Chocolate covered Peanut Butter Bars

5 May

hollywood sq w chocolateThis week was another test week for my students, so I decided on two new desserts to make them when for when they handed in the tests. One of them was suggested the day before by a student who claimed these were the best thing ever in school cafeteria lunches and called them “Hollywood squares.” I was a little nervous because sometimes cafeteria food is… not the best. However, I had previously made these lunch lady peanut butter bars (another peanut buttery treat!), so I was willing to give them a try. Plus, it’s chocolate and peanut butter, how can that go wrong? Needless to say, I’m happy I followed her idea because they were fantastic.

I pretty readily love anything chocolate and peanut butter. However, sometimes when I’ve made peanut butter treats with just peanut butter and powdered sugar as a base, they can be a little too much, too sweet, and too rich, which are things I rarely say. This recipe uses graham crackers as a mix in with the peanut butter and sugars, which brings down the richness to be able to enjoy a sizable portion, 1/24 of a 9×13 pan.

One important note I found out when making these is that using foil or parchment paper under the bars is a necessity. I didn’t and I had a heck of a time prying these bars apart and then prying them off the bottom of the pan, even though it was well sprayed.

recipe adapted from (among many other sources): Tasty Kitchen

Makes: 1 9×13 pan

Ingredients:
2 cups peanut butter
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tsp. vanilla
For topping:
12 oz milk chocolate chips
2 Tbsp peanut butter

Directions:
1) Spray a pan, cover in foil or parchment paper, spray again with cooking spray.
2) Melt the peanut butter and butter together in a microwave safe bowl.
3) Mix in the powdered sugar, brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and vanilla.
4) Press into the sprayed pan.

hollywood sq pb only

5) Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together in microwave at 30 second intervals until chocolate chips just melted.
6) Pour over peanut butter filling.
7) Chill in the fridge to harden the topping. Also, it is best to keep these refrigerated until shortly before serving to keep the peanut butter firm. This will also help with separating the bars.

 

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