The wife of a clarinet player in my community band is known as the "cookie lady." She makes cookies for every rehearsal and performance as she is just that wonderful of a person. She recently delivered Peanut Butter Cups to our Christmas concert. I took her recipe and tweaked it a bit to make a heartier treat. Not to say that her original recipe wasn't fabulous, but I thought I could add a few calories to it. LOL.
I used her base of peanut butter crust and added a layer of brownie to it before topping it with chocolate and peanut butter chips. All in all, they were a big hit at our gathering of college friends last night (love you, Jokers!). So, I thought I would put my recipe out there to share with the blogosphere since keeping this treat a secret would be a crime.
Peanut Butter Brownie Bars
For the crust:
2 sticks margarine (1 c.)
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I use Skippy Natural)
2 1/3 cups powdered sugar
I packaged brownie mix prepared according to package directions
1/2 small package of peanut butter chocolate chips (you could use just chocolate chips depending on your flavor preference)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9x13 pan with foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
Mix melted margarine, peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Press mixture into lined baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until edges are firm and the top has a golden crust. I removed the mixture while it was still giggly.
While the crust is baking, prepare brownie batter and set aside.
Once crust is golden but still not entirely set, remove from oven and spoon brownie batter over the top. Bake until brownie mixture is firm and a toothpick can be removed semi-cleanly. I like my brownies chewy so I do not over-bake them.
While bars are still hot, pour a thin layer of chocolate and peanut butter chips over the top and gently press them into the bars with a metal spoon so that they become a melted candy coating.
Refrigerate until candy layer is set and bottom of pan is cool.
For easy consumption, remove the bars from the pan by lifting out foil. Then, remove bars from foil and cut into desired serving size on a cutting board.