I’ve never been much into “blondies,” which I think are just brownies without chocolate, because why would anyone want to go and take the chocolate out?
Ha! Not me. But, you may have guessed that I like peanut butter (remember Peanut Butter Swirl Bars?) and love chocolate and peanut butter together (like Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars and Chocolate Topped Oatmeal Bars ) so a peanut butter blondie was intriguing to me – and even more when I added chocolate chips.
They are as simple as a brownie, too. Cream butter and peanut butter with sugar.
Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips. I like to use mini chocolate chips in bar cookies and granola bars if I have them – they seem to disperse more evenly. And 1/2 cup of them goes a long way ( I can’t figure out of 1/2 cup of minis is more or less chocolate that 1/2 cup of regular, though- anyone know?).
Press the dough into a parchment (or greased foil) lined baking pan. I like to wet my fingers (repeatedly) so the dough doesn’t stick to my hands.
I’m going to be honest here- this is not the easiest dough to press out! It helps to drop small spoonfuls all over the pan before pressing. You will not have a fun time if you try to evenly spread this out from one huge lump in the center. And yes, I did- and no, it was not fun.
Then go ahead and bake them for about 20 minutes and let them cool.
When they are cool, make a frosting by mixing butter, peanut butter, and powdered sugar together until fluffy (add teaspoons of hot water as needed to achieve that fluffiness).
Frost the cookies in the pan and drizzle with a bit of chocolate. This step is optional – you could sprinkle some more mini chocolate chips on top or chopped peanuts (or hey- live on the wild side and do both!).
But I chose a chocolate drizzle, which would’ve worked better with melted chocolate, but I was in too much of a hurry and grabbed the chocolate syrup from the fridge. It didn’t turn out too great (in the words of my daughter, it “looks soupy”), so I’m recommending using a melted chocolate for the drizzle if you go that route.
Although, now that I think about it- if you were serving these as a dessert on a small plate drizzling the syrup over the top and the plate would be really special. So, I leave it up to you.
See that crumb? Dense and moist like a brownie, but made with peanut butter, giving you a blondie. Hmmm, I think I may be a “blondie” girl after all.
Whole Grain Peanut Butter Blondies
- 1/2 c. peanut butter (natural)
- 1/4 c. butter, softened
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. white sugar
- 2 lg. eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. chocolate chips- mini or regular (if you didn’t want the chocolate, you could add chopped peanuts instead, but I just wouldn’t understand that…)
- 1/2 c. peanut butter
- 1/4 c. butter
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- hot water as needed
- optional: garnish with melted chocolate drizzle, or chopped peanuts, or chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 pan with parchment (alternately use foil that’s been greased).
- In the bowl of a mixer, beat peanut butter, butter, and sugars until well blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips (the batter will be stiff). Drop spoonfuls into lined pan and press evenly (wet fingers to lessen stickiness).
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges are browning. Let cool completely on a rack.
- Make the frosting by mixing the peanut butter, butter, and sugar together with a whisk attachment, adding teaspoons of hot water as needed to attain a fluffy frosting (about 1 to 2 teaspoons). Spread over the cooled bars and garnish as you choose before removing from pan and cutting into bars.
Makes 24 to 30 bars [/recipe]