I’ve always been the kind of girl who spends most of her time alone. My sister was so much older than me, that by the time I was old enough to play, she was too old to play. As is the standard for most loner kids, I was always reading; I could tear through a book within a day, much to the exasperation of my mother. My favorite thing about reading has always been the way I, and everything around me, disappeared. I didn’t notice that I was alone, the only thing that mattered as I read was the world between those pages.
I am still a voracious reader, but my new escape is in the kitchen. I can lose myself in the measuring and mixing and not worry about anything else. I’ve found a whole other world made of sugar, flour, eggs, and butter to envelop myself in; this new world is one where all the stress and pain can fall away leaving my sole focus on what comes out of the oven.
All of this is leading into the recipe I made the other day. These cookie bars were exactly what I needed to lose myself in. I even skipped writing down the recipe and forced myself to work from memory to really keep me focused. It’s a super simple recipe that yields a fudge-like bar with the perfect blend of peanut butter and chocolate which, as everyone knows, is a dynamite combination.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Adapted from Love Veggies and Yoga
1/2 cup (114 g) unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
3/4 cup (165 g) light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup (55 g) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
heaping 1/2 cup (130 g) creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cups (175 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
6 to 7 ounces chocolate (I used Dark chocolate morsels and Semi-Sweet mini chips)
Preheat your oven to 350° F and line an 8×8″ baking pan with sprayed parchment paper.
Melt your butter and let cool to room temperature before stirring in egg, sugars, and vanilla extract with a whisk. Stir until combined before adding peanut butter.
Add in flour, baking soda and salt, stir until some streaks of flour remain; stir in chocolate.
Spoon into pan (batter will be thick) and smooth the top with a spatula before baking for 18-20 minutes. The bars are done when lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before cutting and devouring (unless you’re me and then you’ll cut out a corner piece and eat it warm with milk.)
I hope this recipe will transport you to another world of peanut butter dotted with a million chocolate chip stars.