I'm a just give y'all a second for that title to sink in.
One more time: chocolate chip peanut butter banana cookie dough bars.
The Shrimp and I whipped these up on the hot summer's evening of my first day back at home after leaving uni FOREVER! *sobs*
I'll be perfectly honest with you, dear readers - we did not intend to make cookie dough bars. But cookie dough bars were the resulting concoction, and they are gooooood.
They're gorgeously squidgy and dense, bursting with peanut buttery smoothness, banana-y goodness and chocolatey richness.
Such a dreamy combo.
As you may be able to tell from these photos, we could not wait for the bars to fully cool before digging in, meaning our first slices were insanely cookie doughy and delightfully warm.
However, once you leave them to cool properly they firm up a little but don't lose their squidge. And that's just the dream, isn't it? As it's been super hot recently we're keeping ours in the fridge, but that's not a necessity.
This was my first experiment baking with xylitol, after Total Sweet kindly sent me some of theirs to play with.
You use it just like sugar, but it's much better for you, HOORAH! Here's why:
- It's 100% natural.
- It's low GI.
- It has 40% fewer calories than sugar.
- It actively promotes healthy teeth.
I am a big fan of these bars, and I find it quite amazing that they're vegan and gluten-free too as they taste so indulgent.
This recipe makes 12 bars and was inspired by this one by Chocolate Covered Katie.
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp buckwheat flour (or sub normal flour)
2/3 cup xylitol (or sub normal sugar)
1/4 cup plain chocolate chunks/chips, plus extra for topping
(If you don't have a set of measuring cups, just use a small mug.)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line an 8 x 8 inch baking tin with greaseproof paper. Mix the banana, peanut butter and vanilla together in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients together.
2. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet until a cookie dough forms - it will seem quite dry, but it should come together.
3. Pour the dough into the tin and press it down carefully with your fingers, spreading it out evenly. Sprinkle some more chocolate chips on top and press them down gently - the dough will rise in the oven.
4. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden on top and round the edges, but don't worry if it looks underbaked underneath - that's what's going to give you the lovely cookie dough-esque texture.
5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for as long as you can bear (at least half an hour if you can resist the temptation!) Slice into 12 bars and enjoy!