Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie Bars
It’s no secret I love peanut butter.
So when there’s a layer of creamy peanut butter fudge sandwiched between peanut butter cookie dough, I’m in my peanut butter glory.
If you like big, bold, unabashed peanut butter flavor with rich, buttery undertones, you’re going to love these.
Last week I made Fudgy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars and had a half can of sweetened condensed milk left. It would have been a shame to throw out 65 cents worth of sweet milk when I could take a pound of butter and peanut butter and make something new. Makes perfect sense.
The bars are a peanut butter twist on last week’s bars and I tweaked my trusty no-mixer, easy blondie base by adding peanut butter like I did here as well as peanut butter chips. Some of the mixture forms the crust and the rest is crumbled on top.
The rich, creamy peanut butter filling is made with melted peanut butter chips and a half can of sweetened condensed milk. Make Fudgy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, 7-Minute Microwave Caramels, Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars, or Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars with the other half can.
The base layer is extremely soft and moist with while the top layer has more texture. There’s a slight salty-and-sweet vibe too, which I love.
The cookie dough is saltier while the peanut butter fudge layer is sweeter, and it’s a great contrast to bite into, both in terms of texture and flavor.
The bars are hearty, dense, rich, and if you’re having peanut butter cravings, they’ll be squelched in no time.
Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie Bars
If you like big, bold, unabashed peanut butter flavor with rich, buttery undertones, you’re going to love these. There’s a layer of creamy peanut butter fudge sandwiched between peanut butter cookie bars. The base layer is extremely soft and moist with while the top layer has more texture. There’s a slight salty-and-sweet vibe, too. The cookie dough is saltier while the peanut butter fudge layer is sweeter, and it’s a great contrast to bite into, both in terms of texture and flavor. The bars are hearty, dense, rich, and if you’re having peanut butter cravings, they’ll be squelched in no time.
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1 large egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
heaping 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
pinch salt, optional and to taste
one 10-ounce bag peanut butter chips, divided (3/4 cup stirred in and 1 cup melted)
half of one 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (just eyeball it)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
- Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don’t scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
- Add the flour, optional salt, and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.
- Add 3/4 cup peanut butter chips and stir to combine, don’t overmix or they’ll start to melt.
- Turn between two-thirds and three-quarters of the dough out into prepared pan, smoothing it with a spatula to form a crust; reserve remainder and set aside.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the remaining 1 cup peanut butter chips, pour sweetened condensed milk over the top, and heat on high power until the chips melt and mixture can be stirred smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes total, but stop to check and stir every 30 seconds so mixture doesn’t scorch.
- Evenly pour peanut butter mixture over crust, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Work somewhat quickly because mixture begins to set up after a couple minutes.
- Evenly crumble the reserved peanut butter dough over the top. I find it easiest to make heaping 1-tablespoon-sized ‘blobs’, and after all the blobs are in the pan, smoosh and smooth them together with a spatula. The entire surface will barely be covered and there will be some gaps.
- Bake for about 27 to 29 minutes, or until top is just set; it should be very pale in color for soft bars and the darker it gets, the more crumbly the bars become. Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
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