05 July 2019

PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BARS

With summer being in full swing already, I find myself relying more and more on no-bake recipes, which inevitably include desserts, too. And this is just such a recipe - nice, easy, summer sweet treat, made with just a handful of ingredients.
Speaking of sweetness, these have only a spoonful of honey added, mostly for flavour and texture, partly because it keeps them from hardening when stored in the refrigerator. I find that there is plenty of sweetness in them already, from the biscuits and the chocolate.
Since they are thin, they almost resemble candy bark, with a combination of deep, nutty peanut butter flavour, honey, vanilla, and the topping of dark chocolate. Other than enjoyed on their own, they are also really nice when chopped finely and sprinkled over some vanilla ice cream.
If so inclined, add a tiny splash of peanut liqueur to the base, for a deeper peanut butter flavour. These lovely bars are best served very well-chilled, straight from the refrigerator, and with a delightfully satisfying snap from the chocolate topping on each bite.


Ingredients
For the peanut layer
120 grams peanut butter
80 grams butter, softened
20 grams acacia honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
120 grams vanilla biscuit crumbs
For the chocolate layer
200 grams dark chocolate (50% cocoa)
100 grams peanut butter, divided


Preparation
Place the peanut butter and the softened butter into a saucepan, and melt them together slowly, over medium-low heat. Once melted, remove from the stove, and stir in the honey, as well as the vanilla. To the warm peanut butter, add the fine biscuit crumbs, and stir well, until completely blended. Depending on the type of biscuit you use, the batter may seem a bit dry or crumbly at this point. If this happens, add another tablespoon of soft peanut butter, and mix until combined. Take a small baking pan (18x18 cm), line it with baking parchment, and press in the batter evenly. Use a tiny rolling pin or a pastry roller to get it uniformly in all corners.
Set the pan aside, and proceed to make the chocolate topping. Chop up the chocolate and place it into a small sauce pan, add in 50 grams of peanut butter, and melt everything together over medium heat, whilst stirring often. Pour the chocolate over the peanut butter layer, gently coax it into the corners, and tap and shake the pan to distribute it evenly. Place the remainder of the peanut butter into a pastry bag fitted with a small nozzle, and haphazardly decorate the surface of the chocolate. You can take a toothpick and make some additional design, if desired. Place the pan into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or until completely set. Cut into squares, and serve. Yields 16 servings.

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