Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars


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We are wrapping up the end of the year at work. Normally our organization hosts an end-of the year party with our president flying in to the various cities from her corporate office. This past year our organization quadrupled in size making the various holiday parties impossible for her to attend. In lieu of our normal holiday party my group decided to go out to lunch to celebrate and then come back and have a (volunteer) dessert potluck. I had been thinking about making a cake. A bundt cake to be exact. But I lost momentum as the week went by and instead decided to make something a bit more simple.

Enter these bars. My grandma sent me the recipe that she clipped from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. When I saw the recipe in my “bars” file, I knew it was a winner. I had all the ingredients on hand, it seemed simple and it seemed like it would most likely be a crowd pleaser.

The thing about these bars as that they are so simple to make. As easy as making cookie dough and spreading it in a pan. The only added step is to swirl melted chocolate chips on top and waiting until the bars are cooled to cut into them. Easy-peasy, right?

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ingredients.

  • ½ c. creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 c. (2/3 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. salt
  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate morsels (divided)

directions.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13-by-9-inch pan, coat with vegetable oil spray or cover in parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream peanut butter, butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Beat into peanut butter mixture. Stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips. Spread in pan. Sprinkle remaining chips on top.
  4. Place in preheated oven for about 3 minutes. Remove from oven and swirl top layer of chocolate chips. Return to oven and bake about 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Cool in pan. Cut into bars once completely cooled.

img_2366These bars got many compliments from my coworkers and my dad. Me? I was too full from overindulging at lunch to eat dessert! However, I tried one way later on in the evening and determined that if you could make a dessert that is reminiscent of a peanut butter cup (without recreating a peanut butter cup) it would be this dessert.

I like under-baked cookies so I tried to slightly under-bake these bars to make sure they weren’t even a hint of dry. With the marbling of hardened bittersweet chocolate throughout the bar, the bar hints of a peanut butter cup. I swear!

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