Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
This past week I've somehow managed to keep a perfect work/kids/house/socializing balance. It's a rare thing around here. I've had just a couple of hours of work each day, the weather has been beautiful, and the girls, the hubby, and I have been getting outside a lot. We even found a park that is perfect for a 19-month-old and an adventurous three-year-old. That was a good find! I had family stop by last week for a visit and have more family coming for most of this week, so I cleaned house and then recleaned it, but it only took a couple hours the second time! I even did a little spring cleaning. It's not too late, right?. I found a great tip at Make It Do and cleaned our mattress, washed some screens and windows, vacuumed blinds, and spent three hours scrubbing the grout in my kitchen floor (I hate this job and only manage to do it twice a year). A friend and I went to a spa event that included wine and mini treatments all for $10. Did I mention the wine? It was such a fun and girly evening--just what I needed. With the slowing of work, my husband and I have resumed our near-nightly ritual of HBO series watching. We wrapped up season 3 of True Blood and are almost through season 4 of The Wire. I've also been harvesting yummy things from my garden. My green beans finally came in, and I picked a big batch and froze some. I'm up to my eyeballs in cucumbers. I've got tomatoes, I'm still getting zucchini, and I (big smile, here) picked my first of about 10 watermelons. It was probably a little early, but it was totally edible. Love it!
So what a better way to celebrate a perfectly balanced week than by baking something delicious! I originally intended to make these cookies, but once I started grabbing ingredients I realized it made a huge number of cookies. I know myself well enough to accept the fact that I can't keep 4-5 DOZEN cookies around for long, and I didn't want to think too hard about halving the recipe (I may try it someday). Also, I liked the idea of skipping the whole scooping and baking in batches step, so I searched for a peanut butter brownie? blondie? recipe. I found a recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars at Bake at 350.
I did make a few accidental changes. I used 7 tablespoons of butter instead of 6, and I doubled the amount of peanut butter it called for. Oops! I also used a mixture of peanut butter chips and milk chocolate chips, because that's what I had. My brownies came out soft in the middle and brown on the edges. I think more chocolate chips rather than peanut butter would have made a nice difference. So I recommend following the recipe. These bars are very rich. I can only eat one small bar a day, but my husband said he didn't notice. Of course he could eat peanut butter by the spoonful. He also told me I need to get the bars out of the house before he comes home from work today. I guess that means they're really good!
I hope each of you has a week full of balance, peanut butter, and chocolate!