We had a few rainy days in Cleveland last week, and B was busy, which meant that I was trying to find ways to entertain 3 (!) kids inside our house. One of the things that we all love to do – well, except for GM, but we’ll find out about that soon enough! – is bake. And luckily, I’d been dreaming up these bars for a while, so when we had one rainy day and I asked the kids if they wanted to bake (and they said yes!), I knew exactly what we’d make.
I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Especially when there’s not TOO much chocolate involved. Which is probably why I love Reese’s peanut butter cups and pieces. Thus, this recipe.
This recipe uses my standard blondie recipe, plus a few additional add-ins to make it perfect for peanut butter lovers! If you wanted to use a peanut butter cookie base, you could make this EXTRA peanut buttery! But this is perfect if you want a chocolate chip cookie with some added peanut butter candy.
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
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
1/4 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!