Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

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Lord have mercy.

I have a few soft spots for certain things. A kitten’s meow, for example. Chips and salsa, at any moment. Backyards with vintage docks and giant tire swings. These are just a few things I can’t say no to. All those things combined would be incredible.

Just added to the list were these chocolate peanut butter bars. They make me do a little shimmy in the kitchen. I don’t even know how to shimmy.

Let’s clap our hands and say yeah about these bars together, yeah? YEAH! (clap clap)

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I didn’t have any chocolate graham crackers in my house, and neither did Target’s cookie aisle, so I went with these bad boys. Look how cute. Bear army.

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These bears are gonna get CRUSHED. I like that little bear chillin’ on the blade in the middle. Not staged.

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Buttery crumbs are pressed into a pan.

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Check out my rad bracelet. Courtesy of a cool sixth grader. The crust is baked until dry, then set aside while we work on the filling! Filling time!

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Chocolate and PB stacked. This combo right here is almost as good as the actual bars. A close second for me; a definite first for some of you, I’m sure.

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In the middle of these bad boys is a hefty amount of cream cheese, some sugar, eggs, and PB….doi.

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First we beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. You could just stop here and smear this on a piece of coffee cake. That wouldn’t be a bad idea.

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Next we add our PB and everything else. So strange that this comes from a nut (I’ll stop there).

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This is what your filling should look like once everything starts coming together. Continue to beat until filling is smooth, creamy, and not too too thick because it’ll be poured and spread into our pan.

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Pan, crust, PB filling. A beautiful trinity of sorts. The bars are cooked until set, then cooled while we make our ganache.

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Good heavens peanut butter and chocolate!

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The ganache is poured and spread over the bars. Don’t ask me why the chocolate looks like a different color in those two pictures. Some trippy lighting is happening.

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I think these bars are best eaten chilled. Let set in a refrigerator until firm, and then bring them to your neighbor and give them a hug. It’s an unbeatable combo of love/peanut butter/chocolate.

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But hide some for yourself first. No one will even know they’re missing, heyo!

CREAMY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BARS

Makes 32 bars

Recipe from All About Cookies

FOR THE CRUST:

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups finely ground chocolate cookie crumbs

FOR THE FILLING:

1 pound cream cheese (two 8 0z packages)

2/3 cup sugar

2 large eggs

3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

FOR GANACHE:

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

MAKE THE CRUST:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Have a 13 x 9 inch baking pan ready. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt your butter. Remove from heat and add your chocolate crumbs, mixing until all crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of your pan with your fingers or the bottom of a cup. Bake until dry, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly

MAKE THE FILLING:

In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, about a minute each, until mixture is smooth. Add the peanut butter and mix until smooth. With a spatula, spread the mixture evenly over the baked crust. Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Remove pan to a rack to cool to room temperature

MAKE THE GANACHE:

While your bars are cooling, bring heavy cream just to a boil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Once cream just reaches a boil, remove from the stove and add your chopped chocolate. Allow to sit for one minute, then whisk until smooth. With a spatula, spread the ganache evenly over the peanut butter mixture.

Refrigerate until firm.

PB PARTY TIME!

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