This month for Secret Recipe Club, I got Betcha Can't Eat Just One. When I started looking on her blog to see what stuff she had, I realized that she was the source of this awesome peanut butter pie that I'd made just a week earlier and have been craving ever since. Incidentally, that peanut butter pie was the most popular post from last month's Secret Recipe Club, which was definitely well deserved. But it meant I couldn't make it again for Secret Recipe Club even though I desperately want to (and then make it again, and again). But I figured I could still go along with the whole chocolatey peanut butter unhealthy theme. Why fight it, right?
So I made these. And they were good. And less difficult than a lot of layered types of cookies. If you want to go even easier and have the same sort of effect, you could make these, which I was also sorely tempted by, but I didn't have Reese's cups and decided to exercise some cheapskate restraint and not send Kip out on a desperate errand to buy some. (Yeah, this post is all about restraint, right.)
And now in all it's unrestrained glory:
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars
adapted from Betcha Can't Eat Just One
makes 9x13 inch pan
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Cool time: 2-3 hours
Cost: $4.40 (not as cheap as your run of the mill cookies, but still less than $.20/cookie which kicks Starbucks butt and even gives crappy boxed cookies a run for their money. And you do realize they have 2 layers of frosting, right?
butter: .25, sugar: .07, brown sugar: .13, egg: .10, flour: .05, chocolate chips: 1.00, peanut butter: 1.20, butter: .15, powdered sugar: .20, more chocolate chips: 1.00, cream: .25
1/2 C (1 stick) softened butter
1/2 C white sugar
1/2 C brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C chocolate chips
Peanut butter layer:
Note: The original recipe called for 3/4 C PB and no butter. This made for a sort of candy layer that could be pressed on. I wanted something I could spread like a frosting and the following adjustment gave me that, though it was still a thick-ish frosting.
1 1/4-1 1/2 C smooth peanut butter
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 C powdered sugar
2 Tbsp crushed graham crackers (could probably be skipped if you don't have them, but they do add something nice if you do)
Note: The original recipe called for 1 C chocolate chips and 2 Tbsp peanut butter, but I wanted a sharper contrast between chocolate and peanut butter layers, so I nixed the PB and just made a thick ganache.
1 C chocolate chips
4 Tbsp cream
Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, then vanilla. Add dry ingredients, then chocolate chips. Stir.
Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper (not necessary, but will make your life easier).
Cook at 325 for 20 minutes until edges are golden and center is just set. Note: I took mine out at 20 minutes and they were NOT done in the middle, but I had also made my cookie layer extra thick (by adding more cookie batter than the above recipe). Anyway, check them at 20 minutes, but be sure they're done before you take them out. I'm sorry to say that the best way to do this is to poke around in it and maybe pull out a tiny nub from the middle. The fact is if you stick a knife/cake tester in, it will probably come out clean even if it's not done (even if you stick a knife in cookie dough, it will often come out cleanish). Also, the top will be browned, which can be misleading too. So be a little invasive, pull out a little center chunk with a fork and make sure your cookie is done. You can always fill the scar with peanut butter stuff later. But if you frost it and then find out your middle is totally raw like I did, well, I hope you have raw cookie lovers about because there's no going back.
Cool this. Which takes a couple hours.
For Peanut butter layer:
Mix it all together. Then gently frost onto your cooled cookie bars.
For Chocolate glaze:
Melt in microwave at 20-30 second intervals, mixing in between until smooth and creamy. Then plop it on and gently spread it around.
Cool in refrigerator until chocolate layer has set up (or not--ours always stayed frosting-like).
Cut and eat.