Peanut Butter Chocolate Shortbread Bars

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Peanut butter and chocolate are hands down, the greatest combination ever! What’s not to love?! You’ve got that nutty, crunchy, salty from the peanuts and of course that sinful, smooth, sweet deliciousness from the chocolate, it’s just an incredible match.  Reese’s peanut butter cups = uh-mazing and best halloween candy EVER! 
I really wanted to make some sort of cookie bars and use up some all natural crunchy peanut butter that I had in my pantry.  Shortbread cookies are generally really easy to make and only require a few ingredients, I thought I would spruce the traditional cookie up a bit with some peanut butter.  It may not be the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s pretty darn good.
I wonder if there is a way to make these healthier?  Perhaps, coconut oil, natural peanut butter, Stevia, whole wheat flour?  Not entirely impossible, I suppose.  It sounds like a challenge for another day.  

For this recipe I actually ran out of flour and used a combination of 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour, not too bad, if I do say so myself.  
Ingredients
1 1/2 sticks softened room temperature butter
3/4 cup all natural chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 confectioners sugar
1 cup flour
1tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
Toppings (optional)
3 tbps chopped peanuts
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup salted caramel sauce

Recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix, peanut butter, butter, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl.
  3. Add flour and mix until completely incorporated into peanut butter mixture.
  4. In a lightly greased 9×9″ baking dish, spread shortbread mixture evenly and top with chocolate chips.  Press lightly to make sure they stick to the shortbread mixture.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes until the edges are lightly golden brown.
  6. (Optional) Top with more chocolate chips, chopped peanuts and salted caramel sauce.
Click here for the salted caramel sauce recipe.

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