One Bowl Grain-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

Many, many years ago I baked some peanut butter cookies for my dad.  My mom would always make chocolate chip cookies; but, I somehow thought peanut butter was more fitting.  Upon eating them he mentions to my mom how peanut butter cookies were his favorite.  Much to my mother's chagrin, as she was always told chocolate chip was his favorite, she replied, "You said chocolate chip was your favorite?!"  

"Well, yes, I like chocolate chip cookies; but, peanut butter cookies are my favorite," my dad replied.  

Come to find out he passed this peanut butter gene onto my brothers, both of whom did not care for chocolate; hence, chocolate chip cookies became a mute point.  I would bake some grain-free peanut butter cookies for my brother and have Ben bring them down to Arizona with him years ago while on a business trip.  

Sidenote on peanut butter cookies and while we're at it, snickerdoodles.  I have never been a huge fan of either for the sheer crunch factor.  I am not a fan of crunchy cookies unless it's sandwich cookie in the form of an Oreo.  Most peanut butter cookies are crunchy and crumbly.  No thank you!  

Fast forward, I made my peanut butter cookies soft for my brother, and then I added chocolate for me.  Oh heavens, it took me back to my junior high days eating peanut butter blossom cookies at Christmas time (you know the peanut butter cookies with a Hershey's Kiss in the center--they're soft).  

Those ones used regular ole Jif peanut butter, which really did enhance the "wow" factor.  However, I buy this relatively cheap organic peanut butter at Costco without any added sugar.  And they taste just as good in my opinion.  This recipe could easily be turned into cookies.  Adjust the baking time to 12-14 minutes and drop tablespoons of dough onto a pan.  Press them down with a fork to make the traditional crisscross design.  

But, since we know I prefer soft cookies, and typically don't have a whole bunch of time, I prefer the bar cookies.  You get the softness factor and the ease factor in one batch.  Adding the chocolate in my mind sends it over the top; because, if you don't see how peanut butter and chocolate marry more than peanut butter and jelly...well, I feel bad for you.  

Grain-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars (printable recipe)

Ingredients: 

1 cup peanut butter, no sugar added kind

1/2 cup softened unsalted butter

1 1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cup blanched almond flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup to 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  

Get an 8x11 pan out and set it aside, no need to grease the pan if using a glass pan.

In a large bowl, add peanut butter, butter, and sugar and mix together until they are fairly combined.  Add the egg & vanilla and mix it throughout, but it doesn't have to be perfectly mixed in.  

Add the almond flour, baking soda, & salt and mix until the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed into the wet ingredients.  You are trying to achieve the wonderful consistency of playdoh.  Once you have achieved this, put the dough into your 8x11 pan and press it into the pan, corners and sides.  It will look rather shallow in depth; but, it will rise.  

Take your chocolate chips and sprinkle them on top and lightly press them into the dough.  

Bake for 25-28 minutes.  Bake depending on how soft or not you like your bar cookies.  At about 25 minutes you will have nice browned edges with a soft center.  At 28 minutes it will still be soft, just a bit more firm.  

Allow it to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before slicing into them.  The longer you allow them to cool the better they will taste, which also allows them to firm up without chocolate chips being melted.