Exactly 9 days post-New Year’s my aforementioned aversion to sweets disappeared like a puff of smoke. The holiday sugar cloud has lifted and I am ready to dive into butter, chocolate, sugar and, of course… peanut butter! These peanut butter cup bars are nothing new to the blogosphere, but I am thrilled to finally have them back in my kitchen. I had my first encounter with these bars waaaaaay back in college. I was at a cookout/bonfire and a girl brought a pan of these. I’ve been a peanut butter fanatic pretty much since I uttered my first words, so needless to say I fell in love with these immediately. As soon as I wiped the peanut butter and chocolate crumbs off my mouth, I asked for the recipe. I got it, and then promptly lost it before I ever got a chance to make them. I have lived without these for way too many years, so I must make amends. And share with you of course.
I was the kid on Halloween that dug through the candy to get to the Reese’s peanut butter cups. They were gold. On Easter, I was always thrilled when the bunny left a Reese’s peanut butter egg or, as I got older and more appreciative of good sweets, a Sarris peanut butter meltaway egg. So imagine how insanely excited I am that these taste just like a giant peanut butter cup. I could get even more authentic with a thicker layer of chocolate, or actually encasing a cup-shaped version in chocolate, but this recipe is super easy and darn-near perfect. If it ain’t broke…
1. Line an 8x8-inch square pan with foil, leaving enough to hang over the sides, then butter the foil. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, melt the ½ cup 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. Spread the peanut butter mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
3. In the now-empty saucepan, melt the ¼ cup unsalted butter. Add the chocolate and stir until almost completely melted. Remove from heat and continue stirring until completely melted. Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer and smooth into an even layer.
4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set. Remove from the pan using the foil overhangs and place on a cutting board. Use a pizza cutter to slice into 16 bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.