JB's Favorite Peanut Butter Brownies

In celebration of Father's Day, cofounder Mariah Nielson gives us the recipe for her dad, JB Blunk's favorite peanut butter 'studio break' brownies. 

"My father always stopped work in his studio at 4pm for a cup of tea and a sweet treat. His favorite was a peanut butter brownie, rich and sweet, something he said would 'stick to your ribs'. Afternoon tea provided a break from his work but also a chance to socialize.

This was usually the time of day when he invited friends and collectors to come by for a studio visit. Because these brownies are especially potent, he would slice them into long rectangles arranging them in odd stacks on one of his ceramic plates. Each guest was typically rationed one to two rectangles only. After tea, my father would resume work for several more hours glazing ceramics, finishing a painting, or continuing to carve a sculpture or piece of furniture.

'I won't have to eat until dinner,' he would say as he headed back up to the studio."


Peanut butter batter

¾ cup (190 grams) smooth peanut butter

1/3 (135 grams) granulated sugar

1 large egg

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

 A few pinches of flaky sea salt


Brownie batter

3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped

½ cup (115 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon flaky sea salt

2/3 cup (85 grams) all-purpose flour


To finish

¼ cup semi bittersweet chocolate chips


Heat oven to 350 F (175 C)


Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment and coat the bottom with just a little butter. 

Peanut butter batter: Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth.

Brownie batter: In a medium stainless steel bowl over gently simmering water, melt chocolate and butter together until only a couple of chocolate bits remain. Remove this from heat and stir until smooth and fully melted. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and flaky salt. Stir in flour.

Combine batters: Spread a thin layer of brownie batter in the bottom of the baking pan. Dollop peanut butter batter in big spoonfuls. Dollop remaining brownie batter between the peanut butter dollops. Use a butter knife to swirl the batters together. Sprinkle chips all over.

Bake: For 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

JB Blunk in his studio c. 1968. Courtesy of JB Blunk Estate.