A few months ago, a reader wrote in to ask if I ever make recipes that are lower in sugar. To be honest, I typically don’t. My dessert approach is extreme, but to clarify, my lifestyle doesn’t reflect what I do on this site.
I love dessert. And so when I enjoy it, which is every day, I enjoy it at its best. But I also do so in moderation. Every recipe on this site gets tested by yours truly, but after those initial bites, the rest goes to other people. Sometimes I eat quite a bit more than a few bites, or something is just too amazing to give away. But I also temper that with lean proteins, veggies, and a daily and extremely rigorous exercise schedule.
In other words, I do not advocate an unhealthy lifestyle, no matter how much decadence you see here. And I do realize that every now and then, I have to scale back a bit. These cookie bars are a perfect example.
When I make salad dressing, I’m very fond of using a sugar and Stevia blend. Domino makes one, and so do a few other companies. It’s very sweet, and a little goes a long way. If you overuse it, the sweetness is cloying. And it’s hard to use the product in baking without it being noticeable, so when I do, I use it sparingly. Stevia is the only artificial sweetener I’ll use, because the others come with a laundry list of potential side effects and issues. Stevia is a more natural option.
Now, let’s be real here. This is only half the usual amount of sugar, so it’s not totally free of that controversial white substance. And there are the Oreos and chocolate chips to account for, but I used them sparingly. Basically, this is not low-fat, nor is it sugar-free. It’s just a little better than your typical tricked-out cookie bar.
And so festive for the holidays! I love the way these look. They’re a perfect addition to your holiday cookie plate. I doubt that anyone will realize that they’re lower in sugar!
Peanut Butter (Reduced) Sugar Cookie Bars
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup Domino sugar and Stevia blend
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Nestle holiday edition)
4-5 Oreos, broken into pieces (I used the holiday kind with red filling)
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8 x 8 square pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine the melted butter, sugar and Stevia blend, peanut butter, egg, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Stir in the flour until just incorporated. Fold in most of the chocolate chips and Oreos.
- Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Take the remaining chocolate chips and Oreos and scatter along the top, pressing down lightly.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm. Cool and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.
This Post Has 14 Comments
What a great idea to try a reduced sugar version, Mir! I’ve never tried baking with stevia before, though I always use it in my coffee! 🙂 I love the festive colors in these bars and because of all the peanut buttery goodness! Yum!
Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
New pic, Gayle! Very nice. 🙂
Thanks! I really like using the blend because it’s not quite as startling as just the Stevia. By itself, Stevia is just too sweet.
You and I share similar dessert philosophies! I love making treats healthier, but I’m not afraid to go for it either, with plenty of veggies on the side too.
Erin | The Law Student’s Wife recently posted…Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Veggies and dessert, Erin! My two major food groups. What could be better?
I love the awesome sweet treat recipes you always come up with Mir! Love these cookie bars!
Mira recently posted…Brussels Sprouts Salad With Cranberry Vinaigrette
Thanks so much, Mira! It’s fun to think of dessert. Even harder not to eat it!
Love these! and I’m like you…I go all out while making desserts..but yeah it’s good to make them a little healthier once in a while! these cookie bars look very festive!
Manali @ CookWithManali recently posted…Onion & Bell Pepper Pesto Pizza
Super festive, Manali! If not now, when?
These cookie bar look so festive and colourful! I’m totally with you on the dessert, if you’re going to have dessert, you might as well make it good! Everything in moderation right?!
Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. recently posted…Asian Chopped Salad with Shrimp
Moderation if possible! I try. Sometimes it doesn’t happen, but that’s the goal! Thanks, Stacey!
I am seriously drooling over these! they are such a great idea, I love that you used chocolate chips AND oreo’s all in holiday color! 😉 these are great, I love them!
I really love buying those holiday products, Michele! They’re only good for a short while, so I like to do it up!
These are so festive! And I’m with you, if I’m going to enjoy a treat, I enjoy it to its fullest. Which usually means lots and lots of sugar. 😉 Ya only live once, right?! Hehe!
Jocelyn@Brucrewlife recently posted…Loaded Egg Burritos
Right on, sister! Sugar makes me happy, Jocelyn. Very, very happy.