President and I have been married for 35 years and during this time, he has never liked peanut butter any other way than spread in a PBJ or on toast. No Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfinger Bars, Peanut Butter Cookies, Peanut Butter Ice Cream, Peanut Butter Cheesecake, etc. Just undefiled chunky peanut butter straight from the jar (creamy won't even do)!
But I had over a dozen jars of creamy peanut butter rotated out from 72-hour backpacks to use up. What to do? Started looking online for an easy recipe that I could turn into a healthy treat! And guess what? President loved it and came begging for more! He is even amazed that he could love these as much as our missionaries do! So here is for all the missionaries and investigators that asked for the recipe:
Thick and Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil, letting the excess hang over the edges of the pan by about 1 inch (this will help you lift the bar easily from the pan in one piece). Spray the pan with cooking spray.
Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, stir with rubber spatula the melted butter and sugars until combined. Mix in the eggs, peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the flour mixture until just combined (be careful not to over mix the dough or the bars will be tough). Fold in the chocolate chips.
Scrape the dough into the prepared pan, pressing and smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until the top is slightly golden and firm to the touch and the edges are starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, 30 minutes (do not overtake). Let cool completely on a wire rack. Lift up on the foil overhang to remove the bar from the pan, and transfer it to a cutting board. Cut into desired number of bars.