If I had a dollar for every peanut butter and jelly sandwich, peanut butter cookie, and peanut butter bar I’ve eaten in my lifetime, I’d be a very rich woman! I don’t think I ate anything else all through elementary school! I love peanut butter so much, that I still sneak a spoon of it now and then. 😉 And I’m very picky about which brand of peanut butter I use and how to make a peanut butter sandwich, too! After trying the three top brands, I stuck with my childhood favorite, Peter Pan Creamy! “Choosy mothers choose Jif” is just a slogan, a good one but quite brainwashing, and I found it to be so dry I almost choked. Skippy was just, “meh”, not much flavor really. But Peter Pan was still the creamiest and just a tad sweeter, which I personally love. Do a blind taste test, you might be surprised at the results! I’m just as picky about my peanut butter sandwiches, too. I rarely add jam or jelly anymore, and like to butter my bread first! And I’m a little heavy-handed with the peanut butter, too. But we like it how we like it! 😉
Nothing beats a good, rich, dense, moist peanut butter bar, either! But it must be dense and moist! Not fluffy and cake-y, and never ever dry. You can use crunchy-style peanut butter for these if you enjoy a little crunch, but I prefer them without nuts as it takes away the creaminess of them for me. I have added milk chocolate and butterscotch chips to them, though, with wonderful results. I have also covered the top with chocolate chips as soon as they come out of the oven while they’re still hot. Just sprinkle them over and leave them alone to melt. When melted, gently spread like icing with an offset knife. Then when the bars and chocolate cool, you’ll have a chocolate, fudge-like top that resets up firmly. Slice with a hot knife. This also works best if you line your pan with foil and remove the whole thing to a cutting board when cool to slice. Just peel down the edges of foil just as you would when doing this method for brownies. Other nice additions are coconut, raisins and mini M&M’s. Hope you enjoy these delicious bars as much as we do! They have a touch of cinnamon for warmth, and are ever so good! Experiment with your own favorite additions and have fun!
MOIST DECADENT PEANUT BUTTER BARS with CINNAMON
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) real butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 extra-large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
substitute crunchy-style peanut butter
chopped peanuts, cashews, pecans or walnuts
chocolate, butterscotch or peanut butter chips, regular or mini
mini Reeses Pieces
chopped chocolate peanut butter cups
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Whisk the dry ingredients in a separate small bowl to combine. Add to butter mixture and mix until moistened. Mix in peanut butter.
Spread into a greased 7 x 11″ baking pan, or line with foil first. *I use Crisco’s butter-flavored cooking spray.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until it is set in the center. Cool completely and cut into bars.