Caramel Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

 

Is anyone else out there obsessed with peanut butter like I am? I’m talking eat it by the spoonful-put it on everything-crave it 24/7 obsessed. I don’t just like peanut butter, I LOVE it. So when it comes to baking with the stuff, I’m in heaven. Everything goes well with peanut butter… Chocolate, pretzels, Ritz, or in this case, caramel.

Caramel Peanut Butter Cookie Bars are a combination of what are in my opinion, some of the best flavors in the dessert world. Peanut butter and caramel in cookie bar form… What could be better? If you’ve never made cookie bars, you are missing out big time! They are all the deliciousness of regular cookies, but half the work. Instead of rolling the dough into individual balls, having to bake multiple batches, and keeping your oven on for a long time,  you just put all the dough into 1 pan and bake it. Simple as that! I cut mine into square and put them on a cute serving platter. Easy cheesy.

 

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Peanut butter and actual butter. What a beautiful combo.

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Beat this on medium speed until it is all combined. Then eat some.

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It just keeps getting better… Sugars!

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All cookie bars need eggs and a good amount of vanilla. A lot of cookie recipes call for 1 measly teaspoon of vanilla. That’s sad to me! Vanilla is such an important ingredient and gives cookies an amazing rich flavor. I ALWAYS use at least 2 teaspoons.

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Here is what the mixture will look like with peanut butter, butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Yum!

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The next step is adding the dry ingredients. Once this is all combined, you will have the perfect peanut butter cookie dough!

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Perfect. Told you. At this point, I do a few taste tests. You have to be sure it’s just right! 😉

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Here is my taste test.

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Just kidding. I plopped all that dough into the sprayed pan…

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…Spread it out with my hands…

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…Then things got real good. I had never tasted this stuff until now. I usually make my own caramel, but I just wasn’t feeling it today. I was on the hispanic isle in the store (because my obsession with Mexican food is equally as strong as my obsession with peanut butter) and I came across this can of deliciousness. Had to try it!

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And boy am I glad I did. It was thick, rich, and caramely. The perfect topping to these peanut butter cookie bars.

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Spread all that golden goodness around and you’re done!

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Gooey, rich, decadent Caramel Peanut Butter Cookies Bars. YES PLEASE.

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Next time, I might put chocolate chips in them. And maybe sprinkle with sea salt. The possibilities are endless!

 

Ingredients

  • 2  1/4  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon corn starch (I never make cookies without this!)
  • 1/4  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1  cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2  cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1  1/4  cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup white sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 2  teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9×13 pan with sprayed it with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, corn starch, baking powder, and salt, then set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the peanut butter and butter together. Add the sugar and combine. Crack the eggs into a small dish with the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time. Make sure all the vanilla gets in there too! Beat this mixture on high for 30 seconds until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Spread the dough into your prepared 9×13 dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The top will be golden brown, but the inside will still be slightly gooey. Let the cookie bars cool for 10-15. Scoop the caramel on top of the bars and spread into one even layer. Let the caramel set for another 10-15 minutes. Cut into squares and Enjoy!

 

Much love,

MT

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