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OCTOBER 1998
RECIPES


Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Chocolate Chip Popcorn Balls

Chocolate-Orange Pie

"Kitchen Sink" Brownies



SweetSpot

 


Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Tips:These are easy enough for kids to help; they're not even baked. Use your favorite peanut butter (I use a reduced-sodium and reduced-sugar brand), but do not use an all-natural peanut butter, as they separate when chilled. These are stored in the fridge or freezer, but are easier to eat and taste better if they stand at room temperature 15-30 minutes before serving (cover them with plastic wrap, so they won't dry out).

Crust:

  • About 27 chocolate sandwich cookies, ground, to make 3 c. crumbs (I use Oreos and grind them in a food processor fitted with a steel blade)
  • 12 ozs. (2 c.) miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Filling:

  • 1-1/2 c. peanut butter, creamy or chunky
  • 2 c. sifted or strained confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. heavy cream

Topping:

  • 12 ozs. (2 c.) milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. solid vegetable shortening

Line a 13" by 9" by 2" pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil (or two layers of regular aluminum foil).

Measure out 6 ozs. (1 c.) of the miniature chocolate chips; set aside.

For Crust: Place cookie crumbs in medium bowl. Measure out an additional 3 ozs. (1/2 c.) of the miniature chocolate chips; combine these 3 ozs. with the butter in a small heatproof bowl. Set over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir often until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water. Pour chocolate-butter mixture into cookie crumbs; with spoon, mix thoroughly. Add any remaining chips (not the reserved 6 ozs., but any left over--there should be about 1/2 cup) to this crumb mixture and stir in. Turn crumb mixture into foil-lined pan; pat firmly to make an even, compact layer. Set aside.

For Filling: Place peanut butter in large bowl. With large spoon, gradually stir in half of confectioners' sugar, then half of cream. Repeat with remaining sugar and cream. This will be a stiff mixture, but you should be able to work it as though it were dough. Place spoonfuls of the peanut butter filling all over the bottom crust. With your fingers, pat it out to make as even a layer as possible. Chill while preparing topping.

For Topping: In medium heatproof bowl, combine milk chocolate chips, reserved 6 ozs. of miniature semisweet chocolate chips, and shortening (do not substitute butter--it will not work here). Place over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water. Pour over peanut butter filling; spead quickly to make an even layer. Return to refrigerator until glaze is set. Cut into bars; store in refrigerator or freezer.
Note: If you try to cut these when they're cold, they'll crack. Let the uncut bars stand at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. Using a large, sharp knife, score the chocolate topping deeply. If it still cracks, let the bars stand at room temperature for another 15 minutes before trying again.. Repeat scoring two or three times until you've cut through the topping, then cut through the filling and crust. Try using both a serrated and a straight-edged knife, and see what works best for you. How large you make these depends on who will be eating them.

24, 32, or 48 bars


© Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you may not: distribute the text to others without the express written permission of Stephanie Zonis; "mirror" or include this information on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this system. You MAY: print copies of the information for your own personal use; store the files on your own computer for your personal use only; reference hypertext documents on this server from your own documents.

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