Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Peanut Butter Cup Bars
Although Peanut Butter cups aren't usually my go-to choice in the candy aisle, they're definitely in my top five. Peanut butter on the other hand? Can't live without it. I literally eat it almost every day. I used to a keep a jar in my desk at work and would just eat spoonfuls of it throughout the day. Thankfully I no longer work in an office, so an intervention is no longer imminent.
I think these bars are magic. I had to send half of them to the hospital with Dan because I could not be trusted. The graham cracker crumbs give them that almost perfect peanut butter cup texture, and even with the hefty dose of sugar, they're not cloyingly sweet. I added salted peanuts to mine for some added crunchy texture, but you could leave them out if you want that true sense of a peanut butter cup.
Plus, they're no-bake. In fact, you don't even really need a working stove. All you really need is a microwave and a fridge. You could make these in a dorm. And give them to a boy you think is cute. Or a girl. Or a professor.
Ok, not the professor. That would be inappropriate.
Peanut Butter Cup Bars
Makes 16 bars
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (6 graham crackers coursely ground)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup salted peanuts (optional)
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Line an 8x8'' square baking dish with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick cooking spray (I used a disposable foil pan but I still greased it). Set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the 8 Tbsp of butter over low heat. Alternately, microwave butter in a microwave-safe bowl on high at 30 second intervals until melted. Add the powdered sugar to a medium bowl. Once the butter has melted, pour it over the sugar and whisk until smooth.
3. To the bowl, add the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Fold in peanuts with a rubber spatula, if using.
4. Pour the peanut butter mixture into your prepared pan and use a rubber spatula to even and smooth the top. Set aside.
5. To the same saucepan used before, add the remaining 4 Tbsp of butter and all the chocolate. Set over low heat, stirring frequently. Continue to heat and stir until the mixture is melted and smooth. Alternately, place chocolate and butter in microwave-safe dish and microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth.
6. Slowly pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer and spread gently to cover the entire surface.
7. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Slice into 16 even squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.