Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Peanut Butter Oreo Bars

Feeling stressed on Sunday, I knew that the thing that would relieve it all would be a good bake. But what to bake? That question always seems to add another layer of stress. One of the second years encouraged the peanut butter option. Seriously though, I have encountered more peanut butter and peanut butter baked goods last year and in the last month than I have in my life. It seems all these girls like to eat is peanut butter anything. Anyway, with a jar of peanut butter in hand, I set out to do some research. This was a particularly hard call to make seeing as my M.O is generally not to repeat recipes but once you've made PB everything, it's quite difficult to avoid. Still determined to bake, I flipped away through my cookbooks finally setting on a recipe from Paula Deen's Just Desserts. This is a book I picked up many summers ago and have kept on the back shelf until now. This is its first use. The original recipe makes a huge pan of peanut butter bars with a glaze. I, who can't leave well enough alone, decided to switch it up a bit. I omitted the glaze and the oatmeal from the recipe and instead added a full sleeve of chocolate sandwich cookies. My thinking that the marriage of peanut butter and chocolate is a winner led to the thought that who doesnt love a sandwich cookie? Boy, were my instincts good on this one. Not only did these run off the plate, some girls had as many as eight cookies! These were truly loved and I think that this is going to become a signature cookie for me. I will say that the cookies should be chopped on the smaller, less chunky side to ease spreading into the pan. This batter was a bit difficult to spread but is totally doable. The result is a generously sized batch of thin and chewy bites of peanut butter deliciousness. 

Peanut Butter Oreo Bars
my way

1/2 cup softened margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
14 sandwich cookies

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment. Cut to size. Grease with vegetable spray and set aside.

Place the margarine or butter and sugars in a bowl. 
Beat until smooth and creamy.
Add the egg and vanilla,
and whip until combined.
Add the peanut butter,
and whisk to blend thoroughly. 
Add the dry ingredients,
and the chopped cookies.
Fold in the cookies using a spatula.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Patience helps you out here. Bake for about 20 minutes, maybe less, until the bars are nice and golden and look ready. Just eyeball it.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for five minutes. Score the bars and cool completely. Place on a serving plate. 

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