Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Frosting

Feliz cinco de mayo a todos!!

OK. this post has nothing to do with cinco de mayo. But I do love this holiday. Despite the fact the US is really the only country who cares about it…. but Americans do love any excuse to eat Mexican food and drink Tecate and Margaritas! Can you blame us?!

I have been away far too long again. I promise I won’t make a habit of it. We moved last weekend to the most magical cottage I have ever lived in. It is tucked on a mountain where quails walk by my kitchen window and wild turkeys hang out across the street. And my kitchen! It’s about 23098 times better than my last kitchen. I will be sure to give you a full tour of it when it’s all settled and decorated. In the meantime, this post is a sneak peek.

I love peanut butter (Mom used to have to hide the jar from me in high school because I would eat too much. hehe). You will probably end up seeing a lot of posts involving this ingredient. Not only because I love it, but because Brett loves it.  He is the consumer of all my baked goods (along with his willing coworkers). And recently he has become the resident dishwasher! I am thrilled about this new title.  🙂

Ok there will be more about him later. Now for the reason you’re here:

Dark brown sugar and butter. What’s not to like? (note, this is on a gas burner. did I mention I love my new kitchen??)

It was really hard for me not to eat more than one spoonful of this. My Mama would be proud. (speaking of spoonfuls, look at my spoonrest in the background! She’s new and I love her.)

This was my first time making chocolate frosting. It came out delicious! And so easy!

Recipe adapted from Joy The Baker

10 tbs butter cut into 5 cubes

2 cups dark brown sugar

1 cup smooth (natural) peanut butter*

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together butter and sugar. Set aside and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Add peanut butter to butter and sugar mixture and mix well. Let cool a little while longer. Then whisk in the eggs and vanilla (make sure mixture is cool so the eggs don’t cook! yuck!).

Now add your dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture all at once and stir til combined. This dough is much thicker than I was expected. Almost like a cookie dough. “Pour” the batter into your 9×13 evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting!

Milk Chocolate Frosting:

6 tbs butter, softened

3 tbs unsweetinged cocoa powder

1/5-2 cups powdered sugar

3 tbs milk

3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, melted

Using a mixer, beat together butter and cocoa powder. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 tbs milk.  Mix for a bit. Then add 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tbs milk. Mix more. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Add chocolate and mix well. Add the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar to reach your desired thickness (I used the full 1/2 cup).

After peanutbutter bars have cooled, spread frosting. Devour immediately. And/Or, upon Brett’s insistence I put them in the fridge overnight so that today they were a little crunchier. Personally, I think they’re delicious either way.

*Now, I typically swear by using only “fake” peanut butter when baking (there’s something to be said about high fructose corn syrup in peanut butter). But I only had natural. And it worked out great! In fact, I think the “fake” peanut butter might have been too sweet with the dark brown sugar.

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