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 know, I know – I’ve been on a peanut butter chocolate kick lately. It started with the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars, then with the cookies, and now these. But THESE I assure you are worth it. If you’re a fan of fudgey brownies and creamy peanut butter – all combined – then you MUST MUST MUST make these. I made them a few times, experimenting with a few different things, but I think this is the perfect combination. They are addicting, rich and sinful – so make sure you have some friends to share these with!
1 cup chopped Reese’s peanut butter cup (or other peanut butter candy – feel free to use festive peanut butter M&Ms – I used spring ones in one version of this)
Here’s what you do:
Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish – I lined with foil and sprayed with my Pam non-stick cooking spray.
First, make the peanut butter layer: Mix together the peanut butter, sugars and egg until smooth. Press into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Make sure to press well – do not leave it loose or it could crumble after baking. Lightly press Reese’s cups (not chopped) on top of layer, evenly throughout.
Then, make the brownie layer: Melt the baking chocolate and butter together in a saucepan (or microwave-safe bowl – if you microwave, nuke for about 45 seconds, checking and stirring often until completely melted and smooth). Once melted, gradually add in sugar, then vanilla, then eggs. Then, carefully mix in the flour. Once combined, pour the batter into the pan over the peanut butter and Reese’s layer spread layer evenly to the edge of the pan. Sprinkle chopped Reese’s on top.
Bake about 35-38 minutes until the top is slightly cracked around. Cool completely before cutting.
One of my favorite dessert cookbooks is my Magnolia cookbook. There are so many good cookies, cakes, cupcakes, bars, and more – I need to seriously go through and start making more of the recipes! (hmm, a 2015 goal?)
Anyway, I was looking for a peanut butter chocolate recipe and came upon the recipe for peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips. I slightly modified it based on the ingredients I had (basically adding Reese’s and peanuts) and boom – this recipe was born. Seeking something chocolate and peanut buttery? Try it for yourself!
Peanut butter chocolate chip Reese’s cookies
Here’s what you need:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped and chilled
Here’s what you do:
Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl or Kitchenaid mixer, beat butter and the peanut butter together until mixed well and smooth.
Add sugars and beat until creamy.
Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy.
Add milk and vanilla extract.
Add the flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, and mix well.
Stir in the peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and about half of Reese’s cups.
Roll dough and drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Using a fork or spatula, lightly push down on the cookies. Lightly press chopped Reese’s on top of cookies before baking.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until done! Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1-2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.
I have a confession … I’ve never really LOVED s’mores.
I know – that’s like saying I hate summer … but hear me out. I have never been a chocoholic, OR a big fan of marshmallows. So s’mores? I’ll take ’em or leave ’em.
But these bars. OMG. THESE BARS. There is no way that you’re not going to like these. Even B, another non-s’mores fan (yes, there are two of us and we found one another!), loves these bars. SO with the unofficial start of summer here, I decided to bring these bars to a Memorial Day BBQ and they did NOT disappoint. We got tons of compliments (yay!) and we will definitely be making these again. Enjoy!
Here’s what you need:
The Graham Cracker Crust:
15 graham crackers, blended finely into graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted
1/3 c. sugar
The Cookie Layer:
1 ½ c all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 ½ cups (same as 1 1/2 sticks or 12 tbs) butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A 4.4 oz Hershey candy bar (the giant bar), broken up into chunks
6 large Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped up into chunks
½ c mini chocolate chips
2 ½ cups mini marshmallows (1 ½ c to sprinkle on top, 1 c to add in batter)
Here’s what you do:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Crush the graham crackers in a food processor. Combine with sugar and melted butter and press into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
Bake the crust for 15 minutes.
While the crust is baking, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and butter. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and gently stir in half of the Hershey candy bar chunks, half of the Reese’s chunks, the mini chocolate chips and 1 c. mini marshmallows.
Carefully add the batter to the top of the graham cracker crust. I found it easiest to add big chunks in the corner of the pan and then carefully push the batter down with my hands so it is even. Be gentle – you don’t want to pull the crust apart. Don’t worry about making it perfectly even – it will spread as it’s baking.
Press remaining candy (Reese’s and Hershey bar) on top of the bars. Sprinkle remaining marshmallows on top of the bars.
Bake for 30 minutes or until marshmallows have started to brown/darken. Allow to cool completely before cutting into them. I put mine in the fridge overnight before chopping them.
Some questions for you:
Do you like s’mores?
Do you have a go-to dessert that you bring to a potluck? What is it?
That’s why, when I was asked to bring cookies to an event, B suggested that I bring Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies – a recipe my mom had made when I was growing up, and one that I often forget about. Now you can make them too!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
(from the back of the Reese’s peanut butter chip bag … and my mom)