Peanut butter and chocolate cookie bars
I’ve been a real slacker in the kitchen since I went back to work. I just haven’t found that “working mom” groove, and am still figuring out how to juggle a work life and a real life. Does that make sense? Don’t get me wrong, I really like my job, but I’m finding I don’t spend as much time in my kitchen now that my free time is limited. I miss it. And my kids miss it even more. So when the urge to bake gets really strong, I have to hurry and get in there before it passes. Believe me, it’s fleeting.
We’re big lovers of that yummy combination of peanut butter and chocolate, so this type of cookie bar should be a sure crowd-pleaser. I have to tell you though, that this cookie got mixed reviews from my expert panel of tasters. No one was thrilled with the chocolate cookie layer part until day 2. The first day, it was so dry and crumbly that it just wasn’t enjoyable. But by the second day, it was really good. Go figure. The bars didn’t get gobbled up as quickly as they usually would have, but they disappeared the day after I made them all the same.
Recipe: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookie Bars
1 3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 c. peanut butter chips, divided
1 c. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into chunks
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper or foil.
In the bowl of your food processor (or in a regular mixing bowl), add flour, sugar, cocoa powder. Cut in butter by pulsing until crumbly. (If working by hand, use your fingers or a pastry cutter until mixture is dry and crumbly.) Press firmly into bottom of baking pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
In the meantime, gently heat sweetened condensed milk and 1 c. of peanut butter chips. Stir frequently, until morsels have melted and mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Remove pan from oven after 12-15 minutes and pour melted peanut butter mixture over the cookie crust. Spread evenly. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Press down gently on toppings. Return pan to oven and bake an additional 18-20 minutes or until set. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares or bars.
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