Soft and Gooey Peanut Butter Bars
What?! How is this the very first recipe I'm posting on the blog containing peanut butter? Shame. Shame on me.
Well, I have to make it up somehow. And I can't think of a better way to do so than to share these soft and gooey peanut butter bars with you. Loaded with chocolate chunks. Duh. I wasn't gonna leave out the chocolate chunks.
The title really says it all. These are super soft and super gooey and super delicious peanut butter bars. And I did not go easy on the chocolate chunks, as you can probably tell. Or the rich and creamy peanut butter flavor, as you will be able to tell once you make these.
Remember my no-butter chocolate chip bars? These peanut bars remind me of them, only here we have the addition of peanut butter. And I cut these into squares instead of bars. You know, to switch things up, make them more exciting. As if these aren't exciting enough as they are and wouldn't be exciting in any other shape or form. AS IF. PU-LEEEEZ.
Last time, when I made the no-butter chocolate chip bars, the recipe called for oil. And I didn't give you any other options. This time, however, you can choose between butter or oil for the recipe. I used oil here, because I don't like the taste of butter (and am slightly lactose-intolerant). But I know most people think that that's insane and love the taste of butter. So use butter if you so desire. Or oil if you so please. Or are lactose-intolerant. Either way, these peanut butter bars will be gooey and melty and chewy and thick and incredible.
Oh, and did I mention how easy and quick these bars are to make? The recipe can be made in one bowl (yep, even if you're using melted butter - just add the ingredients to the bowl you melted the butter in) and in under five minutes. The bars are also surprisingly easy to demolish too. Weird, right?
You're supposed to wait a little bit before you slice these bars so that they're all neat and what not. Ha - no. Everyone knows cookies and bars taste best right out of the oven. No, eating hot cookies doesn't give me stomach aches, Mom. Thanks for deceiving me all these years. I had no idea what I was missing out on my entire childhood. I was missing out on warm hunks of melted chocolate combined with soft and doughy cookie bits exploding in my mouth. Thanks a lot.
But, side note, these bars are good room temperature too.
Let's summarize: these are soft, chewy, rich, gooey peanut butter chocolate chunk bars. Just for you. (And me.)
soft and gooey peanut butter bars
Yield: 8x8 pan/about 16 bars
5 tablespoons butter, melted (1/3 cup oil works great too)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup sugar (use 2/3 cup if using natural peanut butter)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups chocolate chunks or chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8x8 square baking dish with parchment paper.
In a bowl with a rubber spatula or in a machine, cream/stir together the butter or oil, sugars, peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla extract.
Once well combined, sir together flour, baking powder, and salt right over the wet mixture and stir in till just combined. Mix in chocolate chunks last.
Spread dough into prepared pan evenly. Sprinkle a few extra chunks of chocolate on top if desired.
Bake for 28-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted has a few gooey crumbs on it. Don't over-bake if you want them gooey! Cool, then slice into squares/bars.
On a completely unrelated note, that serving size looks about right: