My friend Elba’s mom survived mostly on strawberry milkshakes while Elba was in her womb, and now Elba swears that’s the reason that the very idea of a strawberry milkshake is a turnoff for her. My mother loves peanut butter and finds all kinds of ways to slip it into her diet. She must have indulged this habit when I was in her womb, because for some reason, I have never loved peanut butter.* I know! Insane, right? Who doesn’t love peanut butter? And paired with chocolate? Am I even a proper foodie? Probably not. Oh, well.
Nevertheless, I know that many of my readers (and friends!) are peanut butter lovers, so I still occasionally stash away a peanut butter recipe to share with everyone else in my life who is apparently more “normal” than I am. My friend Kim asked me to make a few desserts for a celebration dinner, so I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to make these peanut butter cookie and brownie layer bars. The recipe appealed even to me! I avoided making this for a while because it seemed too complicated. When I finally took the time to make it, I was surprised at how easily it came together. I saved a piece for my mom to try and her response was, “Yummy, yummy! Please send more!” Kim said that it was a hit at her event too. I guess that seals the deal. These are a winner!
*PS I’m 18 weeks pregnant and have survived the past four months almost exclusively on cereal and oranges. I wonder if my kid will *ever* eat these when he or she gets older?!
Source: Chasing Delicious
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper – up the sides too.
- Mix the butter and sugar together until thoroughly mixed. Add the peanut butter and mix in well.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix in well.
- Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix until the dough comes together – it will be crumbly.
- Set the cookie portion aside.
- Over a glass or metal bowl, melt the butter.
- Once the butter is melted, add the sugar and cocoa and mix well. The mixture will look grainy.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- Add the vanilla and salt and mix in.
- Add the egg and mix in well – until completely blended together.
- Add the chocolate chunks and the flour and mix in well. Set aside.
- Place 2/3 of the cookie mixture in the lined pan. Spread the mixture out so it makes an even layer on the bottom. Create a 1/2” tall lip around the edges – this will help hold in the chocolate portion.
- Add all of the brownie mixture and spread it out evenly, leaving a little gap around the edges.
- Crumble the remaining cookie mixture on top of the brownie mixture.
- Bake for 18-24 minutes until the top is golden and the center doesn’t jiggle too much. A tooth pick inserted in the cookie-only portion around the outside should come out clean, and if inserted in the center it should come out with no cookie bits but a few brownie crumbs are ok.
- Let cool in the pan before removing to a plate.