Friday, March 29, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

These are my new favorite treat.  HOLY SMOKES. I love them so much I made them twice this week. 

Here are some thoughts and suggestions I have on these yummy little bars:
  • Only refrigerate the bars as long as needed to get the ganache to set up.  Too much refrigeration dries out the bottom layer. 
  • The original recipe called for chopped peanuts in the peanut butter layer.  I didn't use them because I didn't have any and was very happy with the result.  No peanuts necessary, in my opinion.  Keep it smooth and simple. 
  • Use something other than chocolate chips for the ganache layer.  I find that chocolate chips don't always melt smoothly.  If the ganache is not initially smooth, use a whisk to smooth things out. 
  • I'm thinking it might be a very good idea to top these with the mini peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's.   
  • You might also want to serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 


Bottom Layer:
  • 1 Devil's food cake mix
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
Middle Layer:
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons whipping cream or milk
Top Ganache:
  • 1/ 2 cup whipping cream
  • 12 ounces milk chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with foil (or parchment), extending foil over the pan edges. Lightly grease foil. No need to grease the parchment, if that's what you're using.

In a mixer, combine cake mix, melted butter, and egg. Beat on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture is combined.

Press mixture into bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake for 12 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

In mixer, combine softened butter, peanut butter, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.

Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and beat well after each addition, scraping the bowl as needed.

Beat in the 2 tablespoons whipping cream.  Continue beating until very smooth and fluffy. 

Spread mixture evenly over the cooled crust.

Place bars in the refrigerator while preparing the ganache.
In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup whipping cream just to boiling over medium-high heat.
Remove from heat and add chocolate pieces. Do not stir. Let stand 5 minutes.

Stir until smooth.

Cool 15 minutes. Very gently pour ganache over bars, lightly spreading it to the edges.

Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours or until set.

Using the edges of the foil, lift the uncut bars out of the pan and cut. 

Source:  Better Homes and Gardens


  1. never let me eat one of these. ever. it would be sooo dangerous.

  2. Made these last night. They were a hit! We really liked them. They do taste better if left out for a bit.