Monday, September 23, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer Bars

I'm a stress baker.  There is nothing that can calm my nerves like mixing up a sweet sugary treat.

So after a week full of stressful exams and meetings the kitchen was calling my name.  No, it was screaming!

My roommate Bethany is who I bake for most of the time, therefore, she usually picks out the new recipe to try!  This time she chose these delicious, ooey, gooey, peanut butter chocolate bars.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer Bars
Recipe adapted from: Amanda's Cookin
1 Cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 Cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 Cups creamy peanut butter
2 tsp, vanilla
3 Cups flour (I used a combination of wheat and all purpose)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free and it worked fine!)
1 1/2 Cups semi sweet chocolate chips (Milk or dark would work as well.)
2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla 
1/3 Cup chocolate chips (optional, for topping)

*Note: all can be done without a mixer, you just might end up with a sore arm :)

Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees F.  Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.

Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy (skip if lacking a mixer, melt about 1/3-1/2 of butter.)  Add the brown sugar and combine the two together.  Beat in eggs, one at a time until completely combined.

Add 2 cups peanut butter and 2 tsp. of vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Gradually add the flour mixture into the brown sugar and butter mixture.  I did four sections.  The dough will be a bit sticky.

For the filling, heat the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, and 2 Tbsp. of peanut butter over low heat until creamy.  Remove from heat and add the two tsp. of vanilla, stirring to combine.  

Press the dough to the bottom of the baking pan, reserving about 2-2 1/2 Cups for the top.  

Pour the chocolate filling onto the bottom layer of dough, making sure it completely covers dough.  

crumble the remaining dough on top of the chocolate filling and then sprinkle with chocolate chips if desired. 


Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is a nice golden brown.  Allow the pan to cool at least 15 minutes before cutting.  The bars will be pretty crumbly until they have cooled completely.

Enjoy!  :)

**Update: They were much better the next day, my roommates have eaten half the pan!