These bar cookies are a variation of blondies, which are a variation of brownies. Between peanut butter in the batter and peanuts on top, they are loaded with peanut flavor. With your fingertips, press the nuts into the top of the batter; they shouldn’t fall out. When the cookies are baked, the tops will be golden and they’ll feel set and soft. As they cool, the squares will get firmer. Melted butter in the batter makes them slightly chewy.
|Butter (for the pan)|
|½||teaspoon baking powder|
|5||tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room
|½||cup peanut butter|
|1||cup packed light brown sugar|
|1||teaspoon vanilla extract|
|⅔||cup semisweet chocolate chips|
|⅓||cup salted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped|
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line the bottom and sides with foil, allowing a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Butter the foil.
2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt to blend them.
3. In an electric mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter, and sugar at low speed until blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. With the mixer set on low speed, blend in the flour mixture.
4. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. With a large spatula, stir in the chips until they are evenly distributed. Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Sprinkle the peanuts over the top and press them lightly into the batter.
5. Bake the bars for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and just set. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Holding the ends of the foil, lift out the block of bars and transfer to a cutting board. Make 3 cuts each way to form 16 pieces. Store in an airtight container. Jean KressyJean Kressy can be reached at email@example.com.