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 must be on a peanut butter and chocolate baking kick lately. Or maybe I always have been? Anyway, if you’re a fan of peanut butter cookies, cookie bars, and chocolate, these bars are for you. That’s right – no fancy introduction needed for these bad boys. Just make them for the peanut butter cookie lover in your life and I promise he or she won’t be disappointed!
Peanut Butter Heath Bar Blondies (from my Magnolia cookbook)
Here’s what you need:
For the cookie bars:
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
2 3/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temp. (I used Egg Beaters because that’s what I had on hand and they came out fine!)
2 Tbs vanilla
3 cups self-rising flour
For the topping:
1 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup coarsely Heath bar bites (they sell them with the chocolate chips)
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted peanuts
Here’s what you do:
Preheat your oven to 325 and grease a 12 x 18 jelly roll pan.
Beat butter and peanut butter until fluffy. Add in the sugar & mix until smooth.
Add eggs and vanilla. Beat thoroughly.
Gradually add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mixing well after each admission. Mix until well incorporated.
Spread batter evenly in pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges start to brown. Cool to room temp.
Make the topping: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the peanut butter chips and the cream until smooth. Pour the mixture over cooled blondies. Sprinkle with heath bar and peanuts.
Variations: I also made some with semi-sweetened chocolate chips melted (instead of peanut butter, as well as chopped up peanut butter cup (instead of Heath bar bites)
Some questions for you:
Are there any nut butters you don’t like? Which have you tried? I’ve never tried cashew butter! But I do like peanut butter, sunflower butter (or sunbutter) and almond butter. And cookie butter – does that count as a nut?
What other topping would you put on these bars besides peanut butter or chocolate? I’m wondering how white chocolate would taste. I know I would like them (I like white chocolate Reese’s!) but not sure how others may enjoy them.
What’s a new cookie bar recipe you’ve tried recently? I need some new ones to try!