Thursday, June 18, 2009

Peanut Butter Bars

Now that you've been drooling over the sea of chocolate chips and peanuts, calm that craving by whipping up a batch of peanut butter bars/brownies/cookies. Whatever you choose to call them, they'll be soft, chewy, and just durned good! Change it up by varying the toppings (peanut butter chips would be a most excellent addition) or cake mix flavor. I didn't use my usual brand of yellow cake mix for this batch, and I noticed that the flavor was "off" from what I was expecting. It tasted kinda...yellow. Next time I'll use a white or vanilla mix. Of course, I was the only one who picked up on it so maybe it was my imagination. Or my finely tuned, hypersensitive superpowers. :D

Peanut Butter Bars
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbl. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
  • 18.25 oz. box cake mix (white, vanilla, or yellow)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup plain, unsalted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13" pan with foil and lightly grease. (I forgot to grease and they came out just fine.)

Mix eggs, oil, peanut butter, and brown sugar together until smooth and incorporated. Add water and vanilla extract, if using, and blend together. Vanilla extract is listed as optional because some peanut butter cookie purists out there insist that vanilla has no place in a 'proper' peanut butter cookie. I'm no purist. Go ahead and throw some vanilla in.

Spread batter evenly in greased pan. You may have to get your hands involved, as it's the easiest way to smooth out the batter. Sprinkle chocolate chips and peanuts on top. Press down ever so slightly or your chips and nuts will fall off the baked bar. Bake in a 350°F oven for 28-33 minutes, or until center tests done. Cool completely, then cut into small bars and serve! (Note: what you see pictured above is a double batch of this recipe made in my biggest cookie sheet, about 12x17".)

P.S. I learned a new word recently while perusing a cookie book published in England...SQUIDGY. What a perfect descriptor! Goodness, do I love that word. I think I might even describe myself as squidgy. :)

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