Cooking Column: Chocolate peanut butter bars

Cooking Column: Chocolate peanut butter bars

You know those snacks from when you were younger that your mother never made, but some other adult did? For me, it was these peanut butter bars covered in chocolate that parents at my church used to make for youth group get togethers. Those things were the highlight of youth group get togethers for me.

Why I never asked my mom to make them is a mystery to me. I haven’t had them in years, but for the past week I’ve been thinking about these bars for some reason. Maybe it’s stress. Maybe I’m craving a little bit of my childhood right now. Whatever the cause, I set my mind to figuring out how to make them myself this week.

Turns out it’s easier than I thought, which isn’t all that surprising in hindsight. I mean, parents were making these for a large group of kids. It really shouldn’t have surprised me the process is basically dump everything in one bowl, melt some stuff in another and put it in the fridge.

This thing is peanut butter and chocolate all the way through. And after a very stressful week, I decided I didn’t just need the most sugary treat of my youth, I needed to add more sugar to it. So I went the extra step and chopped up some Reese's cups to give it a little more chocolate and peanut butter flair.

So into the bowl went melted butter, powdered sugar, crushed graham crackers and a lot of peanut butter and the Reese’s. Then it got poured into a cake pan lined with wax paper and topped with a mixture of melted chocolate peanut butter.

Using the wax paper will make the step after you chill it so much easier. You just grab the corners, lift it out of the pan, place it on the corner and cut them into bars.

Then you tell your roommate about them when she gets home and watch her light up, run downstairs and jump over boxes to get to the fridge.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

For the peanut butter bars

  • 1 cup of melted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 ½ cups of crushed graham crackers
  • 1 cup of chopped Reese's cups

For the chocolate topping

  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 ½ cups of chocolate chips

HOW TO MAKE IT

Combine the melted butter, powdered sugar, crushed graham crackers and one cup of peanut butter in a large bowl.

Once it’s nice and creamy, stir in your chopped Reese’s cups.

Pour the mixture into a wax paper lined 9x13 cake pan and spread it out evenly. Set aside.

In a small bowl microwave ½ cup of peanut butter and chocolate chips on high in 15 second intervals until melted. Stir after every 15 seconds.

Pour and spread the chocolate mixture over the peanut butter.

Let the pan sit in the fridge for at least two hours.

Cut into squares and enjoy! 

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