Tuesday, September 30, 2014

PEANUT BUTTER BARS WITH CRANBERRIES

This recipe won a national contest in 2004.

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (do NOT use natural peanut butter)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped peanuts
2 (3-oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup chunky peanut butter (do NOT use natural peanut butter)
1 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease an 8-inch square baking pan; set aside.

In a small bowl combine the cranberries and water; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Drain well.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and 1/2 cup peanut butterwith electric mixer until well combined. Beat in the brown sugar. Beat in the flour with mixer on low speed; mixture will be crumbly. Stir in the peanuts and well drained cranberries. Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture; press remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, for filling, in a medium bowl beat the cream cheese and sugar with mixer until smooth. Add the egg, 2/3 cup peanut butter, and lemon juice; beat until well combined.  Spread evenly over the crust; sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over the top, pressing lightly into filling.

Bake about 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the edges are puffed.

Cool on a wire rack before cutting into 16 bars.


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