ARACHIDI E CIOCCOLATO… Double Decker Choco-Peanut Brownies!

by valentinalucia

My grandmother is one of the best cooks ever. Does that surprise you? I think most grandmothers have some quality – some secret only attainable by grandmotherly-ness – that makes them fantastic cooks. Whenever we visit her, she always makes a ton of food and always has this one table in her dining room filled with various cookies, brownies and other baked goods. She makes things in huge recipes and freezes them, and for some reason, even if the cookies are frozen first, they still taste amazing when they’re thawed and ready to be munched. This Sunday, it was that time of the week again – baking for my mentees! So I decided to try one of my favorite things my grandmother makes – Double Decker Choco-Peanut Brownies!

First let me start out by saying this – if you are a grandmother and you cook/bake food that your family loves, and at any time a family member tries to recreate one of your recipes, you have all the right to snicker and chuckle away at them. Because they will NEVER make it the same way you did. It’s one of those unexplainable grandmother things – you bake it, they will come; they bake it, you may come, but it won’t be the same.

Granted, I changed the recipe a tad when making these brownies. I shaved a little of the fat and used a few different sugar types, but that was it. Needless to say, the brownies didn’t come out exactly like my grandmothers – but they did still come out quite good! The blend of chocolate and peanut butter flavors was balanced and pleasant – not too sweet either, which is always good in a brownie. I love using real peanuts in anything involving peanut butter, and this recipe is no different- peanuts really accentuate the natural flavor of the peanut butter, while adding a bold, roast-y flavor, too.

I hope my mentees like these brownies, because I certainly do. Not exactly as grandma makes, but delicious nonetheless 🙂

Double Decker Choco-Peanut Brownies


1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 eggs

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts


1. Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray 13×9 inch baking pan with with nonstick spray and set aside.

2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In an electric mixer, mix together butter, applesauce, sugars and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time until completely incorporated.

4. Using a wooden spoon, combine flour mixture into wet ingredients. Mix well.

5. Separate half of the batter (about 1 1/2 cups) into another bowl. Mix in peanut butter, then stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly across the bottom to cover.

6. Add cocoa powder to remaining batter and mix. Stir in peanuts. Spoon cocoa batter over peanut-butter batter layer in the pan evenly. Smooth the top gently with a spatula.

5. Bake until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean – between 25 and 30 minutes (mine was done in exactly 27 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Using a spatula to loosen the edges, remove from the pan and let sit on wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 24 brownies and serve.