Peanut Butter Bars
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter,
at room temperature
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Confectioners sugar for dusting
Be sure an adult is nearby to help. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with butter, then line it with parchment paper, letting it hang over 2 sides.
Start the batter
In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda and salt and stir with a whisk until well blended. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar and peanut butter on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Finish the batter
Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Turn off the mixer and add the flour-oat mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended.
Bake and cool
Using the rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the pan and spread it evenly. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake until the top of the cookie is golden and looks firm, 25 to 30 minutes.
Ask an adult to help you remove the baking pan from the oven and set it on a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely. Lift the cookie from the pan, dust it with confectioners' sugar and cut it into 1-by-4-inch bars. Makes 16 bars.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Sweet Treats, by Carolyn Beth Weil (Simon & Schuster, 2006).