February 27, 2013 by Meg G.
Alright, enough of the Debbie Downer* posts about the “Quinoa Quandary.” Bring on the peanut butter and chocolate!
Sunday night we were invited to the home of some friends who volunteer with us at the LGBT Asylum Support Task Force. The Task Force is a grassroots organization that provides basic needs to LGBT individuals who are seeking asylum due to discrimination, physical violence, and in some cases torture in their home countries. (Okay, so maybe that was a bit of a Debbie moment.) Anyway, we had a chance to share a meal with two Ugandan asylees who are in the midst of their legal proceedings. You can’t even begin to imagine what they have been through, and yet here they are – being their amazing, brave, resilient, talented, and loving selves. Truly remarkable.
So, what do you bring for dessert when you have no idea what people like? Peanuts may have been a risky move, but somehow I just knew that these would be a hit. They are super easy to make and you might just have everything already in your pantry. So, what are you waiting for?
Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars – inspired by Channeling Contessa
- 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 12 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips
- flaked sea salt for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 or 8×8 baking pan.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and turbinado sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Reduce speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until the flour is just incorporated. Using a rubber spatula (or clean hands), mix in the chocolate chips.
- Turn out the mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Sprinkle the top with sea salt flakes.
- Bake for 25-28 minutes, just until the center is set and top is golden brown. Cool completely in the pan. Cut into bars and store at room temperature in an airtight container.
Since I’m trying to eat more whole grains, I used a mix of whole wheat and white flour. I’m pretty sure I could have used all whole wheat flour, but the bars would have been even more dense than they already were. (Not always a bad thing, in my opinion!) I also used raw sugar instead of white sugar. Even with those substitutions, these were DIVINE! Luckily, our new Ugandan friends thought so, too. Apparently one of them doesn’t really care for peanut butter, but before the night was over, he was asking for the recipe!
*Looking for a good laugh? Check out my all-time favorite SNL moment: Debbie Downer Does Disney.