Fudge Brownie Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars

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INGREDIENTS

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE LAYER

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
  • 2 cups mini peanut butter cups (or 2 cups chopped peanut butter cups)

BROWNIE LAYER

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate, such as Bakers brand
  • 1 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet or milk chocolate)

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Make the brownie layer first, even though it will go on top: melt the butter and semi-sweet chocolate in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly (about 6 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature (about 15 minutes – you may use this 15 minutes to make the chocolate chip cookie layer). Stir sugar into cooled chocolate/butter mixture until combined. Add in the eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour and salt. Then, fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Make the cookie layer: in a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. On low speed, mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Dough will be thick and sticky. Using a rubber spatula sprayed with cooking spray (to reduce sticking), spread the cookie dough all over the prepared baking pan. The layer will be thin, but will puff up as it bakes. Top with peanut butter cups, then pour the brownie batter on top and smooth with a knife or rubber spatula.
  • Bake the bars for 35-45 minutes, or until the center no longer jiggles and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out relatively clean (a few brownie crumbs may remain).
  • Allow the bars to cool completely, at least 2 hours, before cutting into squares. Bars remain fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  • Make ahead tip: Bars freeze well up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then allow to come to room temperature before serving. Warm them up in the microwave for a few seconds if desired– they’re great with melty ice cream!

*www.sallysbakingaddiction.com

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