Peanut Butter Bars
Happy Birthday to my little brother Sam! He is a ripe old age of 5 today 🙂 And no, I’m not 12, I am in fact an (almost) 27 year old Mom of 3 who just so happens to have a very special little brother who’s just slightly older than my second daughter. Sam is perhaps the funniest kid I’ve ever met and I could spend an entire afternoon posting “sammy quips” but instead in his honor, here is a very kid (and any other person with a pulse) friendly treat.
And in the words of Sam (playing hungry hungry hippos) but very fitting now:
“I’m still hungry!
Get in my belly!
I’m a beast, I’m a beast!”
<insert crazy kid dance here>
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
Adapted from that ever so yummy baking book All-Butter Fresh Cream Sugar-Packed No Holds Barred Baking Book
1 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup commercial smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (lightly packed) brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 – 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly grease an 11×7 inch baking pan with butter or vegetable oil. (in a pinch I’ve used an 8×8 pan and it still works-just adjust baking times…and by pinch I mean the real pan is either in use or dirty and I don’t feel like washing it at that exact moment)
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium-size mixing bowl and set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter, peanut butter, both sugars, and the vanilla until light and fluffy. Stop the mixer to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula (preferably a purple one).
4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat on medium speed until partially blended after each addition, about 10 seconds. After the last edition, beat until blended, about 30 seconds, stopping the mixer twice to scrape the bowl.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix with a spatula until the flour is absorbed. Then mix on low speed until blended, 7 to 10 seconds. Scrape the bowl, especially the bottom.
6. Add the chocolate chips and blend for several seconds. Scrape the bowl. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
7. Bake the bars on the center oven rack until the edges are deep golden and the center lightly golden and slightly puffy, 25 to 30 minutes. The center will drop when the bars are taken out of the oven, creating a chewy texture. Cut the bars into squares after they have cooled a bit on the rack.