A little personal history for you: there are two desserts that I have absolutely zero self control around, and those are regular pineapple-cherry dump cake and lemon bars. I used to ask for dump cake for my birthday cake, and then I couldn’t keep my hands out of the day-old good stuff. My sister and I used to make batches of lemon bars and then the very second they were cool we would eat the entire thing in one sitting. Self control shmelf control!
These peanut butter bars stack right up there in the list of uncontrollable desserts for me – but the good news is that this recipe only makes a small batch, so I don’t feel even a teensy bit bad for eating both servings. Creamy peanut butter goodness spread atop a buttery shortbread crust basically means my waistline doesn’t stand a chance. And neither does yours…except for the built-in portion control!
You guys, I remember chatting with Christina from Dessert for Two for hours, both of us dreaming about how we hoped to use our blogs to reach the masses. I distinctly remember how on fire she was for her niche – desserts and meals for two – and how she dreamed of building an entire empire on it. I knew she was unstoppable, and my incredible friend has shown that to be true! Sweet & Simple: Dessert for Two is just another amazing gem in her lineup of incredible cookbooks. These desserts for two are truly for two, but they can all also be used to feeding a little sweet treat to a family of four. Every recipe is inspired, tested, proven by an amazing cook who has a huge passion for food. I can’t imagine it gets any better!
It took me so long to choose which recipe I wanted to use to showcase how amazing Christina’s book is, but let me tell you these peanut butter bars are absolute heaven. I ate one slice as-is then slathered the other with a quick chocolate sauce. You won’t go wrong either way, trust me. So if you love peanut butter then this one’s for you – and feel free to lose control, you only get two servings!
PEANUT BUTTER BARS
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for serving
- 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon + 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving excess paper for handles to remove the bars.
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the butter, powdered sugar, 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt using a spatula.
- Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the loaf pan and bake for 20 minutes, until lightly golden brown on the edges.
- Meanwhile, wipe out the bowl and use it to beat together the remaining, ingredients: peanut butter, remaining 1/4 cup of flour, granulated sugar, eggs and remaining salt. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds.
- When the crust is done, pour the peanut butter mixture on top and return it to the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is dry and starting to crack.
- Cool the bars in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove using the parchment handles.
- Slice in half and serve with extra powdered sugar sprinkled on top.
For a simple chocolate sauce simply microwave 1/3 cup of chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of milk and then whisk until smooth. Serve on top!