Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cake of the Week: Salty Peanut Butter Blondie Bars

They’re buttery and peanutty and ever so slightly salty – like a shortbread/blondie/peanut butter bar combination, with flecks of dark chocolate for tang and sea salt for depth. Am I in love? Yes. Yes I am.

I first made these bars for a house dinner, and then adapted the recipe (read: added more butter and cooked for less time) to bring them to 4th of July parties over the weekend. They travel and store really well, and taste so much more exciting than their modest exterior suggests.

The recipe is for a 9x13 inch pan, but I baked them in two 9 inch pans to make transportation easier. Oh, and I may or may not have eaten an entire row of bars the night I made them…you may judge me now, but I challenge you to make this recipe and not do the same!

I started with my More is More Bars blondie recipe, but then tweaked it to make the bars exponentially more awesome.

Salty Peanut Butter Blondie Bars

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup peanut butter – I used smooth, but crunchy would be good too.
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cup mini dark chocolate chunks (or you could use semi-sweet chocolate chips, or white chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips)

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, peanut butter, egg and vanilla until smooth.

Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Add the chocolate chunks. Spread evenly in prepared pan (mixture will be somewhat cookiebatter-ish.)

Bake 20-25 minutes. You really don’t want to over-cook them, so err on the side of doughyness.

This may be my new go-to bar recipe. It's way easier than cookies, has the same number of ingredients, and no need to worry about multiple sheets! Easy and de-freaking-licious!