Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars
I felt compelled in the Christmas season of sweets and treats to purchase a whole bag of candy each for my stocking and my husband’s stocking. With all the tempting treat options lying around, I didn’t break into my bag until after the first of the year. Now I’ve been staring at this opened bag, luring me with its tiny seductions each time I walk past. I decided I’d better do something about this before I downed the whole bag in an afternoon.
I don’t know why it seems unacceptable to eat five miniature peanut butter cups in a sitting, but if I’ve added it to a cookie (or ice cream, or salad…) it seems perfectly fine.
Why dwell on the difficult questions of the universe, let’s make an enormous cookie bar!
This is a giant, sweet peanut butter cookie bar with Reese’s peanut butter cups and milk chocolate chips mixed in. If you didn’t have any peanut butter cups I think they would still taste like peanut butter cups between the cookie and the milk chocolate chips. If you don’t have milk chocolate chips, I think semi sweet would be delicious in here also.
The giant nature of these bars means you can cut them into teeny tiny squares to share with the masses. Or you can eat one now and six over the rest of the day, tricking yourself into thinking you didn’t really eat that much.
Don’t be fooled. You’re full of peanut butter, sugar, eggs and energy. You cleaned the entire house. Time to feel good about yourself!
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter
10 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped peanut butter cups (I used Reese's minis)
1 cup milk chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9x13 baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, powder, soda and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the peanut butter and butter on medium speed until smooth. Add both sugars and mix 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until just barely incorporated. Add the peanut butter cups and chocolate chips and mix just a few turns of the mixer, don't overmix at this point. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and smooth it out.
Bake for 50 minute or until browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove to a rack to cool completely.
When cooled, use the foil to lift the bars out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Remove the foil and use a large knife to cut the bars into squares. The bars will keep, well wrapped, at room temperature for 3 days or 2 months in the freezer.