I turned on the television to watch English Premier League soccer on the Spanish language channel, Telemundo. First thing that comes up is a commercial for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I’m not strong enough to resist temptation in two languages so I headed to the kitchen to make something with chocolate and peanut butter.
I went with a recipe from Maida Heatter. She’s an awesome baker and I go back to her cookie books regularly. In this cookie bar recipe, she added jelly – while it is a cool concept (peanut butter and jelly), I found it distracting so eliminated it. I also nixed the additional peanuts, as the chunky peanut butter gives it plenty of peanutty flavor and crunch. I like the deeper chocolateness of semi-sweet morsels and switched them for the milk chocolate chips in the original recipe.
These are sort of like blondies but more cake-like and with a delicious peanut butter flavor and plenty of chocolate chips.
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars
Adapted from Maida Heatter’s Brand New Book of Great Cookies
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chunky peanut butter
¾ cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet morsels
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9X13 baking pan.
Sift together dry ingredients and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, add the butter and vanilla. Beat until creamed. Add the peanut butter and beat until smooth. Beat in the brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Reduce speed to low and mix in the sifted dry ingredients. Stir in the morsels.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.
Bake for 35 minutes, rotating the pan in the middle of cooking. Insert a toothpick in the middle to check for doneness. It should come out clean.
Remove from oven and let stand on a rack until cool. Chill until firm and then cut into bars.