Good Wednesday everyone! After two days of incredible sunny weather, we are back to the rain! I am so unimpressed with this darn weather. But, when I’m feeling blah for some reason or another, there is nothing like a nice little pick me up and today it’s going to be these chocolate peanut butter bars. Chocolate and peanut butter is like a match made in heaven. Its SO good–probably one of my all time favorite combinations. Sweet from the chocolate, salty from the peanut butter. I really like the salty sweet thing. Like kettle corn. Yum.
So, lets get technical for a minute. There are two layers to these little babies: the bottom chocolate layer and the top peanut butter crumble layer…..and then you top the whole thing off with plenty of chocolate chunks. The chocolate layer is similar to a brownie but made from a cake mix. If you don’t have a cake mix, then use a brownie mix or brownie recipe you have and follow those cooking instructions. They should turn out with that little variation. The top peanut butter crumble is…….well…..almost my favorite part of this recipe. It’s sweet, salty, has texture from the oats and gets a little crunchy after you bake it. It’s pure bliss together with the soft and chewy chocolate layer underneath. I just about ate the whole pan when it came out of the oven. They are SO SO delicious warm. Confession: you know when you eat something and you start laughing after the first bite because it’s so good? I totally did that with these! And, I couldn’t get enough! The smell alone of them cooking is what really got me all worked up and ready to dig in. My husband too! He had to leave and go for a run while they were baking because he knew the smell would make him crazy and he’d help me eat the entire pan! Haha! He worked off a couple hundred calories and then came back and indulged. Oh my gravy, these are good. How many times have I said that already? Wow. OK. I’m done talking about these because if I keep re-living this experience I’ll have a whole other pan whipped up in no time and then I’ll be sunk. And by the way, these really don’t take a whole lot of time to make at all. Maybe 10 minutes tops.
SO, if you know what is good for you, then you’ll make a pan of these chocolate peanut butter bars and eat them warm and then hide them so you don’t have to share! Leave some comments if you end up making these because I like hearing feedback! And even if you don’t make them, comments are still appreciated! Happy baking!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
yield: 24 bars
for the chocolate layer
1-18.25 oz. box chocolate fudge cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
for the peanut butter crumble:
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup oats
2 tablespoons flour
2 oz. semi sweet chocolate, chopped into chunks (or just use some chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil or parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In large bowl, mix cake mix, butter and egg together until well combined. Press into an even layer into prepared pan. Set aside.
Melt peanut butter and butter together in microwave safe bowl until butter has melted completely and peanut butter has softened. Stir in remaining ingredients until oats and flour have been incorporated. Sprinkle over chocolate layer and gently press peanut butter crumble into the chocolate layer.
Top with chocolate chunks and bake 25-30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Enjoy warm or cool completely, remove bars from pan and cut into 24 even squares. Store in air tight container.
-I forgot to mention above that the cake mix I used isn’t all that sweet and together with the peanut butter topping doesn’t end up being this over the top sweet dessert. Its delicious and I really enjoy my desserts not too sweet. However, if you do like them sweet, use a brownie mix! You’ll thank me!