:
  1. Use high-quality chocolate: The quality of the chocolate you use will greatly affect the taste and texture of your ganache. 
  2. Use heavy cream: Heavy cream will give you a rich, smooth texture.
  3. Heat the cream: Heat the heavy cream until it is hot but not boiling which can break the cream.
  4. Allow it to cool: Once the ganache is fully mixed, let it sit at room temperature until it nicely thickens to a soft frosting-like consistency.
  5. Adjust the consistency: If the ganache is too thick, you can add more cream or milk to make it thinner. If it is too thin, you can add more melted chocolate to make it thicker.
  6. Use it at the right temperature: The temperature of your ganache will affect its consistency and how it can be used. For pouring and glazing, we want a ganache to be warm, but for spreading (like frosting on top of these brownies), it needs to be fully cooled and thickened.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.4g | Protein: 4.3g | Fat: 16.7g | Cholesterol: 15.2mg | Sodium: 117.4mg | Fiber: 1.3g | Sugar: 26.1g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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20 Comments

  1. Yaaaas these buckeye brownies are everything I need in life! I LOVE those PB bars and piling them on top of brownies was genius. Drooling over here!

  2. Ah, I am dying over these brownies. Peanut butter and chocolate is the best combination ever. And these brownies. Just dying!

  3. Oh my goodness, these look OUTRAGEOUS. I should leave work right now to make them. What am I still doing here?

    1. I haven’t! I’m not a huge fan of crunchy peanut butter with desserts, but I suppose it could work okay 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    My friend used to make these years ago and I could never find the right recipe. These are perfection. They taste exactly like I remember and this is by far the easiest of the recipes I have tried. I can whip them up in a jiffy. It will definitely be one of my “go to” recipes. Thank you.

  5. 5 stars
    Love this recipe and have made it numerous times to rave reviews! Any harm in swapping out milk chocolate for dark chocolate?

    1. Yay!! I’m so glad to hear this! And nope! You should be just fine switching out the chocolates! It’s totally just about preference! 🙂

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