I didn’t know what to call these. The recipe I started with but quickly departed from was for peanut butter blondies. Having made those once before, I knew they were more cake-like than blondie-like. I added chocolate to mine so are they brownies? I don’t think so – not fudgey enough. If I hadn’t baked them in my tiny quarter sheet pan these bars would be thicker and I’d call them cake. As is, I say these chocolatey, M&M studded squares of peanut butter heaven are good, whatever they are.
This afternoon, when we rounded Manhatten and left the East River’s swift current behind, baking seemed like the best way to spend the rest of the trip. It was is bitterly cold and I’ve seen the shoreline along the Hudson before. I made sure Lee was good to last another hour on deck and hunkered down in the galley.
Oooh, I almost forgot my ode to Pretzel M&M’s! Lee and I are addicted to them. I buy a bag whenever I see them and sneak them into movie theaters on the rare occasion that we visit one. I think they’re probably the best invention since the M&M…and the pretzel. They’re crunchy, slightly salty, slightly sweet, and chocolatey. We have kind of a surplus of Pretzel M&M’s right now so I decided to throw some into the bars, in addition to some regular M&M’s from some friends’ Halloween candy bowl. They’re awesome in these bars, as I knew they would be, and I can’t wait to bake them into something else!
Of course we ran out of propane shortly after I put the bars in the oven and right as we were pulling into the boat basin. By run out, I mean the tiny propane tank on deck that powers the stove was empty. We have another, full-sized propane tank next to it but usually do all kinds of tank juggling to get them both stowed and the small one hooked up and filled. Lee quickly swapped tanks – placing the large one on the cockpit floor temporarily and attaching it to the supply line.
I don’t think the oven really lost much heat before I relit it down below. I did give the bars a little extra time to bake, though. They made the whole boat smell like peanut butter cups!
Peanut Butter Chocolate M&M Bars
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar (or 1/2 cup liquid sweetener like honey or agave)
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, nonfat or regular
1/2 cup peanut butter
About 1/2 cup (or more!) M&M’s of any type
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.
Beat egg, sugar, yogurt, and peanut butter together in a larger bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir till fully blended.
Stir in M&M’s (I added the regular ones this way and pressed the Pretzel M&M’s into the batter once it was in the pan).
Pour batter into a lightly oiled quarter sheet baking pan or 8×8 in. cake pan, spreading it all the way to the edges.
Add more M&M’s if you’d like.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the edges are starting to crisp and the center is springy.
Cool completely before cutting. Enjoy!
I’m so excited to be moored right next to New York City! We spent a few days here in the summer so we know where the closest subway station is etc. It’s time to do some urban exploring!