Rich Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
Just because I recently posted about a new series centered around healthy eating doesn’t mean an occasional treat is off limits. Especially when they’re as luxurious and delicious as these chocolate peanut butter squares. The key is to not over-do it. Cut yourself a small square (believe me, you won’t need more than a few bites) and share with friends and family. They’ll love (and hate) you.
P.S. – (Do I use too many parenthesis?)
Taste: Sweet, a teeny bit salty, and very rich and very very peanut buttery. Whoever thought of combining peanut butter and chocolate is my favorite kind of genius.
Texture: Luscious and smooth filling, crunchy crust.
Ease: There are a few steps involved but I was able to make these while half-asleep late at night. Also, each step doesn’t require too many ingredients.
Appearance: I love things that are in bar-shaped, especially when they have multiple layers of goodness.
Pros: Freakin’ delicious.
Cons: Very rich, not an everyday treat. But if you cut small squares you won’t over-indulge.
Would I make this again? Possibly!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
Adapted from Once Upon a Chef
Yield – 24 small squares
For the Crust:
- 22 Chocolate Wafers, finely crushed (about 1⅔ cups crumbs)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
For the Filling
- 4 firmly packed tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups Confectioners’ sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1⅓ cups creamy peanut butter
- Pinch of salt
For the Milk Chocolate Ganache Topping
- 1-11.5 ounce bag Ghirardelli (or similar best quality) milk chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Make crust: Combine chocolate wafers, sugar and butter in bowl of food processor fitted with blade attachment and pulse until cookies are finely crushed. Press mixture firmly into prepared baking pan (I spread it with my hands first, then use the bottom of a measuring cup to even it out). Bake for 8 minutes. Set on rack to cool completely.
3. In the meantime, make peanut butter filling: Combine all ingredients together in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix at low speed until just combined (do not whip). Set bowl in refrigerator while you prepare the rest.
4. Make chocolate ganache topping: Combine milk chocolate chips and heavy cream in microwave safe bowl and cook in microwave at medium power (50%) for 1-1½ minutes. Stir until bowl no longer feels warm. Continue heating at 15-30 second intervals, stirring until smooth and melted. Do not overheat.
5. Put it all together: Use an offset icing spatula to spread about ¼ cup of chocolate mixture evenly over cooled crust; place pan in freezer until chocolate is set, about 5-10 minutes. Spread peanut butter mixture into even layer over chocolate (if it’s firm, you can use your hands; if it’s soft, use a butter knife or spatula). Give chocolate ganache a quick stir to smooth any lumps, then spread evenly over top of peanut butter layer. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 1 hour to set, or overnight. When firm, use a sharp knife to cut into small squares. Keep refrigerated and serve cool.