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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

It’s the week of Valentine’s Day, which means that there are tons of amazing, decadent, extravagant desserts popping up on blogs this week. Since I knew my blogging buddies would have the exquisitely fancy desserts covered, I decided to go the opposite route and share a simple, quick, + completely unfussy (but still delicious!) dessert with y’all – these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars.

These were easy enough to make that my 1.5 year old daughter was able to help me (which she LOVED), and quick enough that even with all the measuring, stirring, spreading, and baking, they still only took about 30 minutes total. And the result? Super soft, melt-in-your-mouth, peanut buttery bars packed full of chocolate chips. They’re simple, delicious, and oh-so-very satisfying. So, if you’re looking for a fuss-free, fool-proof treat for the peanut butter/chocolate lover in your life, you should absolutely give these a try! They’d be perfect for Valentine’s Day, or any day that you want to treat yourself or your loved ones to a little something special. =)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

makes 9-16 bars (depending on size), adapted from Averie Cooks

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted + slightly cooled
1/3 heaping cup peanut butter (I used Jif. Natural peanut butter can separate and/or be too oily)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons extra, for topping

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8″ baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang for easy removal. Spray with cooking spray + set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and egg. Whisk together until well-combined and smooth. Add in the flour and stir until just combined – do not overmix. Then, stir in the 1 cup chocolate chips.

Turn the batter out into the prepared baking dish, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Top evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons chocolate chips.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before using the aluminum foil/parchment overhang to transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 9, 12, or 16 bars, depending on how big you want them to be.

Serve as is, or topped with vanilla ice cream, if you want something extra-special. =)

Bars will keep up to 1 week at room temperature in an airtight container.