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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Peanut Butter and Cranberry Bar Cookies

Although I'm not much of a baker, I've been on a baking binge this week.  Besides, I'm always up to the challenge when I come across a new product and this new peanut butter from Planter's was just destined to be turned into cookies.

I love any kind of peanut butter and this new product from Planter's, called Nut-rition Energy Mix Berry Nut, takes regular peanut butter and adds a pretty generous amount of chopped peanuts and dries cranberries. Yum!  It tastes great on a piece of wheat toast, but in a cookie it is just heavenly.

To add an extra bit of texture to these cookies, I added some ground oat flour and it really added a nice oatmeal flavor, while letting the peanut butter stand out.  For more recipes using the oat flour check out the  Banana Bread and Banana Cookies

We tried this recipe with various additions like finely chopped peanuts, extra dried cranberries and even mini chocolate chips and wouldn't you know it, out of the 3 kids, one chose peanuts, one chose cranberries and one chose the chocolate chips as their favorite...lol.  All three varieties were equally good but I would probably choose the cranberries as my favorite.

I thought about making these into regular round cookies, which certainly is an option, but in order to make this a really quick project, I chose the bar cookie route.  ( Note to self:  If in need of cookies for school a.s.a.p., this is a great go-to recipe for my files.)

1/2 cup  Flour
1/2 cup  Oat Flour
1-1/4 tsp  Baking Powder
1/4 tsp  Salt
1/4 tsp  Nutmeg
1/2 tsp  Cinnamon
1/4 cup  Butter, softened
1/2 cup  Planters Nut-rition  Berry Nut Peanut Butter
1 cup  Sugar
2  Eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp  Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup  Your Choice - Craisins, Mini-Chocolate Chips, or Chopped Peanuts

In a medium bowl combine flour and oat flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon and set aside.

Use a mixer to blend the butter and peanut butter, then add the sugar and vanilla and blend, and finally add the eggs one at a time and blend until the mixture is smooth.

Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and blend until all of the flour is incorporated.  Stir the craisins or nuts into the dough using a spoon.

Pour the dough onto a lined baking sheet and spread to about 12 X 14 inches, and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the top is golden and the center is set.  Makes about 20 bar cookies.  Enjoy!!

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