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.