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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
This week for #SundaySupper, we're talking about gearing up for Back to School with Katie Workman, author of The Mom 100 Cookbook.  It is the third time the #SS group has teamed up with Katie to share recipes from that cookbook.  I just missed the first by days when I joined up, but once I read back through everybody's posts, I knew I wanted to join in the two still to come.  So I checked the book out from the library.  And then I bought it the same day because I knew I didn't want to let it go.  You might remember my Lasagna with Turkey Meat Sauce post - that was what I shared last time we hung out with Katie.  I also shared my review of the cookbook last week.

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
So, whether you cut these into little one-bite squares and tuck them into your kids lunch box as a happy ending to lunch or cut a big square to set alongside a tall, cold glass of milk as an after-school snack - these will be a well received treat. IF you're a family that believes chocolate + peanut butter = perfection.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
by Heather Schmitt-González
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.

ever-so-slightly adapted from The Mom 100 Cookbook
Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares