August 11, 2009

Peanut Butter Bars

I adore the marriage between chocolate and peanut butter. I am unaware of the length of their relationship but I do not see divorce in the near future. The salty nuttiness of peanuts joined with the rich sweetness of chocolate definitely supports the old adage; opposites attract. When I hear that peanut butter bars are being served at a picnic or potluck, I usually cower, mostly because past experiences with peanut butter bars have proven, how should I say it, yucky. Too gooey, too dry, too sweet, too rich, too, too, – too, well yucky. I happened upon this recipe, submitted by Nancy, on which was completely serendipitous considering I needed a dish to bring to a potluck today. No bake, even better so I took a chance. Ah-ha! Place these on your next sweet treats to make list, you won’t be disappointed because I think you will agree that they taste suspiciously like a Reese's® Peanut Butter Cup.

Peanut Butter Bars
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup all natural peanut butter, I used Smucker’s
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
4 T. more peanut butter

In a food processor pulse graham crackers until super fine. I used 16 whole Nabisco Grahams Original® crackers. But be sure that you have exactly 2 cups of whatever brand you use. To the fine crumbs add the melted butter, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. Pulse until mixture is blended and smooth. Press the peanut butter mixture into an ungreased 9 x 13 baking pan. Melt the chocolate chips and 4 T. peanut butter in the microwave in 25 second increments until melted and smooth. Pour over peanut butter batter and spread evenly. Chill for 30 minutes or until set. Remove to room temperature for at least 15 minutes then slice into bars.

Note: Here is where some of the reviewers had trouble. Some tried to cut the bars right from the refrigerator and found the chocolate separated from the base or they crumbled and cracked. So be sure to leave them out of the fridge for 15 or more minutes before cutting with a very sharp knife, hot water on the knife is unnecessary. Mine sliced beautifully and held their shape. I think the natural peanut butter is much creamier giving a fudgier texture. Because I used a food processor I did not experience a grainy texture as some of the other reviewers reported.

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