Triple Peanut Butter Blondies

I’m a huge blondie fan and I really love a good peanut butter cookie.

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So a peanut butter blondie is right up my alley.  I will say though, that I don’t often come across a great peanut butter cookie. They are often too dry and crumbly or not peanut buttery enough or much too soft. That’s why these peanut butter blondies are so perfect for me.  As you get to know me, you’ll find that I obsess over the perfect texture in a cookie or bar. I love a good soft but chewy, dense and a bit cakey texture. This texture has haunted me during endless trials of creating the perfect recipe for things like brownies, cookies and bars.

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You might imagine then, that when I try a recipe for the first time and love the texture right off that I do a little happy dance in my kitchen. I say that because when I was writing this post, I was testing my way through a muffin recipe that was driving me a bit crazy. And we won’t mention that my husband “may have” accidentally thrown away the paper that had my last iteration of the recipe on it….or maybe not. I could have misplaced it. And on the chance that I might have opened up some random recipe book and found my little piece of paper lodged inside? I hedged my bets and didn’t accuse, then worked off memory.  It’s irrelevant now since that muffin has since been posted… But I digress…

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This treat came ready to go with no trials from The Brown Eyed Baker. The first time I made this recipe, I thought it looked pretty basic, but one bite will have you going back for seconds and thirds. It’s got great peanut butter flavor and it’s got “the chew.” I like a blondie that has that satisfying “sink your teeth into it” chew. And, it has the extra added bonus of crunchy peanut butter, peanut butter chips and chopped peanuts in it for yet another layer of texture. (For those of you who hate nuts in your treats, use creamy peanut butter and omit the extra chopped nuts. It will still be delicious) Then….I decided to add chocolate. (I know… such a novel idea to mix peanut butter and chocolate, right?) I thought I might just add some chocolate chips to the batter, but inspired by the peanut butter squares that they used to sell in my school cafeteria, I thought a nice rich layer of chocolate on top would be even better.

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And it was. A thin layer of melted chocolate spread over the top of that chewy goodness was just the thing to take it over the top. It is the perfect ratio of chocolate to peanut butter.  And the good news is that you don’t have to “make” a topping. Just scatter chocolate chips evenly over your hot from the oven blondie and wait a moment for the chocolate to melt…..I love how all the chips get glossy and rich looking and, though completely melted, still hold their shape. Admire it for a minute, then take your spatula and spread the chocolate evenly over the blondie.

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Triple Peanut Butter Blondies. So good. So peanut buttery. So chewy.  So completely worthy of a happy dance.

 

Triple Peanut Butter Blondies

Servings 24 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons 1/2 cup or one stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/4 cup salted dry roasted peanuts chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil, allowing excess foil to hang over edges. Spray bottom and sides of foil with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue mixing until thoroughly combined. Mix in the peanut butter.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and stir with a spoon until just incorporated. You may have a few flour streaks still left. (Those will get incorporated when you stir in your chips and nuts.)
  5. Add the peanut butter chips and the chopped peanuts and stir until evenly distributed.
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan using a spatula to evenly spread it.
  7. Bake until lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 20-25 minutes. (I baked mine in a convection oven, yours may take a bit longer, but check early so that you don't over bake)
  8. Place on a wire rack and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly across hot blondie. Let set for a few minutes until chocolate melts.
  9. Spread melted chips evenly across blondie and place on a wire rack to cool completely and to allow chocolate to set.
  10. Use the foil overhang to pull the whole baked blondie from the pan. Cut into squares.

Recipe Notes

*To get clean cuts, use a knife dipped in hot water, wiping with a paper towel after each cut.

*Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Recipe slightly adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker

The Merchant Baker Copyright © 2014