For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I had a hard time deciding what to make. I got picked to make a recipe from Authentic Suburban Gourmet and Lisa had a lot of tempting recipes. My list of options included an Apple & Fig Tart, her Toffee & Caramel Cheesecake and these Fig Muffins with Brown Sugar Topping. Ultimately, though, my inner-peanut butter loving self decided to make an adaptation of her Mini Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies. To save a little time, I made the cookies into bars and was very happy with the result. I may or may not have eaten a few scoops of the peanut butter cookie dough while baking.
Speaking of eating something delicious, last night I got back from an amazing weekend in Atlanta that included a ton of delicious food. I’ll definitely be sharing some photos of my reunion-weekend eats.
In the meantime, I have to say, it was a bit of a surreal experience visiting Emory after five years away. It was enough time to feel like college was forever ago, but when I stepped on campus and traced the familiar routes around Decatur, Buckhead, the Highlands and more, it was as if I never left.
I’m a Northeast girl at heart, but Atlanta will always hold a special piece of it. There are great restaurants, lots of good shopping, and a friendly culture. I had to get to some of my favorite food places while I was there, but there is a reason that these places mean so much to me.
College was such an amazing time in my life, truly some of the best four years. I met some of my lifelong best friends, including my husband. Matt and I have so many memories that built the foreground of our relationship. My girlfriends and I have an uncountable number of stories that brought us together but also those that just make me laugh so hard my stomach hurts and tears roll down my cheeks. Being back in this place where I grew out of my insecure high school self and into a young woman who knew how to walk with a bit of confidence makes me feel so content. It was hard to say goodbye to my friends and a former home.
Luckily these were tucked away in my freezer
Makes 24 bars
Adapted from Lisa’s Mini Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup salted creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural)
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whisk flour and baking soda, set aside
- Beat butter on high until light and creamy
- Add peanut butter and continue to beat until creamy
- Add sugar and beat into batter until light and fluffy
- Add egg and vanilla, beat on medium speed until combined
- Stir in flour and baking soda mixture
- Refrigerate batter for at least 1 hour or overnight
- When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees line a 13x9 pan with parchment paper
- Once oven is hot, press dough evenly into prepared pan
- Bake for 20-23 minutes or until firm in the center; set aside to cool
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- While cookie bars are baking, prepare ganache
- Set up your double boiler; bring water to a simmer in medium pot over low-medium heat
- Place heat-proof bowl of chocolate over the pot
- Pour the cream over your chocolate
- Whisk until chocolate mixture is melted and smooth
- Place ganache in refrigerator until thick, about one hour
- When ganache is thick enough that it wonâ€™t drip off a spoon, spread evenly over cookie bars
- Store cookie bars in refrigerator until ready to serve
Did you live somewhere else that has special memories?