Regular readers may notice I have a bit of a thing for chocolate + peanut butter. I’ve made chocolate peanut butter cups (which is the most popular recipes on my blog), chocolate peanut butter slices, chocolate peanut butter macarons, chocolate peanut butter cup cupcakes and even peanut butter, chocolate, toffee and bacon cupcakes! There are even more chocolate + peanut butter combinations I’ve made, but these linked above have been my favorites.
I’ve been wanting to try a no-bake chocolate peanut butter bar recipe for a while and I finally got inspired to do when I saw this recipe at Our Best Bites (and they’ll soon be releasing a cookbook, by the way!). The recipe looked so easy and so quick to prepare that I couldn’t pass it up.
I did a couple of things differently, which I’ll make a note of in case it may help others with this recipe:
First of all, I decided to halve the recipe, so I used an 8×8-inch square metal pan, and divided all the ingredient quantities in half.
Second, my main obstacle was that Australia has no graham crackers! I substituted the graham cracker crumbs with a relatively similar-tasting biscuit made by Arnott’s – the Nice biscuit. They can be crumbled into fine crumbs in a food processor or by bashing and rolling the biscuits in a Ziploc bag with a trusty rolling pin.
Third, the original recipe used shortening in the chocolate layer, but I don’t like shortening (and there is no shortening in Australia); the original recipe said that peanut butter could be used instead of shortening, which would keep the chocolate layer softer; I thought the peanut butter idea was a good one, but that Nutella would be even better, so I used Nutella. Also, you may be interested to know that I used Lindt 50% chocolate.
These bars tasted almost exactly like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. I’m tempted to use the peanut butter layer recipe to make another batch of chocolate peanut butter cups!
Do make sure that you don’t allow the bars to fully set in the refrigerator before cutting them up into individual squares – it’s best to do the cutting while the chocolate is firm, but not runny or hard. The chocolate might crack a bit as you cut it if you leave it to fully set, which would result in a not-so-neat presentation. My main tip in eating these bars is, if you’re storing them in the refrigerator, to let them sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before enjoying them, they taste much better this way. They’re still fine straight from the ‘fridge, but for some reason the peanut butter taste isn’t so strong. So let them sit out of the ‘fridge for a bit and you’ll experience nearly the same awesome satisfaction you get as you bite into a Reese’s Cup!
Adapted from Our Best Bites
Makes 12-16 squares, depending on how you want to cut it
3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cups creamy peanut butter
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
6oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons Nutella (or peanut butter)
In a large mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, peanut butter and butter and beat until combined. Press into a parchment-lined 8X8-inch pan, making sure top is smooth and level.
Melt chocolate and Nutella in a double boiler. Pour chocolate over peanut butter layer and spread out evenly (I tilted the pan around to get a smooth top, instead of spreading it out with a knife). Place pan in refrigerator just until chocolate is set and then cut into bars. Best served at room temperature.