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Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Squares from Pillsbury Bake-Off #38

By Barry Garcia, West Palm Beach, FL

Just four ingredients? Yes! Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Squares are the ultimate easy cookie recipe. The bar cookies come together in less than ten minutes.

Don’t let the base and topping from refrigerated cookie dough give you pause, since it’s the layers give this bar cookie its intrigue.

The inner filling is like a peanut butter truffle – a whipped, smooth filling that holds its form – sandwiched between two layers of classic chocolate chip cookie dough.

It’s easy to see why these cookies were a favorite recipe from the iconic Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest #38 in 1998.

Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Squares

Prep time: <10 minutes

Bake time: 30-35 minutes

Makes about 16 bars

Ingredients

1 roll (16 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough, such as Pillsbury® Create ‘N Bake refrigerated chocolate chip cookies

1 ½ cups powdered sugar

1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F (325º F for a glass dish). Set out an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan.

  2. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, combine the powdered sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla until well blended.

  3. Cut cookie dough in half. Break up half the dough into small pieces and press the dough evenly onto the bottom of the ungreased baking pan.

  4. Spoon the peanut butter mixture into the pan. Use the back of the spoon to press it evenly across cookie base.

  5. Crumble the remaining half of the cookie dough into as many small pieces as possible. Sprinkle dough pieces over the peanut butter surface. Use your fingertips to gently work the dough, spreading it carefully and as evenly as possible to cover the peanut butter layer.

  6. Bake cookies for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove baking pan from the oven. Allow bars to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes. Refrigerate pan until bars are chilled, about 1 hour.

  7. Use a sharp knife to cut cookies into 4 rows by 4 rows (or any other size you wish.) Remove bars from the pan with a spatula.

  8. Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Special Baking Tips for Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Squares

  • You can substitute your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe for the prepared, refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough. Make sure you weigh amounts so that you don’t use too much or too little dough for the base or topping.
  • You may choose to mix the filling ingredients with a large spoon rather than the electric mixer.


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