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Peanut Butter Blondies are the ultimate peanut butter treat for the serious peanut butter lovers in your life! If left unfrosted, these are baked goods that ship well and perfect to include in a care package for someone special!
These just so happen to be Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Blondies even, thanks to Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour! Although I made a batch with Bob’s Red Mill’s organic all-purpose flour just so I could compare and see if there was any difference. (Answer: None that I could tell!)
When I heard that Bob’s Red Mill wanted to sponsor a post about creating a care package for someone special with delicious baked goods added to it, I immediately thought of my girls’ birthmothers.
I’ve mentioned on here before that our family was built through adoption, and we have open relationships with both of our daughters’ birthmothers, who are so special to us.
We try to stay in touch through Skype, texting, IG and the occasional visit or card, since we don’t live close by. But sometimes, and definitely not frequently enough, I just want to do something a little extra.
I mean, who doesn’t love receiving fun mail every now and then?!
I love that Bob’s Red Mill believes that baking for others is one of the surest signs to show how much you care. I couldn’t agree more.
My primary love language is service and baking for my family and friends is one of the ways I show that I love them! Plus, psychologists have found that baking for others makes the baker feel as good as the recipients!
So I decided September was the perfect time to send a back-to-school care package for my girls’ birthmothers.
One of them is still in school and the other graduated last year, but I figured it would still be a fun theme because I could include first-day-of-school pics of our girls along with some fun supplies like post-its and sharpies – things I use on a daily basis and feel like I can never have enough of! Add in a few fun extras – a small fall-scented candle, a cute paperweight, and some freshly sharpened pencils (always reminds me of the most perfect and romantic quote from any movie ever – “I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your address.” – Joe Fox, “You’ve Got Mail”) – along with handmade cards and art from the girls and I felt pretty good about the care packages we put together.
The girls had fun helping too! Clara was especially pleased to be sending a card she made herself using flowers that she picked and pressed in the flower press she got for her 6th birthday this year. And of course, what’s a care package without some yummy baked goodies added to it?
Bob’s Red Mill sent me some of their products to use, including their organic all-purpose flour and their gluten-free 1 to1 baking flour, which was awesome since one of our daughter’s birthmoms has a gluten sensitivity and lives a gluten-free lifestyle.
I had never tried Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free 1 to 1 baking flour before, but it is amazing. Seriously, who knew it was so easy to make basically anything gluten-free?!
I honestly couldn’t tell a difference between the two batches of blondies, so it was a good thing that I used large Reese’s Pieces on the gluten-free ones and mini Reese’s Pieces on the others so I could tell them apart!
If you want to try out Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free 1 to 1 baking flour too, you can get a coupon for any of their amazing and extensive product line by clicking here or enter the giveaway posted at the end of this post for a chance to win an incredible prize package from Bob’s Red Mill! But first…
Quick Tips on Shipping Baked Goods
- Avoid shipping frosted or glazed baked goods, especially during the warmer months! You don’t want the treats showing up melted, soggy or sticky, which is apt to happen when shipping things with frostings or glazes. It’s why even though these peanut butter blondies can be made with a peanut butter frosting, I opted to leave that off for these care packages and simply sprinkle them with Reese’s Pieces before baking instead. Here are some ideas of baked goods that ship best:
- Quick breads (like this zucchini bread or maybe even an unglazed babka)
- Cookies (these white chocolate macadamia nut and dark chocolate halloween chip cookies would ship well)
- Brownies & bars (like the peanut butter blondies in this post or these brownies!)
- Candy (my Grandpa Johnson always used to make me this fudge and send it to me while I was serving a mission for my church far from home)
- Ship the same day you bake, but be sure to let the treats cool completely before packaging them up.
- Priority mail typically takes only 2-3 days if mailed in the U.S., which is usually going to be okay for most of the baked goods that ship well anyway. I baked these peanut butter blondies on Wednesday morning, took them to the post office that afternoon, and was told they would be delivered on Friday using a flat-rate shipping box, which seems good to me!
- Pack baked goods in airtight containers or bags to keep them tasting fresh.
- If you are packing multiple baked goods, like chocolate chip cookies and brownies, wrap them up individually. Don’t ever pack them in the same container!
- Use wax paper between layers to prevent sticking, especially if packing things like brownies or bars in a container rather than wrapping them up separately.
- Consider buying disposable baking pans to bake the treats in and ship them in those.
- Be sure to nestle everything securely by filling in any extra space with something like tissue paper to make sure they can’t move or shift around when the package inevitably gets shaken.
- Provide extra cushioning around the container you are shipping the baked goods in.
- You can use bubble wrap, newspaper, packing peanuts, or even just crumpled up tissue paper if there isn’t a whole lot of extra space in your box.
- In these care packages, I filled a small cardboard box with the individually wrapped peanut butter blondies to protect them, then used bubble wrap around the more fragile items like the scented candles and framed pictures. Finally, I filled in the remaining gaps with colorful tissue paper, which filled a duel role of keeping the care package items from shifting about inside while also adding some fun color!
Tips for keeping Peanut Butter Blondies Fudgy
Is it weird to talk about something with no chocolate in it in terms of having a fudgy center? Because these rich and delicious peanut butter blondies are definitely fudgy in the middle as long as you make sure not to overbake them.
If you bake them a little too long, welllll, they will still taste delicious (speaking from experience here – it’s not like they are a total loss) but they might be closer in texture to a peanut butter cookie rather than a soft, fudgy blondie (basically a brownie with no chocolate but a brownie-like texture), which is kind of what we’re going for here.
Along with making sure we don’t overbake, there are three important ingredient components that ensure these peanut butter blondies are on the fudgy side.
- Melted butter
- An extra egg yolk
- No baking powder
Using melted butter instead of creaming the butter with the sugar is important here because it results in a denser, more brownie-like texture instead of a fluffier, more cake-like bar.
Also, just like with my favorite thick, fudgy, chewy ultimate brownies, I included an extra egg yolk which helps with a little bit of that extra richness and moisture that is the hallmark of a fudgy, chewy brownie (or blondie in this case).
The last ingredient trick to keeping these peanut butter blondies on the fudgy side is to actually leave out any leavening agent like baking powder, which helps keep these wonderful bars on the dense, chewier side.
These blondies are one of the best peanut butter desserts I have had in a long time and the girls went absolutely crazy over the frosted ones. I couldn’t decide whether I preferred them frosted or unfrosted. It’s such a toss-up!
More Peanut Butter Recipes for Peanut Butter Lovers
- Peanut Butter Ice Cream Topping
- Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies
- Old-Fashioned Homemade Peanut Brittle
- Big, Soft Baked Peanut Butter M&M Cookies
- Perfect Peanut Butter Blossoms
Peanut Butter Blondies
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg + 1 extra egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Peanut Butter Frosting
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup Reese's Pieces
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a square baking dish with a parchment paper sling.
- In a large bowl, whisk the peanut butter and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar, egg and extra egg yolk, and vanilla and mix well to combine.
- Stir in the flour and salt with a spoon, then spread into the prepared baking dish, pushing towards the edges of the pan as needed. Sprinkle with Reese's Pieces, if not planning to frost.
- Bake for 22-27 minutes until done, then remove from oven and cool completely. Do not overbake.
- Prepare the frosting by beating the peanut butter and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla, cream and powdered sugar and beat well, then frost the peanut butter blondies in the pan and sprinkle with Reese's Pieces. Cut into 9 squares and serve.
This recipe can easily be prepared to be gluten-free using Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 775Saturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 262mgCarbohydrates: 83gFiber: 4gSugar: 56gProtein: 14g