Has anyone heard of Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews?
If you have, you probably love them as much as I do. They’re an old-school candy bar with a peanut and a molasses-like chewy center covered in chocolate. They’ve been around for quite a long time. I happen to know that because my ancestors were chewing down on them back in the earlier part of the 20th century. There are some family stories that center around these candy bars.
Like, back in the day, they were apparently very hard to actually chew. Nowadays they’re softer, and I’ve always loved them. So I had to put them into a soft, dense, thick peanut butter cookie bar! These peanut chew bars are full of the candy and peanuts, too!
Another reason my parents and grandparents enjoyed these candy bars is that they’ve always been certified kosher. I might have mentioned this before, but every single recipe on this blog is 100% kosher. That’s because I keep strict kosher in my home, so I only bake with products that have the certification.
When I was a kid, so many products that are now kosher weren’t. I didn’t try my first Oreo until my 20s, when Nabisco finally made them kosher. My first taste of M & Ms was in my late teens for the same reason. And when my dad was growing up, Hershey bars weren’t kosher. So all he had by way of chocolate bars were Goldenberg Peanut Chews.
One of the reasons I’m so passionate about food as an adult is that I had limited options as a child. I grew up in Indiana, where there isn’t a kosher grocery store. Treats were hard to come by. We either went to Baskin-Robbins or bought Entenmann’s. Man, I have a lot of happy associations with those rich frosted chocolate donuts that come in the blue and white box.
Keeping kosher is much easier on the east coast, where there are a lot more food options. My children have no idea what it’s like to drive three hours to Chicago just to stock up on a couple of months’ worth of fresh meat. They don’t see anything special about ordering a pizza for takeout because there’s a kosher pizza place two minutes away from our house. And they absolutely don’t understand a world where nobody else is like them, where they have to miss out on soccer games or birthday parties because they take place on the Sabbath.
I’m so glad they have no idea that it’s harder in other places. Someday, they might appreciate that we live in a place where it’s easy to observe our laws and customs. But as someone who grew up in a place that didn’t have everything we needed, I take special pleasure in making sure my kids have the things I didn’t.
Isn’t that what every generation wants, after all? For the next one to have it a little easier? I don’t know if we’re really succeeding in that, but I’m sure my dad was happy that my only candy bar option growing up wasn’t a Peanut Chew. Even though they’re completely delicious.
So much so that when I saw them sold in unwrapped bites in the store, I had to buy them and bake with them immediately. These are the softest peanut butter bars ever, and with the chewiness of the candy bars plus the crunch of the peanuts, it’s a perfect texture combination.
If you’re a fan of chocolate bars baked right into your dessert bars, then this is a must-try. I just ate two in a row. Not sorry. And maybe if my kids are good, I’ll let them share. After all, heaven forbid they ever feel deprived of a peanut chew bar.
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag Goldenberg Peanut Chew unwrapped bites
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs, butter, peanut butter, vanilla, brown sugar and sugar until creamy.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the Peanut Chews and the roasted peanuts.
- Pat the cookie dough into the prepared pan evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes until browned at the edges and set.
- Cool completely. Cut into squares.