Today we ate lunch at McDonald's.
Ugh! We know, we know. We feel terrible about it! The second we polished off the (scrumptious) cheeseburger we became wracked with guilt! It was just one of those days when nothing seemed to be going right and the taste temptation of the hot, salty french fries (let's face it, the best fast food french fries around) was just too much for our downtrodden stomachs to bear. How could we have succumbed?!?!? Gross. GROSS. We feel pudgy. UGH.
Whatever. We're over it.
However, in typical female fashion, since the day went to diet hell in a handbasket, we figured, why not pack it all in? Might as well get all the crap eating out of the way and binge on bad foods while the sun is still out. This way, we can start tomorrow completely fresh and healthy and we are totally going to eat only fruit and lettuce and water and NO MORE Easter candy, ok?!?!? Ok. Deal. Tomorrow. We'll start tomorrow.
So, we decided to make the recipe that's been sitting in our to-do list for awhile, the Peanut Butter Brownies from the fabulous Karly at Buns in My Oven.
Of course, to alleviate some of the shame, we've decided to rename this recipe, Peanut Butter Blondie Snack Cake. Partly because these are sorta more like a blondie than regular brownies and also because they are slightly more cake-y than brownie-y (that's hard to say, but it's true).
But, mostly we renamed them, because, a 'snack cake' is practically a granola bar and brownies are more in the french fry/cheeseburger camp.
Should we feel badly about topping off our McDonald's lunch with some Peanut Butter Blondie Snack Cakes?
Our diet starts tomorrow, remember?
Peanut Butter Blondie Snack Cake
Makes 18 bars
Adapted from Buns in My Oven
1 1/3 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
30-ish mini peanut butter cups
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or, hey, try a full cup, we won't tell anyone)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and eggs until well blended and pale in color. Mix in the flour mixture until just barely combined.
Cut 12 peanut butter cups into quarters and gently stir them along with the chocolate chips into the batter. The batter will be fairly thick. Spread the batter into the prepared pan (you will have to do some spreading) and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is light golden brown. A cake tester inserted in the center should still have some moist crumb on it when removed.
Remove the blondies from the oven and immediately press the remaining peanut butter cups into the top of the brownies in even rows...or wherever you want. Try to cram them all in...your diet starts tomorrow. It's ok. Allow the 'snack cakes' to cool before cutting and serving.