Cookie Bars That Are Fast to Make and Fast to Disappear
When making a treat for kids, it's hard to go wrong with peanut butter, chocolate chips or Reese's Pieces. Since these bars combine all three, they're a definite slam dunk! Inspired by classic blondies, with a texture somewhere in between brownies and cookies, these gooey bars make perfect lunchbox snacks or weeknight desserts. Bonus: From start to finish, the entire recipe takes less than 30 minutes.
Don't overbake these bars! They taste best with a gooey, soft-baked texture, so start checking them after 18 minutes of baking – or even a tad earlier – and remove them from the oven when the edges are just golden brown but the bars still seem a little soft in the middle.
Total Time: 30 minutes | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Serves: 18 to 24
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3/4 cup sugar (granulated or brown)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Reese's Pieces
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Natural or homemade peanut butter won't work well in this recipe, even if you stir it thoroughly. For best results, use a smooth, spreadable peanut butter that doesn't need to be stored in the fridge.
- Heat the oven to 350F. Prepare a 9-by-13-inch baking pan by coating it with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and peanut butter together with the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, beating on low speed just until combined.
- Using a spatula, fold in the Reese's Pieces and chocolate chips.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake at 350F for 18 to 25 minutes, or until the edges of the bars are golden brown.
- Let the bars cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Although these bars will never be a health food, you can modify the recipe to make them healthier without sacrificing great taste. Try making any or all of the following changes:
- Reduce the butter to 6 tablespoons
- Reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup
- Replace 1 cup of the flour with whole wheat pastry flour
- Add 1 cup of old-fashioned oats to the batter before baking
Carly Schuna has been freelance writing and editing for more than a decade. She enjoys putting a creative spin on articles and making them as accessible as possible. In working for educational publishers, web clients, commercial fiction authors, and more, Carly has crafted a compelling narrative voice to break down concepts and share cutting-edge research in a way that's both entertaining and informative.