Monday, July 4, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Last year one of our interns started a little side business of selling treats to our visiting American groups. It worked out great - she would make the treats and just set them out in our large dining hall in the afternoons and evenings. The group members would just leave money in a jar. She enjoyed baking, and so this was an obviously great way for her to earn a little extra cash.
She went home at the end of July and I decided to take over the "business". I make some pretty awesome chocolate chips cookies. I can say that with a straight face and a firm belief. I've never had a homemade cookie as good as mine. I get requests for them from friends and family, and I have made them for travelings rock bands (who then ask for them the next time they're in town OR ask for the recipe to give to their wife - true story). Trust me on this, guys. I am a person who can fully acknowledge when I don't do something well. I'm actually pretty good at saying "eh, this didn't turn out great". I don't do many things well, but these cookies are out of this world.

I couldn't just sell chocolate chip cookies though, even if they are as scrumptious as everyone says. I rounded out my offerings with brownies, peanut butter cookies (that are also quite delicious), and the famous peanut butter bars. The former intern gave me this recipe.

I want to tell you right now that I'm not a peanut butter/chocolate combo lover. I've never liked it. HOWEVER I heard over and over again about how good these bars are. Last week I made two trays of them because they were sold out almost immediately. They're fairly simple to make and don't require baking. Here's the recipe, for all interested parties (and for your interesting parties).

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
4 cups crushed graham crackers
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups peanut butter
1 cup butter (melted)
2 cups chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon oil

Just looking at those ingredients, you can see how great this could be. 
Crush the graham crackers. I use a rolling pin (or other objects) and a plastic ziploc.You can use other methods, but I cannot guarantee success.
Mix together all crumbs, powdered sugar, peanut butter, and butter. I put the melted butter on last, as I think it helps with the mixing.
When it's all mixed together well, spread at the bottom of a 9x13 pan. I've just figured out that using the back of a spoon to smooth it out helps a LOT. It only took me 12 times of making these suckers to figure that out.

Melt chocolate chips and oil together and mix well.
Spread chocolate on top of the peanut butter/crumb mixture. It's a much thinner layer. 
Refrigerate for an hour, cut the pieces, then keep refrigerating for a few more hours, until completely firm. Cutting them after an hour prevents the top chocolate from hardening completely. If the chocolate is completely hardened, it's hard to cut, and the chocolate just cracks and splits.

Voilá! You have just made Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars and everyone will think you are the best person ever. Have fun being popular!

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