Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Bars

This Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup-inspired recipe represents my aesthetic well. It was inspired by my favorite menu item in the kitchen at Clearwater Camp for Girls, the classic peanut butter bar. I use hippie ingredients like oats and honey, but also sweet, sweet trash like actual Reese’s cups. I recommend it for self-medicating OR celebrating after the election!

Makes: 1 9×9 pan


  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt + more for sprinkling
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter + 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • as many mini peanut butter cups as your heart desires (but probably 6)


  • In a blender, blend oats to a powder, or as fine as the blender will allow.
  • Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. 
  • Once melted, stir in oats, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and honey. Once combined, stir in 3/4 cup of peanut butter.
  • Cover bottom and sides of pan with foil or parchment. Spoon peanut butter mixture into pan and smooth to form an even layer that fills pan.
  • Unwrap peanut butter cups and press them down throughout the mixture.
  • Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and chocolate to form a smooth mixture. The easiest way to do this is in the microwave, heating for 30 seconds, stirring, and then repeating. Or heat in a double boiler.
  • Pour chocolate mixture over peanut butter mixture and smooth with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle salt over top.
  • Place in fridge to harden for at least two hours.
  • To serve, remove from fridge and cut into squares.

A Very Gringo Peanut Sauce

I made this from ingredients I already had in my pantry. It’s reminiscent of a Thai peanut curry, or a Malaysian satay, but less nuanced. It is, however, very delicious and the only step is “put everything in a blender”. To turn it into dinner, make rice or noodles, saute or roast some veggies, toss in sauce, and top with herbs. And that’s all she wrote.

Or just dip your celery sticks in some!

For excellent Asian recipes created by women of color, I love the sites Rasa Malaysia, Hot Thai Kitchen, and Maangchi.

My lunch in the photo is the peanut sauce mixed with black rice noodles, sauteed red onion, katuk and thai basil from the garden.


  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice (or lemon or yuzu)
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar ( or other light vinegar)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 inches peeled ginger
  • 1-2 teaspoons hot pepper 
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt


  • Blend ingredients together until smooth. Taste and adjust flavor as needed.

Peanut Butter Olive Oil Brownies

A sweet treat for you, dear readers. Here is a brownie recipe that would honor any middle school bake sale table. They’re rich and fudgy but not too sweet.

Makes: 1 9 x 9 in pan


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (white is fine, but sweets are a great opportunity to sneak in more fiber)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing pan
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup sourdough discard (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease bottom and sides of 9 x 9 inch pan with a drizzle of olive oil. 
  • Bring water to a boil, then turn off heat and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking powder together. Set aside.
  • In another small bowl, pour 1/4 cup of the water over peanut butter and stir together until incorporated. The consistency should be pourable but not  runny. If it’s too thick, add more water, a bit at a time. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl (last bowl, promise), pour 1/2 cup of water over chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. Mix in olive oil, vanilla extract, eggs, and sugars, whisking in between each addition. If using sourdough discard, mix in now.
  • With rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix flour mixture into wet ingredients until just combined.
  • Pour batter into greased pan. Spoon peanut butter on top. Using a knife, make figure eights and swirls until peanut butter is marbled throughout the batter.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a tester knife comes out mostly clean (you want your brownies a little undercooked).