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Posts Tagged ‘peanut butter’

The peanut butter/chocolate combo and I go way back. I totally blame my dad for introducing me to Reese’s Cups at a young age. He later shared with me the magical creation that is a Dairy Queen Reese’s Blizzard (extra Reese’s, of course) and it all went downhill from there. If you were to look at my starred items in Google Reader you would see a downright embarrassing number of peanut butter and chocolate desserts. I just can’t help myself.

And let’s get real here. Yes, I am posting this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars just three days after writing about abdominal exercises on my healthy living blog. So after you eat these bars, head on over to Peanut Butter Runner (so appropriately named) and try some new ab challenges. ;)

Just a reminder that I preach balance, balance, balance. Amen.

I was looking for a treat to bring to a beach weekend with friends. These bars seemed like something that would be easy for people to pick up when they were in the mood for something sweet. Everyone seemed to really enjoy them. I mean, how could you not!?

Despite having three layers, they were surprisingly easy to assemble. I loved that there was no baking involved and I did all of my chocolate melting in the microwave rather than on the stove top. The only downside was that they turned out not to be ideal for traveling in a hot car. They really needed to stay refrigerated and got a little melty on the trip down. Thankfully, they firmed back up in the fridge and no taste was compromised!

The crispy part of these bars is a little different. Instead of making your traditional Rice Krispies treat with marshmallows, you use corn syrup, water and sugar to make a sticky mixture to bind the Rice Krispies cereal together. I think that next time I will try the traditional method with marshmallows just for comparison. If I do, I will report back! (Don’t get me wrong, they are great as is!) And one last note, I doubled this recipe and made it in an 11 x 9 instead of an 8 x 8 pan.

I think these would be perfect to take to Fall football get-togethers. I promise they will disappear quickly and you will be the hit of the party for serving them!

One Year Ago: Sauteed Snapper with Cherry Tomatoes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
(Recipe source Cate’s World Kitchen, originally from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CRISPY CRUST
1 3/4 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter, melted

FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER LAYER
5 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup creamy peanut butter

FOR THE CHOCOLATE TOPPING
3 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions:

FOR THE CRUST
Spray an 8″ square pan with nonstick spray and set aside. Place cereal in a large bowl and set aside.

Mix together the sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high. Insert a candy thermometer into the mixture and boil until it reaches 235 degrees F. Remove from heat, stir in melted butter, pour over the cereal and mix together. Press into prepared pan and let cool while you make the peanut butter layer.

FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER LAYER
Melt the milk chocolate and peanut butter together in the top of a double boiler over gently simmering water. Stir until smooth, then pour over the crust and chill for an hour in fridge or until set. Alternatively, melt chocolate and peanut butter together in the microwave on 50 percent power. Cook in 30 second intervals, stirring between until melted and continue with directions above.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE TOPPING:
Clean out the double boiler and place dark chocolate, corn syrup and butter in pot. Stir until smooth, over medium low heat. Alternatively, use the same microwave method as above. Cool for about 30 seconds (stirring constantly), then pour over the peanut butter layer, gently spreading. Chill in the fridge for another hour, or until topping has hardened. Cut into squares and serve.

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Confession – I just finished a bowl of vanilla ice cream with a chopped Reese’s cup, chocolate syrup and caramel sauce. I’ve been thinking about blogging these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars all day and my craving for peanut butter and chocolate was out of control. Craving satisfied. I can now blog about these delicious bars without wanting to eat the screen.

Do I even need to state that peanut butter and chocolate is one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations after the above commentary? I’m a bitembarrassed by the number of starred items in my Google Reader involving peanut butter and chocolate. This recipe was one of those items.

We went to a family reunion in the Western North Carolina mountains over the July Fourth weekend (read about it here and here). There were about 60 people in attendance and our family was in charge of dinner one night. I contributed these bars, brownies and oatmeal raisin cookies to the dessert spread.

These bars were incredible and definitely lived up to my high expectations. Of course, the first night I made them Brandon had to sample them warm with ice cream on top (a recurring theme if you read this blog!). I thought they were great plain. Don’t shy away from adding the salt to the recipe even if you’re using salted peanut butter. The salty/sweet flavor is part of what makes these so good. I will actually probably add a little extra salt next time.

I doubled the recipe to accommodate a 13 x 9 pan. They took quite a bit longer to cook than the original recipe stated so I would recommend checking them every five minutes after the suggested baking time until you reach your desired doneness.

This is definitely the best blondie-type recipe I’ve tried for peanut butter chocolate chip bars and I will be making them again in the future and plan on playing around with mix-ins next time (chopped Reese’s anyone!?).

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
(Recipe source Bake at 350)

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup natural chunky peanut butter, salted or unsalted (I used Trader Joe’s chunky salted)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (might want to add a bit more if using unsalted peanut butter)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8 x 8 pan. (Note that I doubled the recipe and used a 13 x 9.)

Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream butter and peanut butter together on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the sugars until mixture is lightened in color and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition and then add vanilla. Reduce mixer to low speed and slowly add in the flour mixture. Add the chocolate chips, stirring until combined.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Remember, you might need additional baking time so just keep checking. Cool completely before cutting.

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pbccbananamuffins

I know, I know…it’s been all about the baking posts lately. I promise I’ll get back to real food soon but I’ve just been in the mood to bake lately. Also, I recognize that I have a slight addiction to baking muffins that involve banana. I’ve shared the story before but I am a total peanut butter addict and peanut butter and banana sandwiches are one of my favorite lunches. But sometimes I just don’t use my bananas for the week and find myself making muffins with the overripe bananas. I’m a little strange because I cannot eat a banana plain. It literally makes me sick to my stomach but I love them in things…like PB&B sandwiches and banana pudding!

So I decided I was ready for a change from my standby banana muffin recipe and wanted to try to incorporate my favorite sandwich in a muffin. I found this recipe on Baking Bites. It was simple and so delicious…especially with a glass of milk! I will definitely be making these often!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
(Recipe adapted from Baking Bites)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed banana (about 2)
6 tablespoons peanut butter (I used all natural crunchy but you can use anything you have on hand)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-muffin tin or prepare with liners.

Whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together vegetable oil, brown sugar, eggs, mashed banana, peanut butter and buttermilk until smooth. Stir in flour mixture flour mixture mix well.

Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin pans, filling about 3/4 full.

Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.

Remove muffins frompan and cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 12 muffins

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I wanted to make a dessert last weekend for the blog (and for our enjoyment on Friday night!). I needed to narrow down my options – it’s a little tough just to say “I want to make a dessert” – so I decided to focus on tarts. I bought a tart pan at Williams-Sonoma a few moths ago and hadn’t used it. I sent Brandon and a few friends an email with tart options and the overwhelming response was that I should either make a peanut butter tart or a chocolate tart. Brandon had the genius suggestion to combine the two. So off I went in search of a chocolate peanut butter tart. I found this recipe online on the cooking blog Alpineberry. It’s originally from Fine Cooking magazine.

This tart did not disappoint for my first foray into tart making. The chocolate and peanut butter flavors went together so well. If you love chocolate and peanut butter as much as I do, I highly suggest you give this one a try!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart
(Recipe source Alpineberry, originally from Fine Cooking Magazine)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CRUST
1 sleeve of Oreos (with cream filling scraped out) or chocolate graham crackers
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

FOR THE FILLING
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 tsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE
3 oz  bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 tbsp light corn syrup

Directions:

FOR THE CRUST
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have an ungreased 9 1/2 inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom ready.

Place cookies in a food processor and process until finely ground. If you don’t have a food processor, you can place the cookies in a gallon bag and use a rolling pin to crush. In a medium bowl, mix the cookie crumbs and sugar until well blended. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and mix until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Put the crumbs in the tart pan and use your hands to spread the crumbs so that they coat the bottom of the pan and start to climb the sides. Use your fingers to pinch and press some of the crumbs around the inside edge of the pan to cover the sides evenly and create a wall a scant 1/4 inch thick. Redistribute the remaining crumbs evenly over the bottom of the pan and press firmly to make a compact layer.

Bake the crust in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

FOR THE FILLING
In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and salt to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, brown sugar, and flour until well blended. Slowly add the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens and comes to a full boil, about 3 min. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, for 1 min. Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanut butter and vanilla; whisk until well blended.

Pour the hot peanut butter mixture into the crust and spread evenly. Gently press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the filling’s surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the tart until cold, about 2 hours, before adding the chocolate glaze.

FOR THE GLAZE
Melt the chocolate in a small bowl in a microwave or in a double boiler over medium heat. (If you don’t have a double broiler, place a small metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.) Add the butter and corn syrup and whisk until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.

Carefully remove the plastic wrap from the top of the chilled filling. Drizzle the glaze over the filling and spread it evenly to cover the tart completely. Refrigerate the tart in the pan until the glaze sets, about 30  minutes or up to 12  hours.

chocpbtart

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