Thursday, February 17, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Bars

Peanut Butter Cup Bars
This blog is long overdue, but it’s such a delicious recipe that it is worth the wait. I’ve had writer’s block for a few weeks. Okay, it could also just be exhaustion and lack of desire to sit in front of a computer any longer.

As most of you probably know, I started working full time as a middle school counselor on January 31st. Hooray for me! I absolutely love my job and all of the people I have the privilege of working with. The downside to my amazing job is that it became available to me because the head counselor at this school moved to LA with her husband. Now this woman, S, is an incredible counselor. In the days and weeks I got to work with her prior to her departure, I was awestruck. S has this way of making everyone feel valued and important, and she never loses sight of the “big picture.” I really learned a lot from her and was just as sad as anyone else at the school to see her go. So it has been a very bittersweet transition into this new job.

We had a luncheon at school a few days before S left. When I asked her what she wanted me to bake, she said that she loved anything with peanut butter and chocolate. Oh, oh, oh! I was so excited! As you should all know by now, I love this combination. My baking muse, Michelle, posted this recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Bars and I have been dying to make them. Let me just tell you, they are as good, if not better, than they sound. It is like biting into the perfect Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup…the big ones, not the little miniatures. Mmm delicious. Heaven. H-e-a-v-e-n. Like a gift from an angel. Anyway, I figured that these were the perfect treat to show S how much she means to the entire school community. I think you’ll agree.

Now, what’s funny about these tasty little treats is that they require NO baking! I took the original recipe and increased it to fill a 13x9 inch pan because I knew I had quite a few people to please with my baked goods. I think that the trick to these delicious bars is in getting the two layers to be level and smooth. You want an appropriate and even peanut butter to chocolate ratio throughout the whole pan. I achieved such perfection with through the use of my large frosting knife. The wide, flat surface made it smoothing and spreading incredibly easy. Using a pizza cutter to cut the bars even was a brilliant idea as well, so thank you Brown Eyed Baker!

I hope you all enjoy these Peanut Butter Cup Bars as much as the staff at my middle school did!

Peanut Butter Cup Bars
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1¾ cups smooth peanut butter
1¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Line a 13x9 inch pan with foil, leaving enough to hang over the sides, and then butter the foil. Set aside.

Buttering the foil was inspired...removal and clean-up were a breeze!

In a medium saucepan, melt the 14 tablespoons of butter over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter and graham cracker crumbs until completely combined and smooth.

I was doubtful that this was correct, but I promise it gets smooth...keep reading!

Spread the peanut butter mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

See?? It's absolutely gorgeous! And so smooth!

In a medium saucepan, melt the 7 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Add the chocolate and stir until almost completely melted. Remove from heat and continue stirring until completely melted.

I love when chocolate is all shiny and pretty.
It's melting!!! :)

Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer and smooth into an even layer.

The frosting knife was an excellent tool for this recipe.
Mmm I can't wait to dig in!!

Refrigerate for at least an hour to set. Remove from the pan using the foil overhangs and
place on a cutting board. Use a pizza cutter to slice into 28 bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Now, enjoy the photo shoot!

Perfect peanut butter to chocolate ratio!

I love the slightly blurred background but the very crisp, clear bars.

View from the top!

Thanks for waiting so long for this post! I hope this recipe was worth the wait!! (Oh, the recipe was adapted from

<3 Buttercup

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