Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

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I had a great, good ol’ fashion sleepover with a girlfriend last weekend and she told me that the only thing I needed to bring (aside from my PJs, of course) was dessert. I wanted something quick, easy and that I could make with the ingredients in my pantry and I immediately thought of peanut butter brownies. I found a recipe online that I tweaked a little bit (more peanut butter and less baking powder to keep the rise down; this results in a chewier and less dense bar) and found that, even with the tweaking, they still couldn’t be called “brownies” – not in my mind anyway – because these bad boys are dense, chewy and definitely more like a peanut butter cookie. Totally delicious and indulgent. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

Ingredients
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
chocolate chips or crumbled butterfingers candy for top (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 8×8 inch baking pan.

2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl with a whisk. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, cream together peanut butter and butter. Gradually blend in brown sugar, white sugar, eggs and vanilla; mix until JUST incorporated. HINT: If you over-blend these ingredients, the cookie bar will become more dense and ‘cake-like’ rather than chewy like brownies.ย 

4. Stir dry ingredients mix into your wet ingredients until fully incorporated.

5. Sprinkle top with chocolate chips (or peanut butter chips…or both!) or crumbled Butterfinger candy for a little crunch.

6. Bake for 25 minutes in a preheated oven. Cool, cut into squares. HINT: if you don’t want crispy edges, you can top with tin foil just around the edges of the pan to curb browning.

If you are up for it, this would pair very well with a decadent chocolate ganache or chocolate frosting.

 

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