Chocolate. Peanut Butter. Bars. Do I need to say more?
Every day at work, as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up/dessert after lunch, Abby and I eat a peanut butter cup. They sit at a box on my desk, tempting me all morning long with their creamy peanut-y filling and their chocolate shell, a swoon-worthy combination that I’ve already deemed the perfect pair.
I’ve never tried to make peanut butter cups myself, because Trader Joe’s does a pretty awesome job of it already. But last week, I decided I needed to make chocolate-peanut butter something, if only to prove to myself that I don’t need to be dependent on TJ for my fix. Cupcakes and cakes seemed too complicated for my needs, peanutella was too “been there, done that” (same situation with tarts/pies), and cookies, well, eh.
And then I found these no-bake chocolate peanut butter bars. They require minimal effort and no oven time, perfect if you’re in a rush and/or recovering from a deathly illness (coughcough). They feature lots of peanut butter and lots of chocolate, can be made ahead, travel easily — seriously. go. make. these. now.
Best of all, they look super-duper fancy, but take less than 20 minutes (plus chill time) to make. That can be our little secret.
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Adapted from Confessions of a Gluten-Free Mom
My version uses Annie’s honey graham bunnies and therefore isn’t gluten-free, but the original recipe says that arrowroot cookies make a nice swap if you’re gluten-sensitive. I also used butter instead of coconut oil, since I don’t like coconut.
If you have a food processor, this recipe is literally no sweat, as you can crush the graham crackers in it and then use it to mix the other ingredients. Otherwise, a blender or bowl and wooden spoon work fine.
- 2 cups crushed graham crackers or cookies (a food processor works great here)
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup + 1/4 cup peanut butter (I only had chunky on hand, but creamy might be better)
- 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks
1) Mix the crushed cookies, butter, 1 cup of the peanut butter and the powdered sugar in a large bowl or in a food processor until smooth and well combined. Pour into an ungreased 9-x-9 baking dish and spread evenly. Freeze for 15 minutes.
2) In a large microwaveable bowl, melt the chocolate and remaining 1/4 cup of peanut butter, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Spread in an even layer over top the hardened peanut butter mixture. Freeze for an additional 15-20 minutes.
3) Once the chocolate shell is hard, slice into small squares and serve. Keep any leftovers refrigerated. (If there are leftovers, invite me over?)