Are you like me? Do you enjoy discovering new recipes? I usually find new recipes online, but I also am addicted to well-written cookbooks. This peanut butter bars recipe is lightly adapted from the Fat Witch Brownies cookbook, which is one of the best specialty cookbooks E-V-E-R.
If you’ve never had brownies from New York City’s legendary Fat Witch Bakery, well…I’m sorry. Because their deliciousness and decadence rivals those found in (shameless plug) Baked Chicago’s Simply Decadent Brownies cookbook. [If you’re a baking aficionado, then you need to get the Fat Witch cookbook. I’ll assume you already have the Baked Chicago brownies cookbook. ;0) – But if not, watch for a special announcement on February 1 kicking off National Chocolate Month.]
I was specifically searching for a peanut butter flavored dessert to bake as part of a peanut butter-themed goodie box for my niece. She – like most of the world – loves peanut butter. Overall, this recipe was easy-to-follow (all the directions are on one page – love that!). My only comment (and I always assume it could be human operator error – me) is that I was expecting a bold peanut butter flavor in these bars.
I did add semisweet chocolate chips (which the recipe says is optional, but recommends) and to me the bar tasted more like a chocolate chip cookie bar. The butter and the chocolate were the primary flavors that came through, with a hint of peanut butter peering out. I used crunchy peanut butter (as the recipe called for) but I think if I had also added rough chopped dry roasted peanuts that it would have elevated the peanut butter in the flavor profile.
That said, the bars were irresistible. I cut 9 bars from the 9×9-inch pan (recipe suggested 12 to 16 bars) because I like a big bar. And only 6 of them made it into the goodie box.
Peanut Butter Bars
Preheat your oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch by 9-inch baking pan with butter. Dust with flour and tap out the excess flour.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat the eggs and sugars until smooth. Add the peanut butter and continue mixing until well combined. Beat in the vanilla and butter. Mix until thoroughly incorporated.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing gently until well combined and there’s not a trace of dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Using a spatula, spread the dough evenly in the prepared baking pan. The batter is very thick, so this may be a challenge; using a spatula makes it easier.
Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in plan for 1 hour before cutting into 9 large bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Number of servings: 9
Cooking time: 25 minutes