Archive for December 11th, 2011

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip & Pretzel Bars

Hello from the land of the drugged and living, but barely standing.

We had a completely fantastic cookie swap yesterday. Enough people came (plus a set of 5 month old twins!) to perfectly fill the house and use up exactly all the glasses and mugs, without having to struggle to find spare surfaces for more cookies. It was perfect. Except that at some point yesterday morning my back decided it had had enough, perhaps rebelling against all this baking – for the Upscale Bake Sale, and the Swerve Christmas party Friday night, then the 14 dozen I was making for another swap last night in unison with about five varieties I wanted to try for yesterday’s party – and deteriorated quickly over the course of the afternoon. As a result I hobbled slowly from room to room, periodically moaning for no particular reason, which probably made other cookie revellers wonder what was up in my brain.

I missed last night’s party, unable to sit, stand, lie down, curl up in the fetal position, or breathe, really. I sent Mike over with the jarred cookies I had yet to decorate and label. I’m now in a weird position in bed, propped up with pillows and heating pads and loaded with painkillers, but Mike still had to rescue me from the bathroom this morning, and brought me coffee in W’s old sippy cup.

Which is all to say I haven’t made it to my desktop yet to upload all the photos. So I’ll tide you over with one recipe – these chewy, chocolate chip cookie-like bars topped with bashed pretzels glued on top with chocolate and peanut butter. That’s my favourite part, the topping – the last version I saw had chocolate and peanut butter splattered overtop separately, but if you zap equal amounts of chocolate and peanut butter together it keeps the chocolate from seizing, and stirs into this smooth mixture you could likely do all sorts of things with. Like glob it in heavy spatters over other cookies. Or into your mouth. If you’re into that sort of thing.

I also am very excited to share the pecan pie brownies, changed a bit from Gwendolyn’s version (I ditched the bourbon and cinnamon – I’m a brownie and pecan pie purist) – I will do so just as soon as I can hold a camera. And of course all the recipes from yesterday – most everyone brought their recipes along, and no two cookies were the same. I can’t wait to show & tell.

Meanwhile, if you’re participating in the virtual cookie swap, I’d love to hear what you’re making. I’ll scare up some prizes, even. Let us know here – post recipes or links to your own blogs – let’s swap!

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip & Pretzel Bars

Adapted from Food & Wine and Two Peas and Their Pod via Brown Eyed Baker

3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1-2 cups chocolate chunks or chips
1 1/2 cups mini pretzel twists, coarsely broken (divided)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a 9×13″ pan.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with both sugars at until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda and salt and stir until almost combined; add the chocolate chips and 1 cup of the pretzel pieces and stir just until blended.

Spread the batter evenly in the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. In a small bowl or saucepan, melt the peanut butter and chocolate chips in the microwave or over low heat, stirring until smooth. Sprinkle the bars with the remaining crushed pretzel pieces and drizzle with the peanut butter-chocolate mixture. Let cool until set, then cut into squares or bars. Makes about 2 dozen bars.

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December 11 2011 | cookies & squares | 29 Comments »