Friday, March 2, 2012

Peanut Butter Cravings

I have a confession to make. When I bake, I like to watch cheesy or guilty-pleasure television shows. Because of Netflix, I've watched the first two seasons of Vampire Diaries, and now I'm working my way through The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I know, I have a problem. I have this weird quirk: I can't bake in a quiet environment. Either I listen to Weezer or I sneak episodes of shows that I pretend I'm not interested in when Sam's around. It's kinda fun, even if he teases me mercilessly for it. :)

Anyways, I was watching Glee, and I'm absolutely in love with the Irish kid. Last week's episode got me thinking of ideas for things to bake. The poor kid never had peanut butter before! And that jar of creamy delicious goodness just looked so good! It got my wheels turning and my tummy rumblin'. I knew, from the moment Mr. Schue handed that spoon to Rory, that I had to make something that featured that creamy butter of peanuts. So for your reading and baking pleasure, I present to you the wonderful Peanut Butter Bites!

A little back story on this recipe. When I was about 16 or so, we had a fundraiser for church camp. It was a bake sale with a twist. Whatever we made, we auctioned off. There was this cute boy who bought my peanut butter bars for like 40 bucks! So these are a real winner! You should try them out. Seriously.

Peanut Butter Bites

The Bites:
1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter (Crunchy all the way, baby!)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped peanuts, plus more for garnish (optional if you used crunchy)

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (don't tell my hubby, but I borrowed some of his. shhhh...)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line a baking pan with foil. Then grease it generously with cooking spray. This seemed redundant, so I nixed the aluminum foil. We'll see how this turns out.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the peanut butter and the butter.

Add the sugar. Mix until well blended.

Beat in the vanilla and eggs.

Now stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add in the peanuts, if that's the route you chose. The mix will be rather stiff.

Press the batter into the pan.

Bake your yummy treats for about 30 minutes, or at least until the bar pulls away from the sides of the pan.

Now we move on to frosting these puppies.

Mix all three ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth and fluffy.

It's fairly easy to mix by hand with a spoon. :)

Spread your creamy, delicious concoction over your peanut butter treats.

Garnish the bars with the leftover peanuts, if you want to. You can take them out of the pan (and chow down) soon after you finish frosting them.

Now, enjoy your yummy treats! They're sooo good, but you'll probably need to down a tall glass of milk to compensate for all the creamy peanut buttery goodness!

Please share how your baking experience went! I love hearing from you guys. :)

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