Back to school can mean anything from nourishing breakfasts to packed lunches to simple weeknight meals. And OF COURSE it can mean treats. I've mentioned before that I'm a goes-waaaaay-back Peanut Butter Cup lover. So, any excuse for chocolate and peanut butter to find their way together and subsequently into my mouth...I'm taking it. Fortunately (or not...since that means less for me), the whole fam is the same way.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Keywords: snack dessert vegetarian chocolate peanut butter bars
Ingredients (25-36 squares)
- 6 Tbs. (3 oz. / ¾ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1¼ c. powdered sugar
- ¾ c. creamy peanut butter
- ¼ c. graham cracker crumbs
- 12 oz. (2 c.) milk chocolate chips (or semisweet or a mix)
Lightly butter or spray a 9-inch square baking pan. I like to also line it with a long strip of parchment or wax paper (makes it easy to lift from pan all in one square, if you wish). Grease the paper, too.
Combine brown and powdered sugars, peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and 5 tablespoons of the butter in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until it is all combined well, but remains a bit crumbly. This should take about 1 minute. Press the mixture evenly into your prepared pan in a thin layer, ~¼" thick.
I like to stick the pan in the fridge or freezer while I'm melting the chocolate. If the peanut butter mixture is firm, I find it easier to spread on the melted chocolate. So, either set aside or stick in fridge or freezer and continue one.
So, combine chocolate and remaining tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over very low heat and melt, stirring often until smooth, ~7 minutes. Let chocolate mixture cool very briefly and then, using a rubber spatula, carefully spread the hot chocolate over the peanut butter layer.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the chocolate has firmed up, ~1 hour. Cut into squares (5x5 or 6x6).
It's easiest to cut into squares after just 1 hour. I waited longer and the chocolate really cracked on me - not that this took anything away from the awesomeness-that-is-a-peanut-butter-square - just a heads up.
These are very rich and sinful (and delicious), so a small square tucked lovingly into a lunchbox would make the perfect end of lunch bite for kiddos as they head back to school. Or indulge in a larger square with a tall glass of cold milk at home.