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We go together like...

...peanut butter and jelly? Or maybe peanut butter and chocolate? Dare I say peanut butter, jelly AND chocolate? I'm going to let you in on a little secret (okay, it's not that secret), I do NOT like peanut butter and jelly together; separately, yes. However, peanut butter and chocolate together, I adore. I know some of you are cursing me now. Doesn't like peanut butter and jelly!? Ha, how un-American is that! Who does she think she is? Is she too good for peanut butter and jelly? Why, I never. I know, right. I remember a babysitter I had as a kid...she made everybody else peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and I said, "Hold the jelly, Sue" (well, I don't actually remember her name, but Sue sounds good). Sometimes in the summer on one of those long days spent in the sun and the pool with loads of family, we'll end up taking a peanut butter sandwich break. It always makes me laugh to see everybody, young and old, shouting out their order! Smooth! Crunchy! Grape! Strawberry! HOLD THE JELLY!! I will eat just plain peanut butter with a big, ice cold glass of milk...but I also like peanut butter and honey or peanut butter and bananas (my uncle's fave is actually grilled peanut butter and bananas...channeling Elvis!?). And from my mom I get the love of a grilled, crunchy peanut butter sandwich and a peanut butter and lettuce sandwich. But, I digress. I am actually here to tell you about these fab looking bars I saw in the Food Network Magazine's past issue. A few of the FN chefs were given a regular pantry ingredient (Saltines) to make into something new. Check out these bad boys!
PB&J Chocolate Bars by Sarah Copeland, Food Network Magazine J/J '09 FOR THE BASE: 1 stick unsalted butter 1/3 c. granulated sugar 1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder 1 large egg, beaten 1 sleeve saltines (40 crackers, regular or whole wheat), finely crushed 3/4 c. finely chopped roasted peanuts FOR THE FILLING AND GLAZE: 1/4 c. grape jelly 7 Tbs. + 1 tsp. unsalted butter, softened 1/3 c. creamy peanut butter 1/2 c. confectioners sugar 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or chips) First thing I did was to put the saltines in a baggie and roll them until they were finely crushed. I actually did the same thing with the peanuts. MAKE THE BASE: Line an 8" square baking pan with foil, extending it over the sides. Put the butter in a medium heat proof bowl; position the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (the bowl should not touch the water". Once the butter melts, stir in the sugar and cocoa. Whisk in the egg; cook, whisking, until the mixture is warm and the consistency of hot fudge, 6 minutes. Remove from heat; mix in saltine crumbs and peanuts. Press the crust into the pan. Set aside the saucepan of water...then, MAKE THE FILLING: Spread the jelly over the crust in the pan; place in the freezer for a few minutes. Beat 5 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. butter, the peanut butter and confectioners' sugar with a mixer until light. Spread over the jelly layer; return to the freezer while you make the glaze. Place the chocolate and remaining 2 Tbs. of butter in a heatproof bowl; set over the pan of simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat; stir until smooth. When cool but still runny, spread over the chilled peanut butter layer. Freeze another 30 minutes. Bring the bars to room temperature. Use the foil flaps to remove the bars from the pan; cut into squares.
I urge you NOT to make these on a hot day like I did...or you'll have a hot mess on your hands! Bring them to room temp in an actual "room temp" room, not a sauna. The bottom layer stays nice and firm, but the peanut butter layer will slide right off of the jelly layer and the top chocolate layer will keep on sliding after that. HA..it was actually pretty funny; I mean, I couldn't really get mad about something so out of my control as the weather, so I just had to smile. The good thing about them, though is that you can just set them into the fridge to firm up and no harm done! I actually ended up keeping leftovers in the fridge, too. Okay, they were good. Not good enough to make me join the school of We go together like peanut butter and jelly, but good enough that I've eaten more than one. ***There are still a couple of days left to send me your recipes that included Chile Peppers from the month of May for my end of the month Round-Up!! You may even win a cool prize :)
"We go together like... Ramma lamma lamma ka dingity ding da dong Shoo bop shoo wadda wadda yippity boom da boom Chang chang changity chang shoo bop Dip da dip da dip do wop da dooby do Boogy boogy boogy boogy shooby sho wap sho wap Sha na na na na na na na yippity dip da do ...we'll always be together"