Peanut butter, chocolate-y bliss

Exquisite.
Exquisite.
Nicely piled.

Nicely piled.

Duke loves peanut butter; he eats it twice a day and so do I.

Peanut butter is one of several weakest points in my everyday diet.  It is healthy; however, I have gone through far too many peanut butter jars in my past that I would be at least 5 pounds lighter if I were to eliminate all the PB I’ve eaten from my system. I would always keep a jar of PB handy in my dorm room during school year and  spread it on toasts, put it in lattes, oatmeals, fruits, but most of times just eat it in spoonfuls. And yes, my final exam stress would translate into many empty PB jars.

When I go grocery shopping, I always look for peanut butters and see if there are any new brands that I want to try. I think it is time that everyone diverted from the traditional Kraft PB: Look for all-natural ones. They are full of intense flavour, stickier texture in a very appetizing way, and smells nicer.  Every natural PB is slightly different from each other. Some are granier, some chewier, creamier, sweeter, etc. You just have to look for the “right-fit” to your mood and taste. And boy do I love that adventure!

But one activity that propels me towards the original PB is when I make these chocolate peanut butter squares becasue you want that sweet and salty taste in your squares, nicely combined with a whole lotta  chocolate chips!

These PB squares are ultimate and complete in every sense. The recipe is from one of my close girlfriends from high school. Whenever we (eight girls!) had sleepover at her house, we could always expect these PB squares to be with us in the basement. It’s sort of a tradition she established and it’s my favourite tradition.

Even my sister who does not care for peanut butter or chocolate approves this blissful creation.

So go ahead and make them. They are great for bakesales and sleepover and everyone will love them!

Oatmeal cookie mixture:
1 cup margerine or butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
Peanut butter layer:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
Chocolate layer:
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (can substitute carob chips)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Oatmeal cookie mixture: Beat the margerine or butter with sugars until creamy. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and beat well. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until blended (no need to overmix).Crumble half of the cookie mixture into a greased glass 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Lightly press the mixture to spread it evenly, then pat down.
Peanut butter layer: Mix together all of the ingredients for the peanut butter layer until well blended. Drop all of this mixture by spoonfuls on top of the cookie layer, spreading it evenly. This is a very sticky process! Lightly press the peanut butter mixture into place by hand – you will need to wet your hands to keep the mixture from sticking to you, but a little water won’t hurt the bar!
Chocolate layer: Spread the chocolate chips evenly over the peanut butter layer.
Finish by crumbling the remaining half of the cookie mixture over the chocolate layer, gently pressing it into place. You will probably need to wet your hands for this layer too!
Bake at 350 F for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, depending on your oven and the level of chewiness you prefer. Cool, then cut into squares. Lift them out of the pan with a metal spatula.Makes 18 to 24 squares.

My Friend Kristen’s Peanut Butter Squares

Ingredients

Oatmeal cookie mixture:

  • 1 cup margerine or butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)

Peanut butter layer:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

Chocolate layer:

  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (can substitute carob chips)

Direction

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Oatmeal cookie mixture: Beat the margerine or butter with sugars until creamy. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and beat well. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until blended (no need to overmix).Crumble half of the cookie mixture into a greased glass 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Lightly press the mixture to spread it evenly, then pat down.
  3. Peanut butter layer: Mix together all of the ingredients for the peanut butter layer until well blended. Drop all of this mixture by spoonfuls on top of the cookie layer, spreading it evenly. This is a very sticky process! Lightly press the peanut butter mixture into place by hand – you will need to wet your hands to keep the mixture from sticking to you, but a little water won’t hurt the bar!
  4. Chocolate layer: Spread the chocolate chips evenly over the peanut butter layer.
  5. Finish by crumbling the remaining half of the cookie mixture over the chocolate layer, gently pressing it into place. You will probably need to wet your hands for this layer too!
  6. Bake at 350 F for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, depending on your oven and the level of chewiness you prefer. Cool, then cut into squares. Lift them out of the pan with a metal spatula.Makes 18 to 24 squares.



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