Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

You know that song from Sound of Music, My Favorite Things? Well, if I made up the song lyrics it would include peanut butter and chocolate…I may leave in the warm woolen mittens too. Well, luckily, my friend from work also likes those two things, and Reeses cups which pretty much encompass those two ingredients. She was leaving us for four months on a rotation program, so to honor her trip away from us what better than some peanut butter chocolate chip bars garnished with mini Reeses cups. Yum yum yum!

I found this recipe from BestFriendsforFrosting and it was perfect because I already had all the ingredients, and my friend loves PB and chocolate.

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These bars were really simple to make, and I’m sure you can get creative if you don’t have all the ingredients. If you didn’t have chocolate chips, I’m sure this would be delicious with chopped up Hershey kisses or M&M’s, or even crushed Oreos instead of the chocolate chips. It’s a great batter that you can mix and match with other “chip-like” substitutes.

Enough talk, how do you make this thing!?

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars Recipe

Adapted from bestfriendsforfrosting.com

Yield:  About 16 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened and cubed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 8 Mini Reeses cups for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and grease an 8″ square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer or other electric mixer, cream together the peanut butter and softened butter until well combined, about 2-3  minutes. Add the sugars and beat until fluffier in texture, about 5-8 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition until smooth. Scrape down the bowl after adding each egg. Beat in vanilla extract.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix in at lowest mixer speed until just incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and fold in by hand with a rubber spatula.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and smooth out the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with no crumbs, slightly wet is OK. You might be tempted to bake the bars longer, but don’t; they will set more once they cool.
  6. Cool the bars completely before slicing. Cut into 16 squares. Optional:  Cut mini Reeses cups in half, press bottom edge into each square so it stands. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

I was also very excited to use my new Flex Edge beater. I am very tired of my regular beater that came with the KitchenAid mixer that doesn’t even go near the sides of the bowls. This worked way better and scraped parts of the side, you can see it touching the side of the bowl below with the butter and peanut butter.

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Keep beating so the PB and butter looks nice and smooth.

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I’m surprised I didn’t eat it as is right now. Add the rest of the ingredients, wet and dry. Then time for the chocolate. I didn’t have bittersweet chocolate, so I added semi-sweet chocolate chips and folded those in.

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Then poured the batter into the pan. It’ll be pretty thick.

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Then smooth out the top and bake.

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I think I may have overbaked a little, the edges were kind of dark and the top was a little browner than I usually want.

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Maybe because last time I underbaked my brownies a little. I think it’s important to have this on the middle rack so it bakes more evenly. My rack was set a little bit low. Then I put the whole thing on a cutting board after it cooled a little. The middle was still a little warm, but since I overbaked, it didn’t matter. I wanted it a little warm so I could pretty the Reeses cup on top in hopes it would melt a little and act like glue to keep it on.

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Slice into squares with a sharp knife and prepare the Reeses cups.

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Yum, I ate a couple, so you may need more than 8 Reeses cups. I would have 10 in case you start eating halves as you slice them. Then gently press them on top of each square. The top will crackle, so even if these are cool you can somewhat embed the Reeses cup into the top.

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Pack into an airtight container to refrigerate until served.

DSC_0769_webEnjoy!

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6 thoughts on “Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

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