Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Crispy peanut butter chip blondies

Hey, peanut butter lovers of the world!  I've got a doozy of a recipe for you.  Are you ready?  Can you handle it?

The correct answers are Yes and Yes.

There has been ample time to recover from the candy bender of Halloween; it was a whopping five days ago, for Pete's sake!  And, for peanut butter's sake, you'd be mad to deny yourself a cookie so perfect, so heavenly, and so impossibly easy.

For how much I love peanut butter, it's surprising how infrequently I bake with it.  To be honest, it's usually because I can't bear the thought of using half of a jar of our beloved Jif on a dessert that we'll have, at most, two servings each and share the rest.

That or the fact that the jar is almost empty, thanks to our favorite anytime snack: a heaping spoonful of peanut butter.  I wonder how much of the world's peanut butter supply is consumed in this fashion versus conventional spreading on sandwiches, toast, etc.

Deep thoughts, y'all.

It's only when I sift through old posts that I'm reminded of how much I/we/my guinea pigs enjoy peanut butter desserts.  Fudge.  Cupcakes with whipped peanut butter frosting.  Dreamy chocolate peanut butter pie.  Always-addictive puppy chow.  And, for the more health-conscious peanut butter lover, a recipe for irresistible homemade granola.

The bottom line is simple: Depleting one's stash of peanut butter in the name of dessert is 100% worth it.

These crispy peanut butter chip blondies are not only worth it but totally blogger-, husband-, parent-, and friend-approved.

A chewy bar cookie is loaded with a double shot of peanut butter goodness, a light-as-a-feather crunch from the puffed rice cereal, and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Get it, got it, good!

Not only are these blondies worth their weight in peanut butter, but they are also a pretty gosh darn big deal.  How big?  Out of every edible tailgate contribution I've made, these are the fastest to disappear.

Almost as fast as our supply of Jif, which is in desperate need of replenishing, thanks to two batches of these in a week.


One year ago: M&M frosted chocolate cupcakes
Two years ago: Avocado, sweet potato & black bean wraps
Three years ago: Butternut squash macaroni & cheese
Four years ago: Orange & balsamic chicken
Five years ago: Apple & pear crisp

Peanut Butter Chip Crispy Blondies
(adapted slightly from Brown Eyed Baker's recipe)
-makes 24 blondies

A few notes: Either smooth or crunchy peanut butter will work in this recipe; just don't use the natural stuff.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
Heaping 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
Heaping 1/2 cup Rice Krispies cereal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving 1-inch overhang on edges.  Coat with nonstick spray.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a large bowl, whisk together melted bugger and brown sugar until smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla, whisking until well mixed.  Whisk in peanut butter until combined.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in flour mixture until just blended and no white streaks remain.  Gently fold in peanut butter chips and cereal, until evenly distributed.

Spread batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.  Cool pan completely on wire rack for at least 2 hours.  Using foil overhang, lift blondies out of the pan and transfer to cutting board.  Cut into 24 equal squares.  Enjoy!

Blondies can be stored in sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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