Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Healthified Peanut Butter Bars

How are you all adjusting to the springing ahead?  I accidentally woke up a little late this morning, but still made it to work (relatively) on time.  I also had a little time mix up at the gym this evening.  I hadn’t set my watch ahead yet so I thought it was only 6:20 when I was going to get in the pool, but really it was 7:20.  Then I glanced at the clock after swimming a few laps and realized it was already 7:45.  I quickly hopped out of there so I could come home and make dinner before heading out to get groceries. 

I really must not have eaten enough earlier in the day because I was starving.  I made a little mish mash of garbanzo beans, garlic, tomatoes, and rice heated up with a little bit of olive oil and drizzled with lemon juice.  It was delicious and somehow I ate about 3/4 of it.  Oops. 

I have a great recipe to share with you today.  I made these way back on Fat Tuesday for my coworkers.  I originally planned to make chocolate chip cookies, but I didn't have any chocolate chips in the house and was not going to the grocery store again.  So I started flipping through a cookbook I had in the cabinet.  This cookbook happened to be a compilation of recipes from my mom's coworkers.  I just love cookbooks like this.  They have great recipes and use "normal" everyday ingredients that I have around the house or can easily pick up at the grocery store.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with fancy chef's cookbooks, but sometimes the ingredient lists are a little out there.


As I was flipping through the cookbook looking for recipes for which I already had all the ingredients for,  I came upon a recipe for peanut butter bars.  On a whim, I decided to "healthify" this recipe.  I think most people would tell you that you should start with a tried and true recipe to healthify, but I took a leap of faith and attempted to make some modifications to this one.

First substitution was unsweetened applesauce in place of half the butter.


Cream together with the delicious peanut butter, vanilla, and egg.  


And now for the second substitution.  The recipe called for 1 cup white flour but I replaced half of it with whole wheat flour.


Want to know one of my baking secret shortcuts?  Whenever a recipe calls for mixing the dry ingredients together and then adding to the wet ingredients, I just dump the flour on top of the wet ingredients and dump the smaller quantities of dry ingredients on top of that.  In this case, I added the baking soda and salt on top of the flour.  And then I mix those together with a spoon before folding into the wet ingredients.  Saves me a dish or two!


Next up my favorite ingredients, oats!


Mix all those ingredients together to get this batter.


Pour into a 9x13 baking dish and pop in the oven. 

While waiting the bars are busy baking away, the glaze can be easily whipped up.

Just whisk together some peanut butter...


with some powdered sugar and milk...


until it's nice and drippy.


When the bars are done baking pull those babies out of the oven and poke the top with a fork.  Then pour the glaze over the bars.  

Then, and this is the most important part, sample a corner.


The corner piece was Alyssa approved and the rest were allowed to go to work with me.


Nice and light, but not overwhelmingly sweet. 


And they were transported to work in this nice new pan.


I was a little worried that the bars would not set and fall apart but they held together very well.  

Healthified Peanut Butter Bars
1/4 cup butter 1/2 cup wheat flour 
1/4 cup applesauce 1/2 cup white flour  
1/2 cup white sugar  1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar  1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1 egg  1 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
1/3 cup peanut butter 
1cup powdered sugar 6 Tablespoons milk
1/4 cup peanut butter

Beat together butter, applesauce, brown sugar and white sugar.  Beat in egg, vanilla, and peanut butter.  Slowly mix in flours, salt and baking soda.  Stir in rolled oats.  Pour into greased 9"x13" pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
While bars are baking, make glaze.  Whisk together powdered sugar, peanut butter and milk.  Once bars are done, remove from oven.  Using a fork, poke holes in the top of the bars.  Pour glaze over bars.  Enjoy!
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