Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Who needs a sugar rush???

(I do! I do!)

Chocolate and peanut butter. One of the great duos of all time. And particularly loved by my husband. So, last weekend when he was headed off to attend his cousin’s college graduation (Congrats Brigette!) and I couldn’t attend, I knew these would be the perfect I’msorryIcan’tmakeitbutpleaseacceptthesedelicioustreatsasasignofmyloveandcongratulations gift!

These treats have it all! Chocolate graham cracker crust, super rich yet light and fluffy peanutty goodness, and a decadent chocolate ganache topping. YUM.

Why does my spell check keep telling me peanutty isn’t a word????

Ok, first step is to get your graham cracker crust ready. BONUS: I made these one evening after we had a delicious BBQ’d meal. Once I opened the package of graham crackers, we knew what to do…Michael headed straight for the marshmallows and I grabbed the chocolate. SMORES BREAK!

Alright, back to work. Mash up two packages of graham crackers. The absolute best tools for this task? A big ziplock bag and a rolling pin. 

Mash ‘em up good. They will stick together better the smaller they are. Once they are the consistency of breadcrumbs, add the chocolate. About 10 oz of melted dark chocolate to be exact.

The great thing about the ziplock bag is that it does double duty as a mixing bowl! Before you mix the chocolate in, add the melted butter. Zip the bag and go to town. Mix until the graham crackers are coated and start to stick together.

Grab your baking dish and press the crust into the pan. It should be fairly easy to form, if not, add more butter! That’s what makes it delicious stick together. :) Poke some holes in the crust with a fork and bake for about 12 minutes. Let the crust COMPLETELY cool. Trust me. You don’t want heated up peanut goo. And that’s what will happen if impatience/desire to consume the deliciousness gets the better of you. My suggestion? Toss the crust in the fridge while you prepare the peanut buttery goodness, then leave it in there while you have a glass of wine, catch up on dvr, chat with your mom on the phone (I’m trying to earn early mother’s day points), or go for a jog. Lord knows you won’t be jogging after one of these bad boys! :)

Now, onto the peanut buttery amazingness. So simple. But SO good. I think the taste and texture of the peanut layer is what prompted my husband to call these “Grown Up Reeses,” it tastes almost identical. In a mixing bowl, mix up cream cheese, crunchy peanut better, creamy peanut butter, butter, cream, and powdered sugar. Just use a spoon and stir it really well. It is essential that the peanut butter, butter, and the cream cheese are at room temperature. Ok you can use just one kind of peanut butter, but let’s be real, we are already going big on these bars. Go for the gusto people.

Once the crust is cooled (seriously!) spread the peanut butter mix onto the crust in a nice even layer. Then pop it back in the fridge while you get the chocolate.

Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and whipping cream. Whisk constantly until you have a smooth chocolate ganache. Mmmmm. Pour over the peanut butter layer.

Now comes the ridiculously tough part. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours! I know, I know. What am I? Crazy?? But you guys, it is so worth it. These bars have to be served cold. If you are taking them to a party (which I highly suggest you do) you can even freeze them for a couple of hours so they will be cold when it’s time to devour. Oh and when it is time…

It’s good. It’s really good.

Enjoy!!!

P.S. With the addition of these bars into the party, I don’t think my presence at graduation was missed at all! ;)

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
 
Ingredients
  • Crust
  • 2 packages graham crackers
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) melted unsalted butter
  • 10 oz dark chocolate, melted
  • Filling
  • 8-oz reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¾ cup chunky peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • Chocolate Ganache
  • ⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Crust:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Mash graham crackers with a rolling pin in a ziplock bag until you achieve the consistency of breadcrumbs.
  5. Add melted dark chocolate and butter. Zip bag and mix well.
  6. Press the graham cracker mixture into the baking dish. Press down hard so that the crust stays together.
  7. Use a fork to prick the crust several times.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  10. Filling
  11. In a large mixing bowl, combine peanut butters, cream cheese, cream, butter, and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth. Set aside.
  12. Once the crust is completely cooled, spread peanut butter mixture onto the crust. Refrigerate while you make the ganache.
  13. Ganache
  14. Heat chocolate chips and whipping cream over a double boiler. Whisking constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool a couple minutes. Pour onto the peanut butter layer. Smooth over.
  15. Refrigerate bars at least 4 hours before cutting and eating.

 

 

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