Recipe - Peanut Butter Bars

Oh man, oh man, oh man. These are so dang delicious that I am partially convinced you'll go out and make some ASAP. If you don't, what is wrong with you? Kick back to your childhood days when you got to nosh on these peanut butter bars for being good. I absolutely adored these whenever we had them in the elementary school cafeteria, possibly even trading more nutritious items with my friends to get my hands on more bars. Either that or I bullied people into giving me theirs. Wait no, whoops. I didn't mean to tell you that. Anyway! I decided that I ought to spoil Duc a little bit the other day and got the few ingredients together needed to make these tasty peanut butter bars. You'll love them so what are you waiting for? Grab a pan and start on these no-bake dessert treats!

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 9x13 pan; size depends on slicing)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4-5 oz graham crackers (before crushing), about 10-12 crackers
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups crunchy all-natural peanut butter, your favorite brand
  • 10 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 6 oz peanut butter chips
  • unscented, non-infused oil

Step 2: Prepping the base
The butter needs to be softened. If you are short on time, you can cut it up into smaller pieces to increase the surface area exposed to the room temperature; this should speed up the softening. While that's softening, crushed graham crackers in a food processor. Add to the butter. Add sugar and peanut butter. Mix together thoroughly. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and smooth out the mixture onto there. Place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes for base to set. Heck yes, there is a LOT going into the batch.

Step 3: Prepping the topping
I learned the coolest thing about melting chocolate chips the other day while watching Alton Brown on Good Eats. Y'all may already know this but if you didn't, you should! Instead of doing a double boiler or risk burning chocolate chips in the microwave, you can drizzle on a little bit of oil into the bowl before microwaving to melt chips down. That's what I did with our chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. It produced a beautiful, smooth topping to the bars. Microwave for about 1.5 minutes before spreading over base. Place back into the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: FinishingWhen you are ready to slice up the pieces, remember that you'll need to place the tray out for about five minutes. Otherwise the chocolate will crack once you take a knife to it! Slice up and serve accordingly. Refrigerate whatever you don't eat immediately.

Photography by Duc Duong because my hands were covered in chocolate and peanut butter.