A while ago I told you all how I got organized and wrote down every single thing that I wanted to bake from my favorite blogs. I again went to that list to find something that would curb the need for chewy and gooey.
I am amazed at how little truly toothsome recipes I have set my sights on. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for chewy when I made the list. But anyways, I did find a couple of really amazing looking treats towards the bottom of the list that I cannot wait to try out! However, this post is about a cookie/bar/cake all rolled into one.
Erin of Texanerin Baking makes eating healthy look so effortless and she makes killer looking treats to boot. She uses whole grain flour, natural sweeteners like honey, and she mostly uses oil in place of butter. The funny thing about Erin is that she doesn’t like the taste of whole grain (as I think a lot of people don’t). So it’s great that she’s making treats healthier and taste great at the same time.
Once I saw these Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars I knew I had to make them. I mean just look at her photos; they’re amazing!
I was a little worried about using oil in this recipe because I tend to find goodies that were made with oil a little too greasy for my taste, but this wasn’t the case at all (however I did omit a little bit of the oil from the recipe). The color of the batter is like caramel. It’s silky and smooth and just so pretty to look at (Am I the only one mesmerized by batter?). The baked bars are springy to the touch. Like marshmallow-clouds kind of springy. And cutting into the mother bar* was like a dream. After taking a slice out I was tantalized by the sight of melty chocolate chips and a cakey interior.
Yes, my bars turned out cakier than Erin’s did, but I think that’s because I baked it for maybe 30-45 seconds too long, but that’s ok because it tasted so great. Like I said before, the end result was not oily at all. The peanut butter flavor was subtle at first, but after a while you could really start to taste it. I know some people talk about letting things sit out a little so flavors can enhance, well after only about 4 or 5 hours, the peanut butter went from subtle to “Oh my goodness! That’s peanut butter!”
Go make these. And just so you know (you as in the people who don’t like the wonderful nuttiness of whole wheat), I didn’t used whole wheat flour like Erin did and they still turned out wonderful.
*mother bar: n; an 8x8 or 9x9 bar that has not been cut into serving size pieces.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar
Slightly adapted from Texanerin
Makes one 9x9 bar
¼ cup canola oil
8 tbsp. peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
½ cup sugar
¼ cup honey
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp baking powder
~¾ cup (125 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease or cover with parchment paper/foil a 9x9 inch baking pan; set aside.
In a large bowl mix together the oil, peanut butter, sugar, honey, eggs and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Dump all of the dry ingredients into the wet. Fold to combine, but be careful not to over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 15-17 minutes for a nice and gooey bar. For a slightly soft and pillowy bar, bake for 18 minutes. Let the bar cool in the pan on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before cutting. These definitely taste best when they are warm, so if you’re not going to eat them fresh out of the oven, put them in the microwave for 13-15 seconds and they will be good as gold.