Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
When it comes to sweets, I’ve learned that you cannot make people much happier than when you combine chocolate and peanut butter. In fact, I don’t know anyone who can resist these indulgent little squares…with a crumbly chocolate wafer crust, a rich and creamy peanut butter layer, and smooth-as-silk milk chocolate topping, they’re absolutely irresistible.
They’re also pretty easy to make…
You start with the crust: simply combine Nabisco chocolate wafers (which you can find in the cookie aisle at most grocery stores), butter, sugar and a bit of peanut butter in a food processor and blitz to blend. Press the fine crumbs into a pan and bake.
Next, make the peanut butter filling by combining peanut butter, butter, confectioners’ sugar, dark brown sugar and salt in a mixer.
Melt the chocolate and cream gently in the microwave. When working with chocolate, always go easy on the heat so it doesn’t scorch.
Finally, put it all together: spread a thin layer of chocolate over the cooled crust (this “glues” the peanut butter layer to the crust, otherwise it won’t stick); spread the peanut butter mixture into an even layer over top; then cover with the remaining chocolate.
That’s all there is to it! These bars freeze beautifully so you can make them well in advance; simply defrost them in the refrigerator the day before you plan to serve them.
Be sure to cut them into small fudge-like squares…they’re very rich. Enjoy!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
For the Crust
- 22 Nabisco Chocolate Wafers, finely crushed (or about 1-2/3 cups crumbs), from 1 box
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (I like Skippy Natural "No Need to Stir")
For the Filling
- 6 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 cups Confectioners' sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1-1/3 cups creamy peanut butter
- Pinch salt
For the Milk Chocolate Ganache Topping
- 1 (11.5 ounce bag) milk chocolate chips (preferably Ghirardelli or similar quality)
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and spray a 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Make the crust: Combine the chocolate wafers, sugar, butter and peanut butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until the cookies are finely crushed. Press the mixture firmly into the prepared baking pan (I spread it with my hands first, then use the bottom of a measuring cup to even it out). Bake for 8 minutes. Set on a rack to cool completely.
- In the meantime, make the peanut butter filling: Combine all of the filling ingredients together in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix at low speed until just combined (do not whip). Set the bowl in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest.
- Make the chocolate ganache topping: Combine the milk chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl and cook in the microwave at medium power (50%) for 1 minute. Stir until the bowl no longer feels warm. Continue heating at 15-30 second intervals, stirring until chocolate is smooth and melted. Do not overheat.
- Put it all together: Spread about ¼ cup of the chocolate mixture evenly over the cooled crust; place the pan in the freezer until the chocolate is set, 5-10 minutes. Spread the peanut butter mixture into even layer over the chocolate (if it's firm, you can use your hands; if it's soft, use a butter knife or an offset spatula). Give the chocolate ganache a quick stir to smooth any lumps, then spread it evenly over top of the peanut butter layer. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 hour to set (or, if you're not in a hurry, you can just leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours). When firm, use a sharp knife to cut into squares (make them small as they are very rich!). Run an offset spatula underneath the bars to release the crust so it doesn't crumble. Keep refrigerated and serve cool.
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