How to Make Hot Cocoa Peanut Butter Blondies at Home

Do you ever have one of those nights where you go into the kitchen to start making dinner, and the next thing you know, you skipped dinner and baked instead?  And you didn’t just grab your King Arthur bible of a  cookbook – instead, you sort of threw in this & that, and bam, a wonderful recipe was created?  That is what happened to me the other day
I grabbed a jar of peanut butter (don’t judge me because I was going to have a fluffernutter sandwich for dinner) and got to thinking – I wonder if it’s possible to replace the chocolate in brownies with peanut butter.  You know, still get that deep, dense flavor, but with the intensity of peanut butter rather than chocolate.  Well?  Mmhmm, it sure is possible!
My little experiment worked out quite well – I think these guys are a keeper!  Next time I might take them up a notch and cut a peanut butter swirl into the batter once it’s in the pan (go ahead, give that a try and let me know how it turns out!)… Now I’m sure you’re wondering about the ‘hot cocoa’ reference in the title here.  I added not one, but two packets of hot cocoa mix to these, just to keep these truly unique and to add a subtle hint of chocolate.  I’m tempted to whip up some sort of hot cocoa frosting next time to spread on top.  What do you think?
Hot Cocoa Peanut Butter Blondies
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 packets hot cocoa mix (I used Swiss Miss)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
Caramel syrup, for drizzling1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 8-inch or 9-inch square pan.
2.  In medium mixing bowl, cream butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Add sugars, eggs, and vanilla, and beat on low to medium spead until combined.
3.  In a separate bowl, combine hot cocoa mixes, baking powder, salt, and flour.  Slowly add flour mixture into peanut butter mixture, mixing on medium speed until combined.
4.  Spread batter evenly into greased pan.  Drizzle caramel syrup liberally over batter.  Use a knife to marble caramel syrup into batter.
5.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown and inserted knife comes out clean.  Cool completely before cutting.
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