The Weekend Gourmet: The Best of Both Worlds: Peanut Butter-White Chocolate Bars with Chocolate-Peanut Butter Icing...Featuring Peanut Butter & Co. Peanut Butter F

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Best of Both Worlds: Peanut Butter-White Chocolate Bars with Chocolate-Peanut Butter Icing...Featuring Peanut Butter & Co. Peanut Butter

love peanut butter…
Peanut butter sandwiches, Reese’s peanut butter cups…you name it! There’s always a jar of peanut butter in my pantry just waiting for a quick lunch or snack. That’s why I was so excited when the people at Peanut Butter & Co. sent me two jars of their delicious flavored peanut butter to create a recipe to share with my readers. I selected their White Chocolate Wonderful and Dark Chocolate Dreams flavors to create a fun frosted peanut butter bar cookie. Peanut Butter & Co.'s line of all-natural peanut butter contains no hydrogenated oils, no cholesterol, no trans-fats, and no high fructose corn syrup.

Before I started baking, I cracked open each jar and gave these peanut butters what I like to call The Spoon Test…how did they taste all on their own? The White Chocolate Wonderful is indeed wonderful…it’s creamy, smooth, and slightly sweet. The Dark Chocolate Dreams is less sweet, with a pronounced chocolate flavor. It reminded me of melted Resse’s cups! 

Now that I had tasted these two peanut butters, I wanted to come up with a fun recipe to showcase them. I opted to make a peanut butter-white chocolate bar topped with chocolate-peanut butter frosting. The best of both worlds, if you will. These bars are off-the-hook good. The recipe makes one 8x8 pan – about 12 bars. You can easily double the recipe for a 13x9 pan if you have a larger crowd to feed. The bars feature peanut butter, oatmeal, and white chocolate chips. The frosting is flavored with the Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter…which omits the need for any cocoa powder. One less thing to measure when baking is always a plus in my book.

Peanut Butter-White Chocolate Bars Topped with Chocolate-Peanut Butter Icing
adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 350. Add 1 stick softened butter, 2/3 cup Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter, and 1 cup packed brown sugar to a mixing bowl. Use a mixer to combine the ingredients on low, then beat on med-high for 3 minutes...until fluffy. Add 1 egg and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Mix to combine.

Step 2:   Add 1 cup oatmeal, 1 cup AP flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, and 1 cup white chocolate chips to the mixing bowl. Beat on low speed just to combine. The batter will be a bit like a sticky cookie dough. Press the dough into an 8x8 baking pan that's lined with parchment. 

Step 3:  Cook for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the bake time. The bars will be golden-brown on top and set. Cool to room temperature. While the bars cool, make the butter cream. Add 1 stick butter, 2/3 cup Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dream peanut butter, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and 1.5 cups powdered sugar. Mix on low until combined, then up speed to med-high. Beat until fluffy...about 3 minutes. Store the icing in the fridge to firm up a bit while the bars cool.

Step 4:  Remove the parchment from the sides of the bars. Frost with the icing, then cut into 12 bars. Serve with ice cold milk. If it's as hot where you are as it is here in Texas, store these bars in the fridge...just let them come to room temperature for 15-20 minutes before eating.

These moist and chewy bars are so good…the white chocolate chips in the bars combine very nicely with the White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter, and the fudgy icing is a nice counterbalance. The oatmeal is a very nice background flavor as well. These bars truly ARE the best of both worlds…if you want to make these bars at home, Peanut Butter & Co. products are sold in grocery stores all over the country. I’ve seen it at Super Target, so that would be one place to look. All ten flavors of their peanut butter…and lots of other fun PB products…can be ordered online from their website, so click on the link above to check it out!

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