The patriotic treats continue! Let’s get them all in there before Independence Day!
This time of year, I’m usually basking in summer with not much to do. But thanks to a recent job promotion, I’m burning the candle at both ends. I wake up, work, work some more, and that’s kind of how it is. But at least the sun is shining!
And I have these to sustain me. The base is my favorite flourless peanut butter cookie dough filled with my even more favorite candy aisle choices: patriotic peanut M & Ms and Baby Ruth bars. Heck yeah!
Here’s the thing about holidays: baking bloggers LOVE them. You see, it’s hard to get constant inspiration from just life itself, so holidays provide a lot of ideas. Or at least, they provide a lot of candy with color schemes. I can’t tell you how excited I get every time the candy matches the season. It’s so darn cute.
Now that I’ve been blogging for two and a half years, I sometimes sit back and take stock of what I’ve accomplished so far. You see, I’ve been teaching for much longer, so compared to the time I’ve been in that profession, my time here on JAB is a drop in the bucket. Even so, I’m happy with where I’ve gotten so far with this little blog, and I try and take time to enjoy it.
Just a few days ago, I was texting back and forth with an old friend of mine. He had a rough day and wanted to know if I had “baked anything for the pain.” I immediately let him know that I’d just been paid to buy lots of ice cream and bake something to go with it, and that he should come on by with a huge spoon. In that moment, I felt very lucky. Lucky to be paid to work with ice cream, and lucky to have good friends to come over and share it.
They say that it’s super healthy to keep your brain active by trying new things and doing crossword puzzles. In theory, I love crossword puzzles, but my house is too hectic for me to sit back with that cup of tea and enjoy one on a regular basis. So instead, I’m a big fan of trying new things. This blog pushes every ounce of my creativity, and I’m so happy it’s here. Even though my day job is about to get a lot more hectic, I still want to hold on to what I’ve created here on JAB.
One of my favorite discoveries this season has been transferring flourless peanut butter cookie dough into bars. It’s even better than regular cookie dough. Wanna know why?
It’s the most intense peanutty flavor ever. When you reduce a cookie dough to mostly the star ingredient (peanut butter, in this case), it’s amazing. The flavors are so good. Add in peanuts and candy and the happiness overflows.
Another good thing about this cookie base? No mixer. About five seconds and no chill time is pretty much the situation! Feel free to thank me later.
It’s summer and things should be quiet, but they’re not. I’m cool with that, since we only go around once. Trying new things is important! Well, as long as we take our dessert breaks in between. We all need a moment here and there!
All-American Peanut Cookie Bars
1 cup creamy peanut butter (don't use natural)
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts
6 fun-sized Baby Ruth bars, chopped
1 cup peanut M & Ms
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. The mixture will be thick and sticky. Fold in the peanuts, chopped Baby Ruth bars, and 3/4 cup of the peanut M & Ms.
- Using a spatula, press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Press the remaining peanut M & Ms into the top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely.
- Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.