Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back to School Brownie~Peanut Butter Bars

Summer hasn't even ended, but in some parts of the country, kids have already started back to school. 
 Ari has his backpack ready!

However, for the majority of the kids, the day after Labor Day is the usual.  Our daughters, Erin and Kelly, looked forward to this day; new books, new supplies, and their uniform pressed and laying out.  I loved planning a special treat to put in their lunch box for the first day, adding a little note to "have a good day!"

My mother baked special treats too.  Cookies and brownies, homemade, always made looking forward to lunch that much more enjoyable.  I remember sharing these treats with my best friends while talking about our new teacher(s) and what our favorite subjects were. 

So, whether your children are off to school or are home schooled, these brownie treats are sure to be a hit for the start of a new year of learning.

Brownie~Peanut Butter Bars
3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
5 oz. chocolate, bittersweet or semi-sweet, chopped
1/3 cup cocoa
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 T Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter (homemade or bought)

Prepare either a  12" x 17" sheet pan or a 9" x 13" baking pan by brushing with melted butters.  Add a sheet of parchment paper, fitted to the pan, and brush again with melted butter.
In a double boiler, add the chocolate, cocoa and butter.
Melt completely.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Meanwhile in the KitchenAid, using the whisk attachment, beat eggs until thick and lemony.
Add the sugar while the mixer is running and incorporate completely.  Add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat thoroughly.  While the mixer is running, add the vanilla.  Finally add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir into the mixture.  Pour and spread into prepared pan.  (I used the 12 x 17 sheet pan to speed up the baking time, but for a "thicker" brownie bar, use the 9 x 13 pan)
Add dollops of peanut butter and use a fork to "marble" it through the brownie mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven.  For the 12" x 17" sheet pan--12-14 minutes;  For the 9" x 13" baking pan--20-22 minutes.  Let cool completely, then cut into bars.  Enjoy!


  1. Today was our first day back to school. I wish I had bakers chocolate and cocoa so I could make these for tea time! I guess they'll just have to be for the second day of school ;)

  2. Hey Susan,
    Today was the start of our second week of school and it was a doosie (sp?). I could have used one (or two :)) of these yummy bars - there is nothing like the combo of chocolate and peanut butter!
    I remember MHC started after Labor Day - I always loved that!

  3. I have all your punched flower books and am trying to learn how to make those beautiful flowers you have mastered. Now I have to eat while punching! Yum....your recipes and blog make me hungry.


  4. Kathy~If you have any questions with the flowers, just email me and yes, eating while punching goes together very well:)