Peanut Butter Blondies

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Peanut butter seems to be one of those foods that either people love or hate. I actually used to hate peanut butter. I remember trying it several times throughout my childhood, but each attempt resulted in that same disgusted, squished up expression on my face. However, my best friend growing up packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day from third grade till twelfth grade and oddly, I was always a bit envious of her sandwich. I yearned to like peanut butter so I could have sandwiches like hers, even though I knew peanut butter and me were not a good match for each other. Even so, something was telling me one day I would acquire this special taste and then I could convert from my obscure cream cheese and cinnamon sandwiches to the good ol’ PB&J.

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And it finally happened when I went to college! Maybe it was the poor quality D-hall food or getting tired of the same food each day or just maybe it was my time to finally click with peanut butter instead of clash! Ever since then, the PB&J has become a go-to meal if I need something super speedy. And of course I began experimenting with PB in my baking adventures.

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These peanut butter bars are soft with some chewiness and melty goodness from the chocolate chips scattered throughout. They are also very versatile in that you can mix in different add-ins based on your taste. I recently tried adding mini marshmallows and some Reeses Pieces, which turned out delicious! They also come together very fast and are great for when you’re baking for a crowd. Have fun experimenting with these!

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Peanut Butter Blondies 

Yield: one 9″ by 13″ pan

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs

1/4 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups (9 oz) all purpose flour

1/4 tsp table salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 cup of add-ins of your choice (examples include peanut butter chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, Reese Pieces)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 13x9x2 inch baking pan.
  2. Beat butter and peanut butter in a large bowl with an electric beater or vigorously with a fork until well combined. Add sugars and beat well. Then add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, whisking together until well combined. Then add this mixture to peanut butter mixture, mixing thoroughly. Still in add-ins.
  4. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and bake for 25-40 minutes (depending on your oven), turning half way through baking to ensure even browning. Bake until lightly browned and tester comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  5. Cool completely in pan on wire rack; then cut into squares.

Adapted from Hershey’s Kitchens

IMG_2906The brown circles are the marshmallows puffing out. Although they don’t look pretty, those are the most delicious bites!

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