Hi, I’m Kelley, and I’m a sugaraholic.
Remember that sugar bender I went on last week? The day I consumed mostly sugar and chocolate? I guess I forgot to mention that it involved peanut butter too. I’d like to take this minute and introduce you to the reason I had such a nasty glucose hangover last Wednesday. I blame it on the buttercream. I could have eaten the entire bowl of this peanut butter frosting had the inner voice that lives deep inside me not cried out in a desperate plea to stop. I guess even a conscious can have too much sugar. Please don’t let that fact that I have no self control and od’d on sugar cookie bars stop you from making these beauties. Trust me, folks, these are worth an extra half an hour on the treadmill.
Don’t be fooled by appearances. Aside from the fact these bars have chocolate in them, they are nothing like a brownie. The bars have the texture of your favorite sugar cookie, crunchy edges with a soft center. The dough is spiked with the perfect amount of cocoa powder and a pinch of espresso powder making them To. Die. For.
While I’m pretty sure these would be delicious rolled out and baked like a traditional sugar cookie, I wouldn’t know. Ever since my friend, Annalise, introduced me the idea of a sugar cookie bar, I’ve never looked back. I’m all about taking the easy road.
As good as these cookies are, (and they’re good) they are nothing without the buttercream. Peanut butter frosting very well might be new favorite condiment. I like to think of these bars as a mere vehicle to get the peanut butter frosting from the table to my mouth. I don’t know what it is about me and buttercream lately but I’m totally in love with it. And yes, I’d like to bathe in this version as well.
So run, don’t walk to the store and get the ingredients to make these. You’ll need to run to work off all these calories. If you’re one to heed some advice then read the next sentence carefully. Restrain yourself and go slow. Eat one and give the rest to your favorite neighbor or co-worker. But if you’re like me and not big on listening, go big, eat half the pan. Just be prepared to pay the price.
Chocolate Sugar Cookie Bars with Peanut Butter Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven at 350F degrees. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder if using, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. In a medium bowl, with a hand mixer, beat butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla until combined. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Press cookie dough into a 9-1/2 x 13 rimmed cookie sheet. You could use a 9 x 13 cake pan as well. Bake for 13-15 minutes taking care to not overcook. Edges should be puffy but still soft in the center. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and cool completely while you prepare the frosting.
Peanut butter Frosting:
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
Place peanut butter and in a small bowl. With a hand mixer, beat until creamy and smooth. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt and milk 1 tablespoon at a time until well incorporated and you reach the desired consistency. Adjust ingredients as necessary. Frost totally cooled bars and cut into 24 squares. These are best eaten the day they are made.