I have an amazing recipe to share today! This is one that’s been floating around in my brain for a few days, and I must say, I’m proud of it.
Peanut Butter Dream Bars. Like the name? Yea, I came up with it all by myself. I can tie my shoes, too.
The recipe turned out very well, considering it’s my first attempt, with very minor changes in store for next time.
I have been wanting a yummy peanut buttery dessert for a while now, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted cookies, or some sort of cake or muffins… then I started thinking about blondies and how much I enjoy those, but I haven’t been happy with the thickness and wetness in the centers.
Hubby said that was one thing that turned him off of them, was how they were too thick for taste.
He also said he didn’t enjoy the massive amounts of stuff that I packed into my last two batches (I know, sometimes I just don’t understand that man!).
He asked that I keep it simple and basic.
He even suggested I use the Reese’s baking bits he saw in the cabinet (this is a major piece of information – he’s been snooping in my baking cabinet because those Reese’s bits were hidden baby, hidden!).
My favorite part about this is that we had a full conversation about what he wanted in this peanut butter confection. It made me feel awesome. But I totally know he spied those Reese’s bits and has been patiently waiting to request something special!
He knows I will absolutely make sure to create something special for him, and for the past few days, that’s exactly what I attempted to do.
I pulled out my little recipe notebook, pulled out my previous blondie/congo bar recipes, and began building this recipe from the ground up.
I wasn’t quite happy with it, until I had my “ah-ha!” moment and realized I wanted to do cookie bars. Except these aren’t really cookie bars; they’re more of a cake-like consistency, but they’re definitely not cake.
I baked these up in a jelly roll pan, which I think gave them the best thickness, they’re thicker without being too thick and they’re not thin. Perfect.
I think this recipe would make ah-may-zing cookies with just a few minor tweaks.
That will be a project for another day, because the next time I make these babies, they’re going to be bars, and it will be with smooth peanut butter.
Now for this recipe that I just know you’re drooling for!
Peanut Butter Dream Bars
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks, room temperature)
- 1 box instant pudding mix, I used vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup peanut butter (I used chunky, but you can use smooth)
- 1 cup Reese’s baking bits, plus some to press into the top
- Preheat oven to 350° and line a 9×13 baking pan/sheet (I used a jelly roll pan) with parchment paper, leaving some over the sides so that you can lift the bars out easily.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine both sugars, butter, pudding mix and beat thoroughly.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating to combine after each addition. Toss in the vanilla. Once that is blended, drop in the peanut butter.
- Sneak a taste.
- Add flour, a little at a time, until thoroughly combined.
- Fold in Reese’s bits with spoon/spatula.
- Sneak another taste.
- Spread into a 9×13 baking dish. The batter will be relatively thick, but not overly so; you will need to spread it with the spatula, because it won’t be so thin that it will spread on it’s own.
Sprinkle the remaining Reese’s bits into the top of the batter and lightly press in.
- Bake at 350°for 22-25 minutes. You want the edges lightly browned, but not dark. The top will look puffy and underdone, so if you’re unsure, just pull it out and leave it in the pan to cool. My bars took approximately 26:30, because my oven is neurotic and hates me.
- Once cool, carefully lift out of the pan, and cut into bars.
I originally cut these bad boys into large bars and got 20 of them. But once Little Man and I tucked into one, I realized the bars were much too large; so I recut, and came out with 40 smaller squares.
They are fabulous, and I could probably eat these as large bars, but my preschooler really didn’t need THAT much!
I’m an indulgent Honey, but even I have limitations, haha.
I can’t wait for hubs to get home from his hunting trip on Monday. First thing I’m going to do is shove one of these into his mouth.
If there are any left.
Do you enjoy the thickness of blondies, or do you prefer thinner bars?