Peanut Butter Cinnamon Raisin Apple Bars

Is anyone else deprived of Trader Joe’s like I am? Memphis used to at least have World Market but those were all closed down for some reason unknown to me a couple years ago, leaving me completely out of the loop when it comes to fun food finds. While visiting my family in east TN over the weekend, I made a trip into World Market (oh and btw they are getting a Trader Joe’s soon and I may start visiting a lot more) and snatched up a couple things.

One thing I found was the Peanut Butter & Co‘s cinnamon raisin swirl peanut butter. I have been wanting to try it out for so long, sweet victory! First things first, I had to do the plain spoon test which this passed with flying colors – as if there were any doubt. But unfortunately, I decided I couldn’t eat the entire jar by itself, so I substituted it for regular peanut butter in a bar recipe I had seen awhile back on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Peanut butter and apples definitely work, and the combination was even more wonderful with the addition of cinnamon and raisins. Sure there’s a lot going on but none of it is overpowering. And the glaze on top seals the deal.

One year ago: Strawberry Fig Newtons

PEANUT BUTTER CINNAMON RAISIN APPLE BARS

Makes 24 bars

Ingredients:

BARS

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter*

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 heaping cup diced apples, peel removed (I used a Granny Smith apple)

GLAZE

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

2 Tbsp milk

2 Tbsp cup Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

*If you cannot find this, add some cinnamon and chopped raisins to regular peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter, until creamy and combined. Set mixture aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the peanut butter mixture, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared dry ingredients, and stir until batter is smooth. Fold in the diced apples.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading the batter evenly to the edges of the pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and the edges are slightly browned. Remove bars from oven and place them on a wire rack to cool.
  6. While the bars are cooling, make the peanut butter glaze. In a small bowl, combine the sifted powdered sugar, milk, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Add more sugar if too thin, or more milk if too thick. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled bars. Cut into squares and serve.

Source: Adapted slightly from Two Peas & Their Pod.

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