You will ‘nut’ regret baking cookie squares

On Monday, Joey called to ask if I remembered to pack myself a lunch while I was working on the high school yearbook and packing up end-of-the-year school stuff.

I think he knew full well I tend to forget little things like feeding myself, and when his suspicions were validated, he offered to pick me up to take me out to eat.

I could feel him rolling his eyes on the other end of the phone when I said, “Well, I have some Wheat Thins and some Rolos, so I just figured I’d eat that for lunch.”

Joey and I have different philosophies when it comes to meals: I’m perfectly content with random snacking until I’m satisfied, and he prefers eating “real food.”

It should be no surprise, then, when I tell you that nights when I am on my own for dinner generally degrade into the schnauzer and me enjoying whatever the bowels of the refrigerator have to offer.

This past week, I indulged in quite a few peanut butter bars for a weeknight meal, and while Joey would not agree with me that these make a great meal replacement, he did give them a thumbs up as a dessert.

The recipe I used for these cookie bars comes from the blog “Food & Fam.” You can find the original at I doubled the vanilla in my version.

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Peanut Butter Cookie Squares


1 cup butter

1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups flour


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until nice and creamy.

Beat in the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Finally, mix in the flour until the mixture is well-combined.

Evenly spread out the dough in a 10×15-inch rimmed baking sheet.

Draw lines into the dough with a knife in about a one-inch grid (don’t worry about how accurate it is).

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the center is golden brown. (Mine popped out over the sides of the pan a little bit.)

Store in an airtight container.

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Before these became a dinner item for me, we shared these with family, and they were a bit hit. The cinnamon is an interesting flavor element that I thought made a very positive impact on the overall taste of these bars.

And go ahead and eat them for dinner. Peanuts are a protein, so I think that makes it OK. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

redeem myself, after all.

Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at

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