Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

My friend Laura made these for a Super Bowl party last month and I ate one. Ok, two. Let’s be honest, three. And a half.

I wasn’t able to get the exact recipe from her before I had to make them for a work party, so I hunted around online and found them on the Toll House website. The basics of the recipe are fine, but Laura and I both agreed that it could use some more peanut butter on the bottom layer.

Image: Nestle Toll House website

I also ignored their recommendation of putting chips in the bottom half because I think that breaks up the crumbly, peanut buttery, graham cracker goodness of it.

The Toll House website recipe is for a 13×9 baking pan but I only wanted an 8×8 pan so I adjusted the measurements accordingly below.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups peanut butter plus 3 tablespoons

1 stick of butter, softened

1 1/4 cups of confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)

2 cups of graham cracker crumbs (crush them yourself or buy them in a box)

1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips (I prefer Ghirardelli)

Grease the baking dish. In a mixing bowl combine the peanut butter (save the two tablespoons) and the stick of butter. Use an electric mixer to thoroughly combine the ingredients.

Before you start GRADUALLY adding in the sugar, sift it if it’s lumpy. Trader Joe’s makes a powdered sugar from evaporated cane juice and it’s unrefined. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still sugar, but the less refined the better, right? For this I used the regular stuff because Matt hadn’t bought the new kind yet. I’m just letting you know it’s out there, and I’ve since used it with tasty results.

Sifting sugar can be messy. And it sort of makes your kitchen look like a crack den.

So again, you’re gradually adding the sugar and mixing with the electric mixer. Then add the graham cracker crumbs and stir it together with a big spoon.

Spread the mixture into the greased baking pan and get cracking on the topping. Make yourself a double boiler by setting a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (about an inch). Combine the chocolate chips and remaining peanut butter and stir until the mixture is smooth and shiny. If you really can’t manage with the double boiler, microwave the chocolate and peanut butter in 30-second increments, stirring quite a bit between heatings.

Pour the mixture over the bottom and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour and then cut it up into small bars. Yes, you heard me correctly – no baking!

Then come over and clean up my kitchen.

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