Friday, April 19, 2013

Peanut Butter Smoothie Bars

These were supposed to be a last minute dessert. I came home at 4:30 pm and Dave informed me we were invited to our friends' home, Felise and Nick, for dinner at 6:30 pm.  I cannot go empty handed and didn't have a suitable dessert already made, so I whipped up these light and fluffy peanut butter bars in short order.  They are wonderful.  When baked correctly.  As goes the saga with my oven that hates me and doesn't want me to make tasty food, I got faked out when these bars tested done (firm top, crisp edges, toothpick inserted in center came out clean).  But then as they cooled, they sank in a bit and when I went to cut them, I found they were completely undone inside.  So we picked up some cheesecake on our way to Felise and Nick's house and the next week I tried again with these--because I was determined.  And I'm glad I gave them a second go (and used the toaster oven to bake them this time).  Because these really are a perfect peanut butter bar with a nice crunch on the edge and chewy interior, like a peanut butter blondie, but with a more smooth, almost fudge-like consistency instead of a cakey texture, hence a name including smoothie to indicate the uniqueness of these bars.  Peanut butter batter with peanut butter chips, these were a hit with my peanut butter lover for sure.

So when I first attempted these, I pulled out my King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion Cookbook hoping to find a bar I could make in short order.  And one that used only ingredients I had on hand.  This recipe fit the bill since I always have peanut butter and peanut butter chips. I also had peanuts on hand and thought about adding a handful of those, chopped up, but in the end decided against.  Although that would have been a nice, crunchy addition with a strong peanut flavor to enhance the whole dessert.  And now that I've determined my oven hates me, I'm not on a quest for a new one.  Maybe with a new one, I'll finally be able to bake a cake with confidence. Or maybe I'll just make more cookies.  But I'll definitely make more of these peanut butter smoothie bars.

Peanut Butter Smoothie Bars


6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup peanut butter chips

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a hand held mixer, cream butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Add both sugars and beat until fluffy.  Add eggs, beating after each addition, then stir in vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Gradually stir into peanut butter mixture until just combined.  Stir in peanut butter chips.

Turn batter into a greased 9 x 9 inch pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the edges firm and remove from the pan and a tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.

Makes 16 bars.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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  1. It still cracks me up that you use your toaster oven to bake! :)

    1. Yeah, but I'll have a more dependable, able to keep temperature oven very soon! :)