This chocolate and peanut butter obsession has to stop. First, there was the tart. Then cookies. And now, less than three weeks later, I’ve been making over-the-top chocolate peanut butter bars. It must come to an end. Literally. I’m out of peanut butter.
Picture this: a thin layer of your favorite dense, chewy brownie (with a couple handfuls of chocolate chunks tossed in for good measure) slathered with a creamy peanut butter spread, then topped with a just-solid-enough-to-leave-tooth-marks-in-when-you-bite chocolate peanut butter layer. Not one bit of this is bad. I shouldn’t have to work very hard to convince you: you ought to make these. Enough said.
This is the brownie layer, baked in a 9″x13″ baking dish.
I used the parchment paper to gently lift the brownie out of the dish and onto a large, flat baking sheet, then I smoothed the peanut butter mixture over the top with an offset spatula.
The chocolate coating goes on as a liquid, but hardens to a solid consistency.
Over-the-Top Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars (adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
1/2 cup butter
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (you can use all-purpose, but why?)
1/2 cup chocolate chunks or chips (use your favorite variety)
Peanut Butter Filling Ingredients:
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a 9″x13″ baking dish with parchment paper and lightly grease the parchment.
Melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for a couple of minutes (this is to prevent cooking your eggs when you add them). Stir in the sugar, salt, vanilla, and eggs. Stir in the flour, just until incorporated. Pour in the chocolate chips and stir just enough to distribute them.
Scrape the batter into your prepared baking dish. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the top is completely set (or a little longer… I tend to like mine slightly underbaked). Cool the brownies in the baking dish on a wire rack.
Peanut Butter Filling Instructions:
With an electric mixer, beat the peanut butter, butter, and salt until smooth. Slowly beat in about a third of the powdered sugar, then half the milk, then a third of the powdered sugar, then the remaining milk, then the remaining powdered sugar. Beat in the vanilla extract, then continue to beat the mixture until it is quite smooth. Add a little milk if necessary to make the mixture a spreadable consistency.
Lift the cooled brownies out of their pan and onto a baking sheet, still on the parchment. Spread the peanut butter filling evenly over the brownie layer.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Instructions:
In a large bowl, microwave the chocolate and peanut butter in 30-second intervals, stirring between each session, until smooth.
Pour the mixture over the peanut butter layer on the brownies, then spread it smooth with a spatula. Move the whole thing to the refrigerator until set, about an hour.
Cut the brownies into squares or bars. If you cut off the edges to have more perfect pieces, then you get to eat the edges. I think these keep best in an airtight container in the fridge.