David Lebovitz has been generous enough to host Sugar High Friday #27 and our theme is Chocolate by Brand.
The reason I’m participating in this month’s SHF is because I have lovely friends. Case in point: for my birthday last November, Maggie and Ryan surprised me with a gift from my Amazon wishlist. And what a gift it was! They’d purchased every single chocolate book from my wishlist. I was determined to return their kindness with delicious treats from said books (cookbooks – the gift that keeps on giving), and I happened to know Ryan had a weakness for peanut butter…
Peanut Butter Cup and Chocolate Chip Bars
From Chocolate Chocolate by Lisa Yockelson
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil (like canola)
6 ounces Callebaut bittersweet chocolate chips
6 packages (1.5 oz. each) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, cut into chunks
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 9×9 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl, and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer (or with a wooden spoon if you’re hardcore!), cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, giving each egg time to get fully incorporated into the mixture. Add the vanilla extract, peanut butter, and oil, and mix to combine.
3. Scrape down the bowl and add the sifted flour mixture. Mix just to combine, then add the chocolate chips and about two thirds of the chunked up peanut butter cups. Mix to combine, then turn the batter out into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula, then scatter the remaining chunked up peanut butter cups on top.
4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until set. Place baking pan on a cooling rack, and cool until room temperature. Cut into smaller pieces with a sharp knife, and enjoy!
Notes on the brands of chocolate: I’ve always enjoyed using Callebaut in my baked goods. I find that Valrhona has an edge when it comes to chocolate truffles or other intensely chocolately goodies, but Callebaut tastes just marvelous in cookies, cakes, and other such baked goods. And of course, it has to be Reese’s peanut butter cups. Generic just won’t cut it, and may in fact melt into unhappy puddles.