Football Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies
I’ve never been what one could justifiably deem, “athletically inclined.” Fortunately, thanks to the social (ahem food) aspect of sports, I can still show up to a game watch with a plate of Football Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies and be welcomed with roaring enthusiasm.
I dabbled in summer-league softball from the ages of 7 to 11, and I might have stuck with it a bit longer if playing fast pitch weren’t a requirement for the age 12-and-up crowd. I could barely handle my dad pitching to me overhanded in the backyard, so the idea of a softball hurtling towards my person with any kind of actual velocity was too much to fathom. Thus ended softball.
In fifth grade, I attempted to replace softball with volleyball. I lasted one brave season, at which point I grew tired of the taller girls targeting me with their fierce, overhanded serves. How did they know? Also, I look terrible in kneepads—they accentuate my lack of calves. Farewell, volleyball.
High school saw a year of cheerleading (the one decent toe touch of my brief, illustrious career occurred during my tryout), after which I finally admitted to myself that some of us are intended to be sports observers, not participants, and that is perfectly acceptable. After all, what’s a sports team without its fans?
Though I’m awful at sports myself, I do enjoy watching college football, yes for the game (I understand *almost* all of the rules), but even more so for the comradery that comes with it. In what other activity besides sports can you be so personally invested without having to do anything besides ensure that your beer stays cold, your dip hot, and you’ve saved room for an extra serving of Football Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies?
If food were a sport, these football-shaped peanut butter blondies would win the Heisman trophy. Their ability to rapidly disappear from dessert tables is unparalleled, their performance consistently exceeds expectations, and they are extra easy on the eyes (not a requirement of a Heisman winner, but it’s a nice bonus). Start your Fantasy Food league now, because these Football Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies are a first round draft pick, guaranteed.
To make the Football Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies , I first made whole wheat peanut butter blondies, then stirred in a generous portion of both peanut butter and chocolate chips. Then, once the peanut butter blondies were cool, I cut them into football shapes with a cookie cutter.
You will have some “waste” between the football cut outs, but they need only be wasted if you discard them, which seems quite silly considering how excellent they taste beside a glass of milk or crumbled over vanilla ice cream. Of course, if you prefer to skip the footballs, you can simply slice them into peanut butter blondie bars.
For the lace design, I used a small batch of simple vanilla frosting. It does contain vegetable shortening, which allows it to set up firmly at room temperature. You can use butter if you prefer—just know that the frosting will stay fairly soft.
OK ref, let’s hear the call: Touch down!
Football Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies
For the Peanut Butter Blondies:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter — (do not use the natural kind that must be refrigerated)
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar, — light or dark
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup peanut butter chips
For the Frosting:
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening — such as Crisco, softened butter can be swapped but will be very soft and less stable
- 1 cup powdered sugar — sifted
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Food coloring — optional if you’d like to make the frosting your team’s colors
Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch pan, then line with parchment paper so that some of the paper hangs over the sides like handles. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the peanut butter and brown sugar, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and pour into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Let cool to lukewarm.
Once the peanut butter mixture is cool, beat in the milk and egg on low speed. Beat in the vanilla and salt. Sprinkle the white whole wheat flour and baking powder over the top, then beat on low just until the flour disappears. Stir in the chocolate and peanut butter chips. The batter will be thick and sticky.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, then use the back of a rubber spatula to flatten and smooth the top. Bake for 16-18 minutes, just until light golden brown and the top feels barely dry to the touch, being careful not to overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the frosting: place the shortening in the bottom of a mixing bowl, then sift in the powdered sugar. Add the water and vanilla extract, then beat on low to combine. Increase the speed to medium, then beat for a full 5 minutes. Beat in food coloring as desired.
Once the blondies are cool, gently lift them onto a cutting board using the parchment paper handles. With a cookie cutter, cut into footballs (or any desired shape), then use the frosting to pipe on the laces design. Let the frosting set, then serve.
- For twice the peanut butter blondies, you can double this recipe, then bake it in a 9x13-inch pan for 28 to 32 minutes.
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