Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bars


Usually when people have a craving, it is for some food item that they have had before and wish to have again. It’s a weird thing, then, when you’ve been cooking for so long that you start to create recipes to satisfy cravings for food you’ve never actually had before.

This installment of TGC is about a recipe conceived in such a way. Light, crumbly butter cookies with the aroma of peanut butter, covered on one side with a layer of chocolate. Peanut butter chocolate cookie bars.

Ingredients

Butter cookie recipe partially adapted from here.

Sorry, didn't do a spread this time. Have a picture of a butter sculpture of Marilyn Monroe.

Cookie:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
7 oz butter/margarine*
4 tbsp peanut butter (creamy preferred, I used crunchy)
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk

Chocolate Layer:
3/4 cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
3 tbsp butter/margarine

You will also need a baking sheet and parchment paper.

*The original recipe calls for 8 ounces, but since we’re using peanut butter and peanut butter also has oil, use 7 ounces. Soften the butter/margarine at room temperature for at least half an hour before use.

Baking is (almost) a science. Try to use exact amounts for the recipe to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Part Cookie

Diabetes ain't gonna just suddenly show up in your body. You gotta earn it.

First combine the softened butter, salt, vanilla extract, and sugar in a container. Either mix with a mixer or mash with a spoon. I mashed the ingredients together in a pot over very low heat for a short period of time to expedite the slight melting of butter. Do not completely melt the butter! The end result should have a very soft consistency and be almost fluffy, like this:

Don't worry about the fat. It's actually the calcium in butter that's making you big-boned.

Mix in the peanut butter until smooth, then mix in the egg yolk until smooth. Slowly add the 2 cups of flour roughly 1/3 cup at a time, stirring to incorporate thoroughly each time. You may need two spoons to help you do this efficiently.

Paying tribute to the one true Spoon Terran.

When all the flour has been incorporated, dump the dough onto a lightly-floured surface. Knead the dough a few times to get it to a smooth consistency. On the side, prepare a baking sheet (optimally probably something like a 9×12 sheet), lined with parchment paper. I only had this fucking 12×18 sheet or w/e, so I kind of improvised.

What you want to do is spread the dough out using hands/rolling pin/whatever to approximately 1/4 inch thick. For me, I rolled the dough out against one side of the baking sheet and rolled it out towards the other side.

This is where the "ghetto" part comes in.

Stick your sheet of cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least two hours to let it chill. When you are ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 325 F (163 C). If you’re using some kind of ghetto-assed too-large baking sheet like I am, center your cookie dough on the sheet so that the edges can expand during the baking process. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden.

In case of food fight, apply cookie directly to forehead

Now the cookie part is done! Let the cookie sheet cool while you begin work on the chocolate part.

Part Chocolate

Here’s where things become more about guesswork. I have never worked with melted chocolate before. The following walkthrough is how I personally did it, and it is very likely not the best way of doing it. If someone knows the proper way to spread chocolate so that it ends up with a smooth surface after cooling, please let me know.

Fill a large pot with about an inch of water, and bring water to a boil. In another, small pot with a long handle, place your chocolate and butter. Lower the smaller pot over the boiling water and stir to melt the chocolate. This is where the long handle comes it, so you can safely hold the small pot as you stir its contents. Sorry, no photos were taken at this stage since I was afraid I’d burn the chocolate. Anyhow, melt the chocolate until it is somewhat smooth looking. Pour melted chocolate over your cookie and spread in a thin layer that covers the entire cookie.

Like a piece of wood freshly lifted out of shit creek, to use the most unappetizing description possible

YOU ARE ALMOST DONE!!! Let the cookie and chocolate cool for about 30-45 minutes. Lightly touch the chocolate with your fingertips. If it feels cool and no chocolate sticks to your fingers, grab a sharp knife and slice the cookie into bars. You should try to do the slicing before the chocolate and the cookie completely hardens to reduce risk of fracturing the cookie.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours before enjoying with a glass of milk, or a scoop of your favorite ice cream.

Upper right corner sacrificed in the name of gastronomic science

Result

I love it when a plan comes together

4.9 / 5 Usually when I try out a recipe for the first time, self-invented or otherwise, the failure rate is rather high. There is always one or two little things that could be improved. I pretty much suck. But this time for whatever reason, a complex, never tried before recipe came together rather well on the first attempt. Fucking unprecedented! Nonetheless, there is still room for improvement. If someone can tell me how to work with chocolate so that it spreads easily and comes out with a smooth surface, I’d appreciate it.

Closing Thoughts

There are, IMO, really only two legitimate reasons for overindulgence. One is meat, the other is through decadent pastries and desserts. By sharing this recipe, I hope I will have at least partially satisfied the latter reason for you. T’is the season to eat whatever the fuck you want, since you’re wearing so much clothing that no one can tell anyways 🙂
Until next time, don’t get hit by a bus. And have a happy Christmas.

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