Slutty Peanut Butter Bars

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Not too long ago I made some really delicious, overindulgent cookie-bars. I say “cookie-bars” because that is exactly what they were- part chocolate chip cookie and part brownie bar. As if that didn’t make them rich enough… I placed a layer of Oreo’s right smack in the middle. They are called Slutty Brownies. Funny name for a dessert, right? Haha I didn’t name them and I certainly didn’t come up with the idea behind them. I’m sure the idea to combine three such beloved treats goes back very far to some unknown origin. The only thing that makes my version stand out from the rest is that it uses two really great recipes, both from Cooks Illustrated, which makes for what I like to call The Ultimate Slutty Brownie!

diptych

Since those went over so well, I thought I would try my hand at creating a peanut butter version. At first I thought I would do a peanut butter cookie dough with chopped Reeses‘ as the base, fill the center with peanut butter Oreos‘, and then top with the same chewy brownie recipe as the original Slutty Brownie. That idea was fine, but after further thought I came up with another one that I felt flowed better- peanut butter cookie dough with milk chocolate chips, Reeses‘ instead of Oreos’, and, again, my favorite chewy brownie recipe. You can do the first combination if you’d rather of course.

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Gotta tell ya though, these didn’t turn out nearly as photogenic as the original slutty bars. The Reeses’ cup kind of blends into the peanut butter cookie dough, leaving it hard to see all the components when the bars are cut. But it still tastes great! And that’s all that matters right?

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Unfortunately, these cookie-bars are so rich that you can really only serve yourself a small square… unless you’ve built up a tolerance like me of course hehe

Peanut Butter Slut Bars
Serves: 36
 

Ingredients
  • For the Peanut Butter Cookie Base:
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ⅔ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 bag individually packaged Reeses’ peanut butter cups
  • For the Brownie Top:
  • ⅓ cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1½ teaspoons instant espresso (optional)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups (17½ ounces) sugar
  • 1¾ cups (8¾ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon table salt

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 9-by-13-inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. For the Peanut Butter Cookie Base: In a large bowl, cream the peanut butter, butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in chips. Spread mixture evenly along bottom of prepared pan.
  3. Arrange peanut butter cups over peanut butter cookie dough.
  4. For the Brownie Top: Whisk cocoa, espresso powder (if using), and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined.
  5. Spread batter over Reeses’ layer and bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, not raw batter, about 50-60 minutes. Cool in pan about 2 hours before cutting.

Laura is the publisher of Laura’s Sweet Spot- a blog making regular contributions about baking, cooking, and blogging tips!

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