Back to basics.
Nothing like a simple sin. Currently sitting in a café trying to remember just about every detail of my most recent creation. The coffee is making me buzz and I’m surrounded by 5 different accents. Just one thing springs to mind– how lucky I was to have yielded the results that I did with the oven that makes my heart quake.
White chocolate, peanut butter and macadamia nuts make up the base of this simple bar recipe, adapted from my favourite and reliable cinnamon roll blondies. They’re ridiculously simple to make, and yield the same squidgy and chewy innards as in the aforementioned recipe, save for a larger, thicker batch because I doubled the ingredients to suit my 10×10-inch pan. Golden crust, chewy edges and squidgy half-baked middle, chock full of white chocolate and crunchy bits of macadamia.
Peanut butter replaces half the butter quantity as stated in my original recipe, for a full-on peanut buttery experience. Though the flavour is more mild than overpowering, it adds a wonderful thickness and complements the brown sugar, the main sweetener in this bar recipe, the tinge of molasses further characterising this brown-sugar-cinnamony wonder.
White Chocolate Peanut Butter Macadamia Bars (makes a thick batch in a 9×9 or 10×10-inch pan), adapted from my favourite cinnamon roll blondie recipe
250g (2 cups) all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
70g (5 tbsp) salted/unsalted butter, melted in the microwave
130g (½ cup) smooth peanut butter
80g chopped white chocolate, 20g chopped macadamias (or you could use Rittersport’s 100g bar of macadamia-studded white chocolate!!)
40g more of chopped white chocolate and macadamias (combined), for sprinkling on top afterward
220g (1 cup) dark brown sugar, packed
200g (1 cup) white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp whole milk
5 heaping tbsp hazelnut chocolate spread
5 heaping tbsp smooth peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 177C (350F) and grease (and line if you want) a 9×9 or 10×10-inch square pan. Make sure your butter is microwaved until all melted–do this in a microwave-safe bowl in a 30-second increment and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, leavening agents and salt. Tip in your chopped white chocolate and macadamias and briefly toss in the flour mix to coat everything well. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, two sugars, vanilla extract, melted butter and peanut butter. Pour the dry mix into the wet mix and fold until everything is well incorporated. You may or may not need all 2 tbsp of milk, but add until you achieve a smooth dropping consistency. The batter should be light brown and will stick to your spoon or spatula until a sharp flick of the hand will force the batter to drop back into the bowl. Pour the batter into your pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in your preheated oven for 15-17 minutes.
Whilst the bars are baking, whisk together the ingredients for the frosting. Roughly chop the extra white chocolate and macadamias. Once the bars are cooked, leave to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing into however many bars you like. Use a knife to spread some frosting on each, then sprinkle on the chopped white chocolate and macadamias.