Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies 

I'm still kind of confused by the American love affair with peanut butter. I can't stand PB&J, or understand the appeal of Reece's Peanut Butter Cups. The closest I've ever come to sharing this national obsession was when I tried this recipe. It showcases peanut butter at its absolute best. This recipe will be popular with kids and adults, and really anyone who has a sweet tooth. Again, I can't claim credit for this invention; it's adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moscowitz and Terry Hope Romero. The original recipe has peanuts on top, but I think chocolate chips are better. Follow your heart and use whatever topping is fun for you.

This is what it looks like before it goes into the oven:

3/4 cup peanut butter*
1/3 oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy milk, or whatever non-dairy milk you prefer
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup chocolate chips, approx (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 X 8 baking dish (Pyrex or metal will be fine). Mix together the peanut butter, oil, sugar, milk and vanilla using a fork – this part can be pretty hard work! When the batter is smooth, sift the dry ingredients into the mixture and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon. It will form a thick mixture. Put this into the pan, then spread it around and smooth it down, making sure that it reaches the edges – I recommend using your hands to do this. Put your nuts or chocolate chips on top and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before attempting to cut it. Cut it 3 by 3 to make 9 servings. Or, if you don't mind it crumbling, you can dig into it right away.

After it comes out of the oven: 

* You can use whatever kind of peanut butter you like. I used Safeway Organics Crunchy, which worked out really well. I tend to buy peanut butter without added sugar because I like to have something slightly healthier and not-too-sweet to snack on. If yours has sugar, you might want to reduce the amount you add to the recipe by a tablespoon or two. 

360 calories per serving, approx. 

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