Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars


Craving something decadent?  This recipe offers the ultimate flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter.  And yes, they taste as good as they look.

Quite sturdy, these bars would be an excellent offering at a bake sale.  A crisp, buttery, brown sugar shortbread crust is baked, then a peanut butter chocolate ganache forms the top layer.   I was especially curious about this recipe because of the coffee used in the chocolate layer.  It does not offer a distinctive coffee note but it does enhance the chocolate flavor.

Flavorista Mimi found this recipe in the December 2009 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, it was a prize winning reader recipe in the Favorite Childhood Sweets Category.  I tested the recipe in a 9×13-inch pan because it is a more common pan size than a 15×10.  It worked just fine.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars from Better Homes and Gardens

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (12-oz. pkg.) semisweet chocolate pieces
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup hot strong coffee
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan or line the pan with foil or parchment; set aside. For cookie base, in large mixing bowl beat the 3/4 cup butter on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar; beat until combined, occasionally scraping sides of bowl. Beat in egg, vanilla, and salt until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Evenly spread dough in prepared pan.

2. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes until edges are golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack. Makes 36 bars.

3. For frosting, in small saucepan combine chocolate and 3 tablespoons butter. Stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Transfer chocolate mixture to a medium bowl. Whisk in coffee and peanut butter until combined. Whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread on cookie base. Let stand until frosting is set.

PS – NYC’s Flavorista Phebe – This one is for you!

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