Saturday, November 6, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookie and Cream Cheese "Candy" Bars

If you've still got "tons" of leftover Halloween candy, this is the recipe for you! Jenny from Picky Palate came up with this decadent bar cookie to use up some of her family's leftover trick-or-treat candy. If you are in the market for other indulgent treats and some great give-aways, I highly recommend visiting Picky Palate.

We have enough Halloween candy for 5 recipes, so I jumped at the chance to try this one. I have to say, these were amazing! In the past, I have stated that there is no such thing as "too rich" when it comes to desserts. This one may actually toe the line. They are dense and sweet and gooey and SO rich! Sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Here's how they came together. First, I combined a cup of peanut butter with 1/2 cup each of granulated and brown sugars. Then, I beat in an egg and some vanilla.

Add in the combined dry ingredients to the peanut butter/sugar mixture.

Pour in tablespoons of hot water (about 4) until the dough is dampened enough to hold together.

Line a 9 X 9 inch baking pan with foil and then spray it with non-stick cooking spray.

Dump half of the peanut butter cookie dough into the pan. It will be a little crumbly.

Then press the dough into the bottom of the pan.

Now for the cream cheese layer. Combine 8 oz. of cream cheese with a few tablespoons of sugar, just to sweeten it a bit. Then mix together until smooth.

Spread the cream cheese evenly over the cookie dough in the pan.

Next, gather some leftover Halloween candy, the equivalent of 25 snack-sized pieces.

Roughly chop the candy and distribute the pieces over the cream cheese mixture. I also sprinkled on some Reese's pieces that I had leftover from the Owl Cupcakes that I made for our Halloween Party.

Top with the remaining cookie dough and press it down. Then bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

You want to let these cool completely before removing them from the pan so that they hold their shape and are easier to cut into neat squares. I first pulled them while still warm (I couldn't wait for a taste!) and they quickly began to spread out, so I returned them to the pan until they had cooled completely.

Check out this ooey-gooey, peanut buttery, chocolaty, caramel-drenched, cream cheesy cookie bar! Mmmm.

I ate half of a bar just to satisfy my curiousity (that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!) after I cut them and then took a break. I came back a couple of hours later to finish off the other half. It was so rich that I have to admit feeling a little sick afterward...but not so sick that I wasn't glancing at them from across the room, contemplating another, a mere hour later. Instead of giving in to temptation, I decided that they were far too dangerous to keep around. I promptly wrapped up 5 of them to give away to a friend and cut the rest into smaller pieces for my husband to take to work and share. As you can tell from the picture below, due to the gooey, chunky texture of these cookies, they look nicer when cut into larger squares. My husband's co-workers didn't seem to mind the messy cookies. They cleaned the plate!

Here's the recipe:

Peanut Butter Cookie and Cream Cheese “Candy” Bars from Picky Palate

1 Cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 Cup granulated sugar

1/2 Cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 Cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3-4 Tablespoons hot water (enough to dampen the dough)

8 oz softened cream cheese

3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

25 pieces favorite leftover Halloween chocolates

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In stand mixer, beat peanut butter and sugars until well combined. Add egg and vanilla to combine.

2. In mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to combine. Slowly add to wet ingredients then pour in hot water. Press half of dough into an 8×8 inch baking pan lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.

3. In another bowl mix the softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth then layer over peanut butter dough. Cut up chocolates and layer over cream cheese then top with remaining peanut butter cookie dough. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cookie turns golden brown. Remove and let cool completely then cut into squares.

9 large bars


Donna-FFW said...

Always loking for ways to use up that extra loot! And a bar cookie.. love the idea.

Diana's Cocina said...

Krista~you're combining allof my favorite things...I will absolutely have to give this a try.

Julie said...

Candy, cream cheese, AND peanut butter...I'm dying here! Yum :)

teresa said...

oh drooool, that's pure decadence right there!

Lisa said...

Oh boy, you've convinced me that I need to make these. But, I better find people to give these away to first before I end up devouring the whole pan.

Kim said...

Wow Krista. These are so decadent and I love it. Peanut butter, cream cheese and candy. It just doesn't get any better.

Desi said...

I already eyed these bad boys over at Picky Palate and wish I had some leftover candy to make them! Next Halloween I will have to buy extra candy just so I can make recipes with them later lol :) They look so good, thanks Krista!

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