Quantcast

Peanut Butter Bars

by Jamie on February 8, 2013

Post image for Peanut Butter Bars

[pinit]
Happy Friday, MBA Readers! We’re celebrating the weekend with a delicious guest post from one of my favorite bloggers on the planet, Shaina Olmanson of Food for My Family. Shaina is the author of the creative book, Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine – if you don’t have a copy, you definitely need to pick up a copy! Thanks so much for being here today, Shaina!

There are foods that should be consumed only the seasonally appropriate times. For example, green bean casserole should only be served and eaten in the context of Thanksgiving. It’s nearly a sin to be caught creating that creamy conglomerate of crunchy onion and cream-laced green bean at any other time.

This is also the case for several dessert-related items. Can you imagine if you showed up with almond-flavored spritz cookies pushed through the cookie gun at Labor Day or any time other than just before St. Nick comes calling?

Such is the case with peanut butter balls for me. (You might know them as buckeyes. I am not from Ohio, so I can’t comment, but do as you must.) Peanut butter balls come out once a year: December. They do not exist for me any other time of year, and any failure to eat your fill is paid in penance by waiting a long year to consume them again. They’re like Girl Scout cookies you hand roll instead of ordering them from badge-clad teeny boppers at the door.

Seeing as how we’re well past the New Year at this point, I’m not sure what to do about the lack of peanut butter bliss for I certainly did not have my fill of sugared goodness this season. The answer? Turn them into something else. Yes. Not only did I deconstruct my favorite peanut butter ball recipe into bar form, but I added a crust and delighted in the not rolling of the balls, the lack of dipping them into chocolate, and the 2″ squares that qualify as a “serving.”

I’m not sorry.

Shaina Olmanson is the cook, freelance writer, and photographer behind Food for My Family, which was named one of the top ten Top 100 Mom Food Blogs by Babble.com in 2010, 2011, and 2012. She is the author of Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine, has served as the food editor for LifetimeMoms and daily contributor to Babble’s Family Kitchen, and contributes regularly to FoodYourWay.net and SimpleBites.net. She lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband and their four kids.

Save Recipe Print

Peanut Butter Bars

February 8th, 2013

Yield: 16 bars

Ingredients:

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (like Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter

For the peanut butter layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

For the chocolate layer on top:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup 60% bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line an 8x8" baking pan with parchment. In a small bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/3 cup unsalted butter until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumbs into the parchment-lined pan, packing down with the bottom of a glass. Bake for 15 minutes until set. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

2. Melt the 1/2 cup butter for the peanut butter layer. Mix in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add in the peanut butter and whip until smooth. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs. Spread the layer over the cooled crust. To avoid breaking the crust, Drop several spoonfuls throughout the bottom of the crust before smoothing the top.

3. In a double boiler melt the remaining 1/4 butter. Once melted, add in the chocolate and stir until melted. Pour the chocolate over the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars and serve.


{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa February 8, 2013 at 10:46 am

Could you clarify what we are supposed to be doing with the graham crackers? Are we finely crushing them to thicken the peanut butter mixture or leaving them big enough to add crunch? Thanks.

Reply

Shaina February 8, 2013 at 11:53 am

Yep, they should be crumbs, Lisa. They’re used to add some substance to the peanut butter mix so it makes it easier to cut into bar form.

Reply

Meghan @ The Tasty Fork February 8, 2013 at 10:51 am

Beautiful photos! I love chocolate and peanut butter anything, anytime of year!

Reply

Jen @ Savory Simple February 8, 2013 at 11:21 am

Wonderful guest post! These look incredible.

Reply

NEW ORLEANS HONEY February 8, 2013 at 11:58 am

IT SAYS 1/2 C. GRAHAM CRACKERS. HOW MANY GRAHAM CRACKERS EQUAL 1/2 CUP PLEASE AND THANK YOU?
HONEY FROM NEW ORLEANS

Reply

Shaina February 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm

It is 1/2 cup of crumbs. Thanks! :)

Reply

Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes February 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Can not go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter…..ever!

Reply

Holiday Baker Man February 8, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Ohhh Man! More! More!

Reply

Kristen February 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Oh my – love that creamy peanut butter treat!

Reply

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar February 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm

These look so awesome, and they’re so simple! Great recipe!

Reply

Linda February 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm

You got too excited to make these huh!! ;-) 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs. These are FABULOUS!!

Reply

Monica P February 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Oh, dear these look good.

Monica.

Reply

Carla @ Carlas Confections February 8, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Ooooohh goodness! All that peanut butter and chocolate yumminess! Cant even handle it!

Reply

Barbara February 8, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Thanks for sharing Sandra…I love this one!

Reply

JanetFCTC February 8, 2013 at 11:36 pm

These look delicious! But I have to disagree about the foods… I’m one of those weirdos making Pumpkin bread in July and grilling foods out in the snow hehe. A rebel without a clue or something like that

Reply

Bellenza Bistro February 9, 2013 at 3:33 am

Peanut butter and chocolate…a dream team in my books!

Reply

Seonaid February 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Wow these look very rich, but very tasty too.

Reply

Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth February 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

These look like the best bars ever! I have Pinned them and cannot wait for an excuse to make them!

Reply

tara @ live a sweet life February 9, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Love peanut butter and chocolate. I could probably live on these for a while! haha

Reply

loni February 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm

luv your blog. don’t leave comments b/c i see you via Google reader. but ihave many of your recipes. thanks!!

Reply

Loretta February 9, 2013 at 8:40 pm

This reminds me of a recipe we used to make when we were kids. Hate to say it, but yours looks a little better :)

Reply

natalie February 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm

I was lucky enough to grow up in Ohio, where buckeyes/”peanut butter/chocolate ____” is not seasonal and can be enjoyed year-round. We love shoving peanut butter and chocolate together in any form and calling it buckeye, balls, bars, brownies, ice cream… Pretty much the best thing ever. We served a similar bar in the cafe at Ohio State. :)

They’ve definitely become a seasonal treat since I moved to AZ… Imagine trying to eat this when it’s 110 degrees…. not quite as easy lol – My gram sent me a whole container of “authentic” Ohio “buckeyes” for Christmas, since I consumed the lot of them my cravings have been subdued…. until seeing this post, of course. CAN’T WAIT to make these

Reply

Becca - Cookie Jar Treats February 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm

I’m the same way with some foods. I refuse to bake with pumpkin before October 1st and after November 30th. And maple goods are reserved for December only, and so on and so forth. Anyways, these peanut butter bars look fantastic! :)

Reply

Shaina February 11, 2013 at 12:03 am

So glad to hear I’m not alone in my neuroses, Becca! ;)

Reply

Lisa Cornely February 9, 2013 at 10:19 pm

This look wonderful. I can’t wait to try these.

Reply

Bintu@recipesfromapantry February 10, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Oh- these look good.

Reply

Susan @ Cruise Vacation February 11, 2013 at 4:06 am

I never thought about Peanut butter bars. that bars look so delicious and recipe also seems easier. Hope I’ll make it without any problem. Thanks for sharing.

Reply

Carolina February 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm

omg. boy, they look good but what is the cals and fat content!!!

Reply

Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies February 13, 2013 at 4:11 pm

I might be the only person pining for a middle school cafeteria lunch, but these sound SO CLOSE to a treat I had often in 6th grade and haven’t been able to fully replicate since. *fingers crossed* Trying it out ASAP :)

Reply

Faye March 1, 2013 at 10:56 am

I love peanut butter bars and your recipe looks wonderful!

Reply

jayne March 10, 2013 at 6:27 am

what are graham crackers? please I am english and would like to know the alternative thank you.

Reply

Jamie May 18, 2013 at 9:15 am

Jayne-
Hello! I have heard that digestive biscuits are a great alternative for graham crackers. I hope this helps.
-Jamie

Reply

Melissa Baker May 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I made these and they are AWESOME!! The peanut butter mixture taste like Reece’s. I do have a question though… Do the leftovers have to be refrigerated or can I leave them out? Thanks!

Reply

Jamie May 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Melissa-
I would refrigerate them – I am so happy to hear you enjoyed them. Have a great weekend.
-Jamie

Reply

Renee@chocolatepeanutbutterohmy June 21, 2013 at 3:01 am

YUM!!! anything chocolate and peanutbuter I LOVE!

Reply

Melanie February 3, 2014 at 4:53 am

I know I am late to the party, but a student of mine turned me to your blog on Friday. This was one of three of your recipes I made this weekend and we loved them all! This bars are fantastic. I recommend people let them cool fully – I was impatient and dug in before the crust settled. Thank you for sharing your ideas!

Reply

Jamie February 5, 2014 at 11:19 am

Melanie-

I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the bars! Thank you so much for dropping in to share your experience with making them. Have a wonderful day and thank you for following MBA!

-Jamie

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: