Last week, I wrote about food blogging and its attendant challenges. Well, one of the biggest ones came up just a few days ago.
I was reading one of my favorite blogs for peanut butter desserts, Averie Cooks. I’m sure you’re familiar with Averie, but if not, she’s a peanut butter goddess. I own her cookbook, Peanut Butter Comfort, and I like to sit around and drool at her pictures.
Anyway, last Friday she posted these Tagalong bars. And as soon as I saw them, I slapped myself on the head and cursed. Because you see, I had a very similar bar cooling on my kitchen counter.
Listen, I’m no Averie. I can’t say that my pictures are better than hers, because they’re totally not. And I don’t know how her bars taste yet, though I’m willing to bet they’re awesome. But I’m actually thrilled that we were on similar wavelengths last week, because that means I’m doing something right.
And as you can see, our recipes are pretty different, despite their seeming surface similarities. When it comes down to it, it’s pretty clear that Tagalongs are fabulous enough to deserve several copycat versions making their way around food blogs.
My intent with these bars was to KISS. You know, to Keep It Simple, Sister. No, that last “S” doesn’t usually stand for “sister,” but I was taught as a kid that you should never call anyone “stupid,” and I hold by that rule. That aside, these bars are very easy to put together.
The base is a quickly assembled shortbread, and the middle layer is just peanut butter and powdered sugar. I ran out of powdered sugar and forgot about it, so when I was making these bars, I had to make my own using a blender. It’s quick and easy, not to mention cheap. I felt very much like Tom Hanks in Castaway when he makes fire. Yes, I actually ran around my kitchen screaming, “I….have made…FIRE!” Luckily, everyone at home is quite used to me by now.
The top layer is simply melted chocolate left overnight to harden on its own, and voila! Tagalong magic without the Girl Scouts to enable me. Not that I’m complaining about that.
Food bloggers often think alike, and if I’m thinking like peanut butter queen Averie, I’m a happy girl. I hope you enjoy all that Tagalong season has to offer on both her site and mine, not to mention the other amazing offerings out there, like this one from Dorothy of Crazy for Crust (a.k.a. one of my favorite food bloggers ever). Eat up!
Better Than Tagalong Bars
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 cup baking powder
Peanut Butter Filling
1 and 1/4 cups peanut butter (I used Jif Natural)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8 x 8 pan with foil, leaving enough to hang over the sides. Coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
- In a measuring cup, mix the flour and baking powder. Pour into the butter mixture and beat until a dough forms. It will be thick.
- Press the dough into the prepared pan evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges are golden. Cool.
- While the crust is baking, make the peanut butter filling. Mix the powdered sugar and peanut butter until a dough-like consistency is reached. Set aside.
- When the shortbread crust is cool enough, pat the peanut butter filling gently and evenly onto the surface of the shortbread.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips for one minute and 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Spread carefully over the peanut butter filling.
- Let the chocolate harden completely, preferably overnight. Cut into squares with a sharp knife.
This Post Has 20 Comments
These bars are just calling my name, Mir! I love tagalong cookies, so I can only imagine how delicious these bars must taste. I don’t think this pan would last a day at my house!
Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Asparagus Onion Ring Salad
Nope, which is why I gave them away. They were way too treacherous to keep at home!
Averie and Dorothy are wonderful food bloggers, but so are you, Mir! These tagalong bars look simple and delicious. My cousin has been asking me to help her learn to bake and I think a bar dessert such as this would be a perfect place to start. 🙂
Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg recently posted…Herby Garlic Beer Bread
Aww, thanks, Erin! I learn so much from my fellow bloggers, and I love that we do similar things sometimes. Hope the baking lesson goes well with your cousin! Bars are a great place to start.
can you just deliver a big batch of these to me please?
Ha! I have been finding that a lot recently, that bloggers are on the same wave length and recipes are swapping over. But, there are usually differences in them.
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on How To Deal With Emotional Eating by Dannii
Wish I could, Dannii! I have to be content with just delivering them locally. But if you’re ever in DC…
Hahaha, I find it so funny how often you can have something ready to go and then you see the same thing pop up on a blog you follow! Weird how that happens. These bars look amazing Mir, even if I’ve never had a tagalong cookie – peanut butter and chocolate together can’t be bad! 🙂
Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. recently posted…Chewy Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies
Well, you know what they say about great minds, Stacey!
haha I know that happens so many times. It’s fine I guess , all bloggers think on the same wavelength 😀 😉 The bars look awesome, never had a tagalong cookie but I can bet it’s delicious because it has chocolate and PB in it!
Manali @ CookWithManali recently posted…12 Holi Recipes That You Must Make!
Manali, get on it! Tagalongs are awesome. I keep them in the freezer!
I’m putting a recipe up tomorrow that’s really similar to what Gayle posted recently! Its so funny how all of us think alike… It’s because we know what tastes best!! 🙂 Your bars look amazing and I would totally demand a package of these but with all the snow coming tomorrow, I’ll just have to settle for staring dreamily at the pictures!
Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted…Dark Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Fudge Chunk Cookie Dough Frosting, Salted Caramel Glaze, and Triple Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Bites
I’m glad you’re chilling, Medha! We’ll be off tomorrow again, I think!
Haha! Welcome to the world of food blogging. Your Kit Kat Brownies, my Tagalong Bars, Averie’s, and today she posted a french toast recipe I literally tried last weekend. These bars look AMAZING. That crust!! I love how thick the shortbread is. These are a keeper for sure!
Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Carrot Cake Coffee Cake
Thinking like you is exactly where I want my mind to be at, Dorothy!
I’d be intimidated to make these but it would be worth it. Especially if they turned out looking half as good as yours.
Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel recently posted…Deformed Protein Bar
No, do not be intimidated!! They’re not hard, I promise. You’ll do great, Kelsey!
I am always down for a tagalong bar!
Julianne @ Beyond Frosting recently posted…Reeseâs Stuffed Rice Krispie Treat Sâmores
My thoughts exactly. Thanks, Julianne!
Oh my! So many sweets to make! So many calories to digest! SO many sit ups to endure!
IT’S WORTH IT!
Betty, I could not explain my life philosophy any better! I do those sit ups, but boy, do I eat my dessert!