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Valentines Day Chocolate Chip Cookies  {A Pretty Life}1

Valentines Day Chocolate Chip Cookies

These Chocolate Chip Cookies are soft and chewy, and decorated with red & pink smarties, they’re perfect for Valentines Day! xo

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It’s February!  How is it already February?  At the speed that time currently seems to be flying, I’m hoping that the next thing I know it will be summer.  Because right about now I tire of winter.  We have very very very long winters here in Alberta, and while I enjoy the first few months of this season, I eventually get tired of the grey and cold and ice and chinook headaches.  But at the same time I get inspired to make and bake things this time of year because there’s really not much else to do, and I don’t do well with idle hands.  So I guess it’s kind of a catch isn’t it?

And now with it being February we’re looking ahead to Valentines Day!  I actually really appreciate the timing of Valentines Day this time of year, because the colours and fun of this day are a nice break from all the dreary of winter.  While we don’t do a lot to mark the day, it is nice to decorate the mantel with some colour, hang a wreath, and maybe have a simple fondue with the kids.  I also like to bake with a little theme in mind.  If you’ve been reading along here long enough you know that I like to bake cookies for pretty much each occasion, and Valentines Day is no different!  This year I decided to make these Valentines Day Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Valentines Day Chocolate Chip Cookies {A Pretty Life}a

These cookies are pretty and fun for love day but really they’re great any time of year.  You can play with the colours of the smarties and make them green for St. Patricks Day, or red and green for Christmas, or pastels for Easter…or if you’re like me, you can just pick the smarties off.  Yes, I pick off the smarties.  I don’t like the crunch of them on my cookies, but I add them because smarties make my kids happy.

Valentines Day Chocolate Chip Cookies {A Pretty Life}1

Anyway these cookies are a little different than regular chocolate chip cookies, in that they also contain ground oats and an extra egg yolk which makes them super soft and chewy.  My favourite kinds of cookies are the chewy kind!

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Yields 36

Valentines Day Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 sugar
  • 2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups old fashioned oats, ground in a food processor
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup red and pink smarties

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a mixer cream together the butter and sugars.
  3. Add the egg, extra yolk, milk and vanilla then mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add the flour mix to the butter mix and combine.
  6. Add the ground oats and chocolate chips and mix well.
  7. Bake for 9-10 minutes.
  8. When the cookies have finished baking, let them rest for a minute or 2, then add the smarties to the tops of the cookies. Adding the smarties this way ensures that they don't crack from the heat of baking.
http://www.aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com/valentines-day-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking

Valentines Day Chocolate Chip Cookies {A Pretty Life}2

So pretty and delicious…my favourite.

Have a delicious day!
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Christmas Thumbprint Cookies  3{A Pretty Life}

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies are a must for your Christmas treat plate!  And double the batch because they’re going to get eaten fast!

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What is it about the Christmas season that just makes one feel like there needs to be dozens and dozens of cookies around?  I’m not complaining because I love cookies almost more than life itself.  I just find it fascinating that as soon as December hits it’s Christmas cookie madness all around.  That’s ok, I’ll jump on board…twist my rubber arm.  So now that we’ve decided that we must bake cookies, the biggest question is what kind?   Whipped Shortbread?  Rugelach?  Turtle Cookies?  Peppermint Kiss Sugar Cookies, Melt-In-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies?  These are all favourites, but I’ve been craving thumbprint cookies, I just love a melt in your mouth cookie with jam…SO good.  So I made some.

These Christmas Thumbprint Cookies filled my craving and then some!

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies 3{A Pretty Life}

Actually these are the best Christmas cookies I have made to date.  I’m not even kidding.  This batch only makes 15 cookies, and I’m telling you that is not enough…this recipe needs to be doubled.  They taste like butter and brown sugar with raspberry jam and the combination is intoxicating.  I made a batch in hopes of being able to send them with the kids to school in their lunches, but the first batch didn’t even make it to the next day, they’re that good.

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies 4{A Pretty Life}

And I love that this isn’t a complicated recipe…there are no tricky ingredients or steps. You can make the dough and have fresh cookies ready in less than half an hour, all with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.

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Yields 15

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • raspberry jam

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and combine.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and salt.
  5. Add the flour mix to the butter/sugar mix and combine.
  6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 5 minutes.
  9. Then remove from the oven and make an indent in the ball (circular to hold the jam).
  10. Add about a 1/4 to 1/2 a tsp of raspberry jam to the indent.
  11. Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes more.
http://www.aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com/christmas-thumbprint-cookies/

Recipe adapted from allrecipes

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies {A Pretty Life}

If you don’t like raspberry jam, these would be delicious with strawberry, apricot or peach jam, or even marmalade.  SO good.

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies 2a{A Pretty Life}

I’m off to make another batch!  I hope you try these thumbprint cookies and love them as much as we do!

Have a Merry delicious day!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars  2{A Pretty Life}

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are soft, chewy and chocolaty!  They will satisfy your cookie cravings in one pan!  You need to make them.

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Sometimes making cookies can be a bit of a chore…it’s not the mixing, it’s more the time it takes to bake the full batch of dough. It’s not a lot of time, but sometimes you just want to get everything done in one shot, know what I mean?  That’s why cookie bars are SO great.  You make up a batch of cookie dough, press it into a baking pan and voila, you’re done.  Soft, chewy delicious cookie bars ready in minutes.  Perfect for cookie cravings that need to be satisfied stat!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars {A Pretty Life}

The recipe has 3 eggs and lots of brown sugar, which makes them so soft and chewy.  But the real key to soft cookies is how long you bake them for.  The recipe calls for 30 minutes of baking time which yields a very soft and chewy cookie, maybe even for some, too soft.  So if you like your cookie bars a little more done, just bake them longer.  If you don’t like any chewiness, bake them for 5-10 minutes more.  We personally loved the softness of the bars, so the 30 minute baking time worked for us.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars 2{A Pretty Life}

These bars far surpassed my expectations for a chewy and soft chocolate chip cookie.  They are divine.  DIVINE.  And I love how simple they were to make.  They would be a great idea for a bake sale, or a hostess gift too – just cut them up into bite size pieces and you’re done.  You’ll want to make them…trust me.  And have a glass of milk ready because these bars are chocolatey and rich.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

15 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 11/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy.
  5. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  6. Mix in the vanilla.
  7. Gradually add the flour mixture into butter mixture, and stir until just combined.
  8. Mix in chocolate chips.
  9. Press the cookie dough evenly into the pan. ** See notes for a tip you can't miss **
  10. Bake until the cookie bar is golden around the edges, about 30 min.
  11. The sides should look more puffed up than the centre, so don't worry...this is the key to chewy chocolate chip bars!
  12. Cool in the pan until the cookie slab is completely cooled. You can even put it in the fridge if you like.
  13. Once the slab is has completely cooled, remove the slab from the pan, by holding the parchment paper. Place it on a cutting board and cut into squares. These are rich, so 1 inch squares will likely be perfect!

Notes

The dough is sticky, but I found that the dough pressed into the pan much easier once it was chilled. If you can, place the dough into the fridge for about 10 minutes before pressing into the pan.

http://www.aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com/chocolate-chip-cookie-bars/

Recipe adapted only slightly from King Arthur Flour

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars 3{A Pretty Life}

Have a delicious day!
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Halloween Eyeball Sugar Cookies

Halloween Sugar Cookies

These Spooky Eyeball Halloween Sugar Cookies are a great treat for Halloween!  Perfect for parties and as a surprise in school lunches.  Simple to make and so yummy!

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How is it October already?  The leaves are almost all off the trees and frost can be seen on all the housetops each morning…our seasons here are so fleeting (ok, except winter…that darn season goes on forevah).  But all of a sudden it’s October, and the great thing about this, we can now get suitably excited for Halloween!

I have a love/hate relationship with Halloween.  I love all the decorations, and creative projects and baking, but I hate the costume part.  I realize that sounds weird, because Halloween is all about dressing up right?  But when did it all get so complicated and expensive?  Remember the days when you would scrounge around your home and make your costume?  Add some make up and done?  Now it’s become so elaborate…fancy expensive bought costumes, and when you times this by 3 kids this really adds up.  If we could just decorate and do all the fun stuff leading up to Halloween, then skip the dressing up part that would be great mmmkay?

Speaking of fun stuff I made some eyeball cookies.  They’re googly.  And delicious.

Halloween Eyeball Sugar Cookies

Last year I found a recipe for sugar cookies that I absolutely adore.  The cookies are soft, chewy and sweet, and perfect for decorating, which makes them great for holidays!  I’ve made this sugar cookie recipe for Christmas and Easter, and now for Halloween!

I love this recipe because it is completely unfussy to put together, but the best part is that the dough doesn’t require rolling and cutting.  You just make little balls of dough, roll them in sugar, bake, then decorate with simple candy decorations.  This is actually a really great recipe for kids to make…they’re that simple.

Halloween Eyeball Sugar Cookies 2

This recipe makes a big batch of cookies, which makes them ideal for bake sales, parties and Halloween treat bags!  Have fun with the decorating…you can use orange, green, purple or black sugar with eyeball candies or really any Halloween themed candy.  So simple and so fun!

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Yields 36

Halloween Sugar Cookies
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Ingredients

  • 36 sugar eyeball candies
  • 1/2 cup of butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 11/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • green coloured sugar for rolling the dough in

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix until well blended.
  4. In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add the flour mix, alternately with the milk, to the butter mixture, mixing until well blended.
  6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Shape the cookie dough into 1 inch balls.
  8. Roll the balls in the coloured sugar, then place them on a cookie sheet. Do not press them down!
  9. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges of the cookies are lightly browned.
  10. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool for 2 - 3 minutes. After this time press a candy eyeball into the middle of the cookies.
  11. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
http://www.aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com/halloween-sugar-cookies/

st—-ff

Cookie Tips & Tricks:

  • I bought the coloured sugar and eyeball candies at Bulk Barn.
  • Make sure not to overcook the cookies, or they will become hard.
  • Don’t bake the cookies with the candies in them…press them into the cookies after they have sat for 2 minutes after baking.

Have a spooky day!

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Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Drizzle 2{A Pretty Life}

Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Drizzle

With Easter less than a week away, my mind is on the menu, and in particular it’s on carrots.  Easter always makes me think of carrots.  I mean how can it not with Carrot Cake being one of the main desserts this time of year, oh and can’t forget glazed carrots on the dinner table!  And we can’t forget the Easter bunny…the carrot is his choice of food after all!

Shredded Carrots  {A Pretty Life}

I wanted to add something new to our Easter eats this year, so I decided to make some Carrot Cake cookies.  I love adding shredded carrots to baking because they add extra nutrition and a whole lot of moisture.  I found this recipe in a cookbook that I’ve had around for ages…the Jean Pare Cookies cookbook.  I remember baking cookies from this book when I was about 12 years old, and now my 12 year old browses through it, and I still refer to it, to this day.  I love a cookbook that stands the test of time!

Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Drizzle 2{A Pretty Life}

These Carrot Cake cookies are an oat drop cookie loaded with shredded carrots and cinnamon flavour…then I threw in some raisins and white chocolate chips for good measure.  They’re moist, spicy and a real treat with the addition of the cream cheese drizzle, making them perfect for Easter!

Delicious!

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Yields 48

Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Drizzle
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Ingredients

    Carrot Cake Cookies:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
  • Cream Cheese Drizzle:
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar (Confectioner's sugar)
  • 1 tbsp cream

Instructions

    Carrot Cake Cookies:
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugars.
  3. Add the egg and mix.
  4. Then add the vanilla.
  5. Stir in the shredded carrot and milk.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  7. Add the flour mix to the butter mix and combine.
  8. Stir in the raisins.
  9. Drop the cookie batter by the tablespoon onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  10. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  11. Let cool then drizzle with the cream cheese drizzle.
  12. Cream Cheese Drizzle:
  13. Cream together the cream cheese, icing sugar and cream, until smooth.
  14. To drizzle the icing, I like to put the icing into a ziplock bag, cut off a tiny corner of the bag, and pipe on the icing.
  15. Enjoy!
http://www.aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com/carrot-cake-cookies-with-cream-cheese-drizzle/

Recipe adapted from Jean Pare

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You can also add chopped nuts to this cookie recipe if you like.  I didn’t add any this time as we’re not big fans of nuts in our cookies since the kids can’t take them to school.  But if you love nuts, they would make a great addition!  Enjoy.

If you’re craving even more carrot recipes, here are some of my favourite carrot recipes!

Glazed Carrots {A Pretty Life}

Glazed Carrots

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Hearty Banana, Apple & Carrot Muffins {A Pretty Life}

Hearty Banana, Apple & Carrot Muffins

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Layered Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Layered Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cream Cheese Drizzle

Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cream Cheese Drizzle

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Have a delicious day!

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Easter Egg Sugar Cookies 3

Easter Egg Sugar Cookies

I really enjoy Easter, especially Easter eats.  At Easter I tend to make the same dishes year after year, but these food traditions are what we love most about this holiday.  Many of the recipes I use are ones I remember my Mom, or Aunts and Grandmas cooking from when we were growing up.  Things like Peanut Butter Confetti Cake, or 7 Layered Salad or Devilled Eggs…all really delicious comfort food.  When these dishes made an appearance it was like they were marking the arrival of spring.  Love that.  And now I’m trying to add in some of my own recipes in hopes that they become traditions for my little family.  This is so easy to do, because there are so many delicious options!

So for Easter this year, I decided to make some Easter Egg Sugar cookies.  These cookies are the exact same recipe I used for my Peppermint Kiss Sugar Cookies that I posted at Christmas.  All I did differently was use little chocolate Easter eggs instead of peppermint kisses, which makes them perfect for Easter!

I’ve been dying to share these cookies with you, ever since I posted them on Instagram earlier this week.  They’re just so easy to make and so pretty to look at that I need to share them!

Easter Egg Sugar Cookies

 Now just make sure that before you sneak some of those little eggies into your mouth when no one is looking, that you leave enough for your cookies.  You wouldn’t want any of these cookies to end up with no eggs on them.  Nope.  You don’t need your kids asking you why some of the cookies are empty.  😉

Easter Egg Sugar Cookies

Aren’t they so pretty?  They are a perfect Easter cookie…they’re easy to make and are so fun and festive!

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Yields 36

Easter Egg Sugar Cookies
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Ingredients

  • 1 small package of eggies (chocolate Easter eggs in a candy shell)
  • 1/2 cup of butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 11/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • extra sugar for rolling the dough in

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix until well blended.
  4. In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add the flour mix, alternately with the milk, to the butter mixture, mixing until well blended.
  6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Shape the cookie dough into 1 inch balls.
  8. Roll the balls in the extra sugar, and place them on a cookie sheet. Do not press them down.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges of the cookies are lightly browned.
  10. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool for 2 - 3 minutes. After this time press 3 small Easter eggies into the middle of the cookies.
  11. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Notes

Make sure you give the cookies enough time to cool down. If you move them too quickly, the Easter eggs will crack.

http://www.aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com/easter-egg-sugar-cookies/

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I hope you make these cookies this Easter!  Your family will thank you!  Enjoy!

Easter Egg Sugar Cookies

Have a delicious day!
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Peanut Butter Cookie Bars {A Pretty Life}

Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

I made the most delicious peanut butter cookie bar recipe today.  The most delicious I tell you.  I seriously cannot stop eating these little bars of peanut butter deliciousness.  Peanut butter is one of my biggest weaknesses, and combine it with a cookie batter, I can’t stop.  Won’t stop.

Peanut Butter Cookie Bars {A Pretty Life}

These cookie bars are sweet, soft, and mega peanut buttery.  I underbaked mine just a smidge, but I like cookies and bars soft and chewy, and underbaking them makes them just perfect.  You need to make them.  Stat.

Peanut Butter Cookie Bars 2{A Pretty Life}

And can we just talk about this pan for a second?  Isn’t it a thing of beauty?  I’ve really grown an appreciation for, and a big love of vintage baking tins and pans.  I love the shape of them, the details in the metal, and the worn look they wear.  I want to know their stories.  Who baked in them?  What was baked in them?  Where did they come from?  I just love the mystery of them, so I find myself scouring thrift shops and antique stores for vintage tins like this one in the picture.  So pretty.

Anyway, shall we get back to these Peanut Butter Cookie Bars?  Yes, I think we should.

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Yields 36

Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9x9 square baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda and salt.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine.
  7. Stir in the peanut butter chips.
  8. Spread the mixture into the baking pan, making sure it is smooth and level.
  9. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, or until the centre looks set. See notes.
  10. Cool on a wire rack before cutting.

Notes

I wanted our bars to be slightly chewy, so they are a little under done. I baked mine for 30 minutes.

http://www.aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com/peanut-butter-cookie-bars/

Recipe slightly adapted from Taste of Home

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If you love peanut butter you might like these recipes too!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this recipe…it’s definitely a keeper around here!

Have a delicious day!
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