If I had to make a list of things I'd take to survive on a deserted island, I'd likely include a supply of peanut butter. Peanut butter is something I could eat every day and be pretty darn happy.
Peanut butter for breakfast? Absolutely. I love peanut butter granola, peanut butter toast, peanut butter smoothies and peanut butter smeared on pancakes. Peanut butter for lunch? Yes, yes, yes. A tried and true PB & J or peanut butter and banana sandwich will do just fine. Peanut butter for dinner? You know it. I'm all about a pile of ginger-peanut noodles. The restaurant where I work has peanut butter as a topping option for our burgers. I have yet to try it myself, but I've heard people rave about it.
For years I have searched for the ideal peanut butter blondie recipe. A great many of them were too cakey. Others weren't peanut-buttery enough. I was looking for something rich and gooey, almost like my peanut butter cookie recipe in bar form. After many failed attempts, I had given up trying, thinking that the peanut butter blondies I was envisioning were impossible to achieve. I passed over many peanut butter bar recipes without even giving them a second look because I was expecting to be disappointed by the results.
Then I came across a recipe on Pinterest and was lured in by the texture of the bars in the photograph. Could these be the ones? A couple of slight adaptations and indeed they are.
I debated long and hard about the combination of morsels in this recipe. Feel free to go with all peanut butter morsels or substitute semisweet chocolate morsels for the white chocolate ones. I hardly think you can go wrong.
Peanut butter blondies
Yields about 12 bars
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon flake sea salt, for sprinkling on top (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, spraying the parchment with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
To a large saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and peanut butter. Cook, stirring until melted and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar followed by the eggs. Stir in the 1/2 teaspoon salt, flour and baking powder until well combined.
Fold in the peanut butter and white chocolate morsels. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and press the batter down evenly with your fingers. Sprinkle the top of the blondies with flake sea salt if using.
Bake for 30 minutes or until set. Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before slicing. Recipe adapted from Baker by Nature.
Maya Wilson lives in Kenai and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com. Have a food question or recipe request? Email email@example.com and your inquiry may appear in a future column.