Peanut Butter Blondie Snack Cake

Makes 18 bars
pted from Buns in My Oven 

1 1/3 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
30-ish mini peanut butter cups 
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or, hey, try a full cup, we won't tell anyone)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and eggs until well blended and pale in color. Mix in the flour mixture until just barely combined.

Cut 12 peanut butter cups into quarters and gently stir them along with the chocolate chips into the batter. The batter will be fairly thick. Spread the batter into the prepared pan (you will have to do some spreading) and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is light golden brown. A cake tester inserted in the center should still have some moist crumb on it when removed. 

Remove the blondies from the oven and immediately press the remaining peanut butter cups into the top of the brownies in even rows...or wherever you want. Try to cram them all in...your diet starts tomorrow. It's ok. Allow the 'snack cakes' to cool before cutting and serving.