Somewhat Simple

Peanut Butter Bars

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My husband and I recently tried some peanut butter bars that were so good, we could not get them out of our heads!  They were a layer of thick chocolate brownie, a layer of a peanut butter spread and then topped with a thick chocolate ganache. I decided I would treat my husband for Father’s Day and recreate the recipe!  Here is the recipe I came up with:

Peanut Butter Bars

This recipe makes a full jelly-roll pan, but if you don’t need to feed your neighbors, just half it and cook it in a 9 X 13 pan.

First you need to make the brownie layer:

  • 4 ounces baking chocolate, chopped*
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour (GF substitue if making for a GF friend)
  • Butter and flour a 12 X 17 inch jelly roll plan or Parchment paper**

*My favorite baking chocolate is Bakers Unsweetened in the yellow box.

** You can butter the pan if you prefer using that method, but if you want to cut the bars easier, make a sling out of parchment paper by laying one piece of parchment in the pan, spraying it with cooking spray and then laying a second layer of parchment perpendicular to the first and spraying the second sheet. 

  1. First, pre-heat the oven to 350º and prep your pan with butter or parchment paper.
  2. Melt butter in a double boiler or over very low heat in a saucepan. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the 2 cups of sugar and stir to combine.
  4. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring to incorporate after each addition. (This is important. The brownies taste better if you love them a bit.)
  6. Add the vanilla.
  7. Stir in the flour a cup at a time until combined.
  8. Pour batter into the 12X17 baking pan and bake for about 15-18 minutes or until the brownies have pulled away from the side of the pan and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out with just a few crumbs.  Be careful not to overcook.
  9. Cool for one to two hours.

After the brownies have cooled completely, make the peanut butter layer:

  • 3 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  1. Place the butter in the microwave and heat until it is melted.
  2. Add the butter and peanut butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat for 30 seconds on medium until the peanut butter and butter is mixed together.
  3. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time and stir between additions until the sugar is incorporated.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons milk. Stir on low until the milk is incorporated.
  5. If the filling seems overly stiff, and the remaining tablespoon of milk.
  6. If you used the parchment paper sling to line your pan, remove the brownies from the pan by holding the sides of the parchment paper. Then, spread the peanut butter filling over the brownies.

Lastly, make the chocolate ganache layer: 

  • 16 ounces of chocolate chips that are at least 60% cocoa. (I only use Ghiradelli or Guittard)
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  1. Place the chocolate chips in a plastic bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat the cream over medium-low heat until small bubbles appear on the surface of the cream.
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and cover the bowl with foil.
  4. Let the cream and chocolate sit for three minutes. Remove the foil and stir until the chocolate is fully incorporated.
  5. Successful ganache is thick and shiny. If it is still liquid, the ganache has split. This is a great site that tells you how to rescue a spilt ganache.
  6. Pour the ganache over the brownies and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Let the brownies sit for about one hour for the ganache to set.

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Cut into squares and enjoy!!!

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These are definitely not for your friend that complains of desserts being too rich, in fact I wouldn’t recommend these without having a tall glass of milk on hand!