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peanut butter cup shortbread bars

peanut butter cup cookie bars

Megan
these peanut butter cup cookie bars are chewy on the inside, full of buttery flavor with just a hint of flaky texture on the outside. they're packed with melty chocolate and peanut butter pieces. all topped with flaky salt for deliciously decadent salty sweet cookie bar!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Cooling Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer with beaters
  • 8X8 pan
  • parchment paper
  • food scale or measuring cups/spoons

Ingredients
  

  • 1 3/4 c (210g) all purpose flour
  • 1/3 c (32-37g) almond flour sub with 1/4 c (30g) all purpose
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 c (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature sub with salted butter, but omit the added salt
  • 1 (57g) large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 c chopped PB cups
  • 1/2- 1 c (4-8oz.) chopped milk chocolate bars sub with more pb cups or chocolate of choice
  • flaky salt for topping

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. 
    Line a 8X8 pan with parchment paper along the bottom up the sides and with a 1-2" overhang. This makes it easier to lift the cookies out of the pan without breaking them. My preferred way to do this is to measure out/cut a piece of parchment to fit from one side to the opposite side. If you want, you can repeat to fit the exposed sides of the pan.
  • Whisk the flours and salt together until well combined.
  • In a stand mixer with paddle attachment/ hand mixer with beaters, beat the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beating each one on low for about 20 seconds before adding the next.
  • Add the dry ingreidents to the wet and mix by hand or on the lowest setting until JUST combined. Once the dough is mostly combined, add in the chopped PB cup and chocolate pieces. Work into the dough until mostly combined.
    While the dough is still in the bowl, use your hands to incorporate any stray pieces that didn't get worked into the dough. Starting at the edges, working in to the center, evenly press the dough into the prepared pan.
  • Bake the dough in a 350F oven for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are set and golden brown. The center will look lighter – more a light golden brown. 
    Remove the baked cookies from the oven to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes. If topping with flaky salt (recommened), top the bars as soon as they come out of the oven.
    Wait until the bars are completely cooled before slicing for the cleanest cut.

Notes

these cookie bars store well at room temperature, in the fridge and in the freezer. for each storage option, I recommend cooling the bars at room temperature. slicing the pieces to your desired size. wrapping each piece in wax paper and storing in an airtight container.
these cookies retain their best taste for 2-3 days at room temperature, 3-4 days in the fridge and several weeks in the freezer. to thaw, simply allow the cookies to come to room temperature for 30-45 minutes. 
Keyword chewy sugar cookie bars, peanut butter cup cookie bars, peanut butter cup cookies, salty sweet cookies
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