Thursday, October 14, 2010

Peanut Butter Bars, and Cheesecake Brownies

I spent some time last Saturday baking some bar cookies. Always like to have some on hand in the freezer ... for unexpected guests, or to pull out for an upcoming special meal.

This time I made a tried-and-true recipe, one of my favorites of bar cookies ... Peanut Butter Bars, and then also tried a new one ... Cheesecake Brownies.

Peanut Butter Bars

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons milk

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugars, and peanut butter. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes. Combine icing ingredients; drizzle over bars. 
Yield: 3-4 dozen

(I always 1 1/2 times this recipe to make enough to fill a 15x10 jelly roll pan. Also I substitute fructose for all or part of the white sugar.)

Cheesecake Brownies

1 pkg. fudge brownie mix
2 pkg. (3 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (16 oz.) chocolate frosting

Prepare brownie mix batter according to package directions. Spread 2 cups into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish; set aside. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, sugar, flour and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Spread evenly over brownie batter. Top with remaining brownie batter. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl. Bake at 350 degrees for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs (brownies may appear moist). Cool completely on a wire rack. Spread frosting over brownies.

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