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Friday, April 30, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

Peanut butter and chocolate is a well-loved combination, no surprise there. Throw that mix into some gooey blondies and it's practically irresistible! Ryan kindly picked up a couple of bags of mini Reese's peanut butter cups after Easter for baking purposes and adding them to a blondie was my first idea. Surprisingly, there are few recipes online that add chopped peanut butter cups to a non-peanut butter based dough, and even fewer that make a 9 x 13 pan of them. Finally, I found exactly what I was looking for on Baking and Boys. No surprise there--her blog is full of tempting sweets!

A few notes about this recipe...the batter was extremely thick and relatively difficult to spread into the pan. It took a little bit of patience and work with my spatula, but I was eventually able to spread the batter evenly throughout the pan. These bars also took a LONG time to bake...they were browning on top but not setting up in the middle. I finally took them out because I was worried about charring the tops and they ended up setting as they cooled. I don't know if it was the temperature of my oven or what, thankfully they turned out just fine. Don't let either of these things deter you from making these, I just want you to be aware. The initial worries I had about these not cooking evenly and turning out funky were completely dispelled as soon as I bit into one!

Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

-2 cups all-purpose flour
-3/4 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
-1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-2 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup peanut butter chips
-1 bag mini Reese's peanut butter cups, chopped
-1 cup chocolate chips (I used bittersweet)

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
2. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating one minute after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed ingredients, mixing until just combined.
4. Stir in chips and candy until combined.
5. Using a spatula, evenly spread in the prepared baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine took close to an hour!).
6. Lift foil-lined bars out of pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares & serve.