Don’t settle for any blondie, mix in peanut butter and top it with mousse and ganache!
While we could have gone to the game today against Maryland, as season ticket holders for 3 years in a row now we are growing tired of attending every single game so we sell most and only go to a select few. This year the big ones are Oklahoma, Penn State, and Michigan State. Unfortunately we are being whisked away to Pennsylvania the very weekend that Penn State plays Ohio State here in Columbus, much to Bob’s dismay, so we will be forced to sell those – hopefully for a pretty penny to make up for missing it! Guess a friend’s wedding is a legit excuse to miss it :-P. But rest assured we will not be picking a wedding date that lands on a home game weekend, mostly because hotels will be stupid expensive.
But I digress. Today’s treat to enjoy while cheering on the buckeyes comes in the form of an epic peanut butter blondie with dark chocolate chips topped with a dark chocolate peanut butter mousse and drizzled with ganache. It’s the blondie version of one of my favorite recipes ever, my peanut butter fudge brownie bricks. I waffled between calling these bars blondies vs cookie bars because I have a habit of calling them cookie bars but I’m not entirely sure if there is a difference? After searching the interwebs, the term “cookie bar” seems to be a larger category under which brownies and blondies fall, like how a square is a type of rectangle. Also, some people argue that a blondie is a butterscotch brownie but when asked to expand upon this say that the flavor comes from the brown sugar… which cookie bars also have. So who knows. Just stuff this in your face and enjoy whatever it is!
P.S. While I used PB&Co peanut butter, this was not a sponsored post (I wish). I just really appreciate all of their peanut butter flavors! I actually killed 2 jars in the making of this recipe.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and place parchment paper in the bottom of a 9-inch square pan, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Mix in peanut butter, egg, and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture until combined. Stir in chocolate. Dough will be thick and sticky.
Spread the dough out evenly into the pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the peanut butter layer. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until fluffy. Add the sugar, vanilla and salt and beat again.
Put the peanut butter concoction into another bowl, clean out the first bowl and whip the cream to stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter and continue until completely combined.
Using a rubber spatula, spread the peanut butter mousse on top of the cooled brownies and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the ganache. Place the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a metal bowl. Microwave heavy cream for 1 minute or until it starts to boil and pour over chocolate chips. Cover bowl with saran wrap for 5-7 minutes. Whisk until smooth, allow to sit for a few minutes until it starts to thicken, then spread evenly (or drizzle) over the top of the bars.