No joke, I love a good cookie.
Thick, soft, and loaded with comforting sweetness (and perhaps even still a bit warm, fresh out of the oven), a cookie can be the perfect grab-n-go dessert to nibble on with a cold glass of milk or a strong, hot coffee.
But when a good cookie can be turned into a thick, decadent bar, then things get seriously (and deliciously) taken to another mouth-watering level.
(I guess you could call it “raising the bar” on cookies.)
A few weeks back I had a severe hankering for homemade, freshly baked, soft peanut butter cookies, utterly stuffed with milk chocolate chunks, so I set out to make some.
And when all was said and done, I found myself unable to eat just one (or even two, in full disclosure) because of the unique texture and super-duper peanut buttery flavor.
So after a little thought, I figured these cookies would be perfect candidates to be turned into nice, thick bars, making them a bit more substantial to sink one’s teeth into, not to mention a little more fancy and drizzle-able with additional chocolate.
And how could that ever be a bad thing, right?
What makes these bars so extra-tempting and pleasurable to eat is the texture of the dough itself. Loaded with extra amounts of peanut butter, there’s a unique, almost sand-like quality to the softness of the bar, which gives them that divine peanut butter cup flavor and texture. There’s even a hint of cocoa, plus lots of warm vanilla and brown sugar, which give these bars that little extra depth and darker sweetness.
Pure bliss in bar form.
So if you’re a lover of that perfect combination of peanut butter and chocolate like I am, these simple and scrumptious little bars will be sure to hit your sweet spot, so to speak.
They’re a tender little treat to share with your loved ones, or to keep tucked away in a little secret stash in your kitchen or office.
Simply irresistible, and simply super-duper!
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Makes about 12 bars
• 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp
• ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
• 8 ½ – 9 ounces (about 1 ½ cups) milk chocolate chunks or large chips
• ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted for drizzling (optional)
-Preheat oven to 350°, and line a 11 x 9 x 1.5” baking dish or pan with enough foil for there be to a bit of an overhang on the sides, and lightly mist with cooking spray.
-Prepare your “dry ingredients” by whisking together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside for a moment.
-To prepare the dough, add the room temp butter and the peanut butter to the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and cream together until fluffy and well blended, about 1-2 on medium-low.
-Add in the brown sugar, and cream for a few moments more until fluffy and well combined.
-Next, add in the egg; once well incorporated, add in the vanilla extract, and mix.
-Reduce speed to low, and add the dry ingredients, and mix just until combined (take care not to over mix).
-Add in the milk chocolate chunks, and mix once more to combine.
-Spoon the dough into the prepared pan, and smooth it out to make it even; then, place into freezer to chill for 15 minutes.
-Next, bake for about 35 minutes, or until soft but baked through.
-Allow to cool in pan for about 20 minutes, then lift with the foil, and allow to completely cool before cutting into bars.
-To decorate, drizzle the melted semi-sweet chocolate chips over the cooled and cut bars for a little added flair and deeper chocolate flavor.