First I added a bit of molasses to the sugar; next, I subbed white whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose; I added 1-1/2 cups of chopped salted peanuts and subbed 5 oz. of peanut butter chips for the milk chocolate chips. Lastly, I added 1/2 cup of Hershey's syrup. And these bars are the bomb! Great flavor, great texture and worth making.
If you want to make them less harmful, sub Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend for the butter; sub stevia (or sugar substitute of choice) for part or all of the sugar; use whole wheat, white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour.
Peanutty Peanut Butter-Chocolate Bars
Adapted from Taste of Home/Charlotte Ennis, Lake Arthur, NM
Rating: 9 out of 10
INGREDIENTS: 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter (I used Jif)
2 cups sugar + 2 tsp. molasses
4 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/2 cups chopped salted peanuts
5 oz. peanut butter chips
5 oz. milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup Hershey's chocolate syrup
Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9" x 13" baking pan; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter, peanut butter, sugar and molasses till smooth, using medium-low speed of mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in peanuts and chips. Spread into greased pan. Spoon syrup over top of batter; cut in with knife or spatula and swirl. Bake 45-50 minutes, or till toothpick inserted near center returns almost clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield will depend on size of bars. You should get about 2 dozen.