I stumbled upon a food holiday calendar last week and discovered that March 1 was National Peanut Butter Lovers Day. Oh my goodness – how perfect is that holiday? So naturally, I had to make something to celebrate. I had no idea what to make – there are so many choices! – but decided to make some cheesecake bars featuring peanut butter cookie and peanut butter cup.
I had seen a few recipes that looked good but each one had something wrong with it (in my opinion) – one called for peanut butter chips, which I didn’t have … one only fit in an 8×8 pan, which was too small … and most of them featured regular chocolate chip cookie, NOT peanut butter cookie. So this is somewhat of a made up recipe and you can be I’ll be making it again to perfect it – all for science, of course.
PS – Sorry this is being shared AFTER National Peanut Butter Lovers Day. Let’s just say I fell into a deep sugar/peanut butter/cheesecake bar coma after making these and didn’t get around to writing down the recipe until now. You can still make these – I guarantee they’ll be appreciated any day 🙂
peanut butter cookie dough cheesecake bars
Here’s what you need:
For the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
For the Cheesecake
- 1- 8 ounce package cream cheese (8 oz.) at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
For the Glaze
- 4 teaspoons water
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
Here’s what you do:
- First, make the peanut butter cookie dough. Cream together butter, shortening and sugar in a large bowl until combined. Then add in eggs and vanilla. Continue to cream until batter seems light. Add in peanut butter and mix thoroughly.
- In a small bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Slowly add to the peanut butter mixture and combine until well incorporated.
- Stir in peanut butter cup bites and chocolate chips with a spatula. Press half of the dough into the bottom of a prepared 9×13 pan. To prevent the mixture from sticking I spread foil through the bottom of the pan and partially up the edges and then sprayed with a nonstick cooking spray. Resist the urge to eat there set of the dough 🙂
- Then, prepare the peanut butter cream cheese topping. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and peanut butter and continue to beat until smooth. Pour on top of the cookie dough and use a spatula sprayed with cooking spray to spread evenly on top of cookie dough.
- Finish the batter: Drop and press small pieces of the remaining peanut butter cookie dough on top of the cream cheese topping. Cover as much of the cream cheese layer as you can.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25-27 minutes or until cookie topping starts to appear golden brown.
- Prepare the glaze: In a small bowl, combine the water, powdered sugar and peanut butter. Mix well. Drizzle over bars while still warm. Cool before cutting. Enjoy!
And here’s another photo for you to gape at. The photos aren’t the best quality (phone camera!) but my goodness – you get the idea of how delicious these were. YUM!
I recently asked a group of coworkers what their favorite candy was. You know, for scientific research purposes (my study will be coming out in a few years. It’s going to take a while to taste all this candy*). Anyway, one of my colleagues mentioned Whatchamacallit bars as being his favorite. Do you remember those Whatchamacallit bars? You know, they were peanut butter/rice candy bars with caramel and chocolate? I came across this commercial from the 80s to describe the bar (the sad thing is, I was definitely younger than these kids in the commercial when this was airing on TV):
Now do you remember?
Anyway, the bars sounded like a glorified Rice Krispies treat to me. So of course, I had to buy a few, sample them, and make a dessert after them. You know, for science!
(AKA Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats with Caramel and Chocolate)
Inspired by this recipe. But not as much work 🙂
Here’s what you need:
- 7 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 8 cups mini-marshmallows
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 11-oz bag caramels, unwrapped
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Here’s what you do:
- Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or vegetable oil and set aside.
- Measure out Rice Krispies and pour them into a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a saucepan over low to medium low heat, melt together marshmallows and butter. Melt until fully combined and fluffy. Add in peanut butter and continue melting. Stir the mixture to avoid burning.
- Pour the peanut butter/marshmallow/butter mixture into the Rice Krispies and combine the ingredients well so that Krispies are completely coated.
- Once coated, add the Rice Krispies mixture into the prepared pan. Spread the cereal throughout the baking dish and flatten out.
- In the same saucepan, add caramel pieces and milk. Heat until melted and combined. Stir so as not to burn the mixture.
- Pour melted caramel over Rice Krispies mixture and spread across, creating an evenly distributed top layer.
- In the same saucepan (I’m all about reusing my dishes) or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips over low heat. These will burn or change texture if you take too long so continue to stir the mixture until melted. Pour melted chocolate over caramel layer and spread across.
- Optional: Find real Whatchamacallit Bars and chop them up into thin slivers. Sprinkle slivered bars across chocolate layer when still wet.
- Cool for 30 minutes to one hour before cutting and serving. I put mine in the freezer to speed up the process slightly 🙂 Yes, I’m that impatient.
look at those layers!
Some questions for you:
- What’s your favorite candy bar? Heath bar, duh!
- Favorite candy? (NOT candy bar) Peanut M&Ms, peanut butter M&Ms or Reese’s pieces.
- What’s your favorite variation on Rice Krispies treats? Give me your ideas! These toffee nutella rice krispies treats are pretty good if you’re looking for inspiration. They combined nutella+Heath bar!
- Did you remember Whatchamacallits?
*Please note: I’m not actually doing a study on candy bars for science. Or baking for science. BUT HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE?
A few weeks before Christmas, my cousin posted on my Facebook wall, “So I heard your looking for cookie suggestions.. well I have a BROWNIE suggestion – fudge peanut butter caramel brownie.” Um, fudge + caramel + peanut butter? Challenge accepted!
Instead of scouring the web for what I’m sure already exists (I know there has to be a Peanut Butter Caramel Fudge Brownie Recipe out there) I decided to just make up something pretty similar. Okay I’ll admit it – this is a semi-homemade recipe. I happen to love brownie mix brownies. Yes, I have a few favorite brownies recipes (including this one), but when it comes to brownies that have frosting and other goodness, I find that I rely on good-ole brownie mix and nobody is any wiser. Add Rolos and homemade peanut butter frosting? Even better.
Looking for an easy, pretty delicious sweet recipe for your next get-together? Want to please a chocolate lover? Here you go!
Rolo Stuffed Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting
Here’s what you need:
For the brownies (makes 12):
- A box of brownie mix (see, I told you it’s easy! I used Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie mix… but if you must, feel free to use your own favorite brownie recipe)
- Ingredients required per brownie mix box (mine had oil, water and eggs)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 20 Rolos
For the peanut butter frosting:
- 1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 – 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 Tbs milk (I used original almond milk, because that’s what I have on hand)
- 2-3 Rolos, chopped up
Here’s what you do:
For the brownies:
- Prepare brownie batter per directions on box.
- Stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into a 9×13 prepared pan. I lined mine with parchment paper.
- Unwrap the Rolos and place them evenly into batter softly, about one inch apart so that there are about one Rolo per brownie when cooked.
- Bake according to package directions.
- Cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
- Beat peanut butter and butter until well blended.
- Gradually add sugar, 1/4 cup or so at a time until frosting stiffens.
- Add milk. Continue mixing until creamy.
- Frost brownies! Chop up the remaining Rolos and sprinkle on top of frosted brownies.