Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Break & Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

Hi everyone! This past week I spent my time here-

doing this-

and this-

and this-

and this-

looking in this-

drooling over this-

and eating this-

Let's just say it was the best spring break ever. It was so nice to get away to somewhere warm and relax with my friends. I think I was born to live in California because hanging out at the beach all day felt all too natural to me. The only thing I would have to work on would be my driving. California drivers are straight up crazy!

Speaking of crazy, let me tell you about a bar cookie that is crazy good. I found the recipe for these on the blog Baking and Boys. She adapted the recipe from Kraft Foods, and I adapted it a little bit more. Here is what they look like-

Drooling yet? If you love peanut butter this is definitely a treat for you to try! The recipe calls for a chocolate cake mix, but I didn't have one so I used a yellow cake mix instead and it turned out great. I have made these once before using a chocolate cake mix and they were absolutely divine, so I guess it just depends on your taste buds and what kind of treat you're after. I omitted the peanuts because we didn't have any on hand, but my family (Josh) doesn't really like nutty treats anyway. I didn't have very many chocolate chips, so I chopped up a couple of mini Mr. Goodbars (I guess there were actually a couple of peanuts in there after all)and Hersheys bars that Josh got from his friend to make up for it. Anyways, I love these bars! They are addicting so be careful! Don't leave yourself alone with a pan of these- that's dangerous.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
From Kraft Foods, Adapted by Karina from Baking and Boys

1 chocolate cake mix (or yellow)

1 package (3.9 oz.) Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding (I used vanilla since I used a yellow cake mix)

1/2 unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup cold milk

6 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips and chopped up mini chocolate bars)

1 cup Planters' Peanuts, divided (I omitted)

1 3/4 cups creamy peanut butter (Kraft recipe only uses 1 cup, Katrina thought it needed more, I agree)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray.

Mix the first 4 ingredients until blended. (The dough will be thick.) Press half the cake mix mixture into the prepared pan. Bake this for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle half the chocolate and half the peanuts over the hot crust. Top this with peanut butter. For easier spreading, let it sit a few minutes to warm and thin out. (Again, original recipe only calls for 1 cup of peanut butter, but I thought it spread better when I added more AND it's good!) Sprinkle the remaining cake mix mixture over the peanut butter and then the rest of the chopped chocolate and peanuts. Press down gently with a spatula. Bake 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate 4 hours before cutting into bars. (Don't skip this and try to cut them too early. It REALLY helps them set up.)


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