I made these for the second installment of my stepfather’s Christmas gift — a cookie-a-month club for 12 months (great idea for the cookie lovers in your life, btw). My mom, being the Reese’s PB cup lover that she is, couldn’t keep her hands off these either. Their reaction over IM: “SO good!!! yummmmmmy!”
Variants of this bar can be found all over blogland right now, for good reason — chocolate and peanut butter is an irresistable combo.
I actually made another version from AllRecipes (found here), for a work party, and it was good! And so easy to throw together for work the next day at 9pm at night!! Just not my preferred ratio of chocolate to peanut butter. I much prefer the thinner bars, with more of a balance between the dark chocolate and the sugary peanut butter layer.
If you cut these in teeny tiny pieces (I actually cut the pieces you see in the picture in half), they are the perfect size for popping in your mouth and won’t give the sugar overload that giant-sized portions will.
Homemade Peanut Butter Cup Bars
Adapted from EatLiveRun.com
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 3.5-oz 71% cacao Valhrona bars, or 7oz dark chocolate of choice
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 T butter
Blend together the brown sugar, powdered sugar, butter and peanut butter until it reaches a smooth paste-like consistency (it forms crumbles for me using TJ’s nonhydrogenated peanut butter, but that’s okay — it can still be pressed smooth). Press into the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan.
Melt the chocolate with the tablespoon of butter over very low heat (or in a microwave). Pour melted chocolate over the peanut butter crust and stick in the fridge for an hour to harden.
Cut into squares and serve! (let sit at room temp for a bit before cutting with a knife, or else the chocolate will crack)
You can vary the type of chocolate you use, depending on your preference. I prefer more dark chocolate, so I use 3 Valhrona bars and less semi-sweet. You could also replace the dark chocolate with milk chocolate. Try the Trader Joe’s “pound-plus” bars (cheaper alternative) or the new chocolate callets (disks) for easy melting!
If you use a high quality dark chocolate bar (such as Valhrona), it just puts these over the top.
I’ve included pictures below, to show you the peanut butter crumbles that I got using Trader Joe’s creamy unsalted non-hydrogenated peanut butter. I panicked at first, thinking this isn’t a smooth, paste-like consistency?! But I just used my glass measuring cup to pat it down, and it worked fine. The second time I made these, I used good ole Skippy, and I must have used too much peanut butter, because it was sooooo sticky, it stuck to my hands, the glass, everything and took forever to smooth out. The layers also seemed to separate more easily when I was cutting the bars. I think if I had the choice, I’d do the the non-hydrogenated peanut butter.
Also, it would be a smart idea to line your pan with foil and lift the whole pan out as one piece prior to cutting — probably would help keep the pb from separating from the chocolate layer and sticking to the pan.