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Monday, July 26, 2010

Peanut Butterscotch Bars

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The original name for these is "Double-Butter Bars", leading one to believe there are massive amounts of butter found in these bar cookie. Instead, there's a measly stick of butter and the double butter instead refers to the inclusion of both peanut butter and butterscotch. Ryan has always been a fan of butterscotch, but he has discovered a newfound love for peanut butter. Love may not be a strong enough word for his feelings. The boy is eating peanut butter with pretzels, peanut butter on sandwiches, peanut butter straight from the jar, and most recently, peanut butter in his cereal (Reese's peanut butter puffs no less!). So when I saw a recipe that combined both peanut butter and butterscotch, I set out to make it for him to take to poker night with the guys.

These bar cookies are good! I like that you can taste both the peanut butter AND the butterscotch (not the case with these brownies) and I especially liked the bit of crunch that the chopped peanuts add. My only complaint is that these weren't as thick and gooey as many bar cookies. They were still very moist, but a bit crumbly. Granted, I prefer when baked goods are underbaked and oozing, so I might not be the right person to ask! Ryan and the boys liked them and that's what counts!

Peanut Butterscotch Bars (Double-Butter Bars)
from Culinary in the Desert

For the bars-
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
-1 cup creamy peanut butter
-1 cup packed brown sugar
-2 egg yolks
-2 tbsp water
-2 tsp vanilla
-1 1/2 butterscotch chips
-3/4 cup chopped peanuts

For the topping-
-2 egg whites
-1/8 tsp cream of tartar
-pinch salt
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1/4 cup chopped peanuts

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a large mixing bowl with a stand mixer, beat together butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in egg yolks separately, until just combined. Add water and vanilla.
3. Stir in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in butterscotch chips and peanuts.
4. Spread batter evenly into a greased 9 x 13 pan.
5. In a large (and clean!) mixing bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt with whisk attachment until foamy. Gradually add the brown sugar and whip until thick and glossy. Pour mixture over batter and spread evenly with a spatula. Scatter remaining peanuts over the top of the batter, pressing them lightly into the batter.
6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until bars are golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting and serving.