Gluten / dairy free peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bar on plate topped with coconut whipped cream.
When we were gearing up for our annual (it was our third year) vacation to Cape Cod, I noticed that everything about the process felt different to me. In a good way. The previous two summers I felt crunched and more stressed than this past summer. It could have been because my autoimmune disease was flaring (more about that in an upcoming post) or just the stress of dealing with a toddler (C is close to four and a half now and is more independent). But it could also be a smaller, daily change I had made: spending longer periods of time in the sun. I have been supplementing with Vitamin D for more than three years but there is something about being in the sun for long stretches that just makes me feel happy.
I say all that to say that I think we need to “vacation” in our daily lives. We need to make space to get that sun, relax with that book, or snuggle with the one we love. Or whatever fills that “ah”. Certainly for me it is time spent in the sun, but it is also, always, baking / cooking, and sharing food with friends! Which brings me to our recipe.
I had recently made these peanut butter cupcakes using our fudgy peanut butter nuggets. Immediately, I started thinking about how else I could use the nuggets. As an ice cream topping? Check. Just as is? Check! But I needed something else. Something that would showcase their peanut-buttery goodness. And then it hit me: cookie bars. Where else could they meld happily with chocolate chips (which, aside from bananas, surely rank as peanut butter’s other BFF).
And so our Gluten / Dairy Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars were born. And quickly devoured. They are chewy, soft, and even blissful, really, if you adore peanut butter anything like I do. They taste divine topped with homemade coconut whipped cream.
These feature our Fudgy Peanut Butter Nuggets. Not only do they take five minutes to make and use only four ingredients, they are delicious on everything from ice cream to cupcakes to bars!
Vegan butter makes these super moist, and dairy-free cream cheese gives them just a subtle touch of savory. Mmmm!
These bars would be a great addition to a pot-luck party, since they travel well and can even be carried in the pan used for baking them.
Which reminds me of the daily (or weekly) commitment to vacationing - to loving ourselves the best we can. I hope these special treats can be one more way to show love to others or ourselves. And I’d love to hear below what you do to bring vacationing into your life on a regular basis.
Enjoy, my friends!
Yield: a dozen huge cookie bars or fifteen smaller onesAuthor: Alyssa Reaves