Update: This is an old review. The Peanut Butter Candy Bar Blondies are still good. Unfortunately, it seems the Hershey's Baking Melts have been discontinued.
One of the nice things about fall is that the baking aisle expands somewhat and stores in my area start carrying new products. Case in point, the new Hershey's Baking Melts which I found last week while searching for some milk chocolate to put in mousse-topped cupcakes. The cost of a 10 oz bag of Baking Melts was about the same as two giant Hershey's bars, so I went ahead and bought a bag. As expected, they melted quite easily. They also worked well in the mousse, but where they really stood out was in these peanut butter bar cookies.
Baking melts are designed to melt into little layers. As you can see by the cross-section, they lived up to their promise. The peanut butter base was a perfect match for the milk chocolate. Now I'm going to have to find the semisweet flavor and try a few more recipes. Update: Since the Baking Melts are no more, use milk chocolate or semisweet chunks instead!
Here's a lovely photo of the bag to help you identify them next time you're in the baking aisle (maybe they'll bring them back).
Peanut Butter Candy Bar Blondies
- 1 stick unsalted butter (114 grams)
- 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar (300 grams)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon mild molasses
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter (140 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt plus an extra pinch
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (195 grams)
- 1 cup Reese’s Minis
- 1 cup Hershey’s milk chocolate melting chips
- ½ cup Reese’s Pieces
- Preheat oven to 350°F Line a 9x13 inch metal pan with nonstick foil. For a half batch, use an 8-inch square metal pan.
- In a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Pour the hot butter into a large mixing bowl and add the brown sugar. Stir well and let cool slightly to that the brown sugar melts a little bit.
- Whisk in the vanilla, molasses, room temperature eggs, and peanut butter.
- Add the baking powder and salt and whisk until blended, then gently whisk in the flour.Stir in melting chips, Reese’s Minis and Reese's Pieces (if using).
- Spread in the pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean
-- If eggs are room temperature, you won't have to beat (whisk) them quite as hard to mix them with the other ingredients and will probably end up whisking less air into the batter. In my experience, whisking or stirring ingredients rather than beating them usually makes a denser, less cakey, bar. these are not cakey at all.