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28 April 2013

No Bake Peanut Butter S'more Bars



So I am about a day late, dollar short with blogging this semester. And I believe I have whined about the busy schedule that I have had this semester about a zillion times. I mean down right exhausting!  Though, I have just loved this semester--as crazy as that sounds. I LOVED teaching this semester, my class was sooo sweet and fun to work with, and I LOVE my placement- and each day reminds me just how much I love working with kids. Well- on the plus side of dropping off from blogging- I have so much to share with you all! :) I will break it up in the different posts- to spread out the fun ;)

Last Saturday, I had a wonderful Crawfish Boil get together with my friends at the dog park, which always makes for a fun time! The hubby was a bit bummed, because he does not like Crawfish, so he had miscellaneous snack foods to munch on, which I was not too bad. I probably ate, definitely ate way more than I should have, but what can I say?! I just love crawfish! I had crawfish, corn, mushrooms, chips and dip, and a lot of different desserts. There are a few of us, that like to bake at my dog park, so the host asked the three of us to bake a dessert. He wanted to make a competition out of it, which mortified me. I am probably the least competitive person out there-- I mean I work with little children. When you work with kids, you better be ready to "lose" (on purpose) very graciously ;) And so competitions never work for me, because I just want the other person to win. And it was pretty funny, because I think the three of us, were all extremely non-competitive.


For the crawfish boil I decided to make these Peanut Butter S'more Bars that I saw on Pinterest. Lately I have noticed that I really enjoy the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. Plus, I always love trying different twists to a classic favorite (S'mores). Ninja was really excited that I chose to make this, because I ended up emptying out the peanut butter jar which meant he got to lick the jar clean :) before it got thrown out. He loves those lucky days when he actually gets something out of the kitchen! And boy does he recognize the scent of peanut butter! :) Gotta love that Ninja face!



Anywhoo, I decided to make these, which in hindsight probably was not the best decision. You see, the recipe calls for using marshmallow fluff, which is fine, when refrigerated  Sadly, I made these for a Crawfish boil where the food needed to be left out so that people could grab and enjoy. And its April in College Station, Texas- which makes for some pretty warm weather. #dessert fail. Do not get me wrong, these bars came out delicious. It could be that I am a sucker for both S'mores and the peanut butter-chocolate combination, but regardless they were yum! The fail was that after about 30 minutes they fluff began to melt. :( Which was still yummy but made for some messy eating). Bottom line- make these when they can be refrigerated or stuffed in your mouth immediately (which is not hard because they are awesome) but not for a potluck :)







NO BAKE PEANUT BUTTER S'MORE BARS

INGREDIENTS 

FOR THE CRUST
1 c. butter, melted
3 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/4 c. creamy peanut butter

FOR THE TOPPINGS
1 large jar of marshmallow fluff 
1 (12.5 oz) bag of chocolate chips
2 tbsp. shortening
1 bag of mini Reese's Mini Peanut Butter cups

DIRECTIONS

First line a 9x13 baking dish with aluminum foil. Grease aluminum foil with butter, shortening or cooking spray. This will help when removing bars from baking dish, to allow for cooking and easier-cleaner cutting into squares. Set aside. 

For the Crust:
In a microwave safe bowl  melt butter on high for about 45 seconds. Then in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and peanut butter. Add more peanut butter if graham cracker crust needs more moisture. 

Transfer graham cracker crumble to the prepped baking dish and pack it down firmly using the bottom of a flat drinking glass. Make sure it is packed firmly, otherwise when you cut the bars, the graham cracker will crumble and create a mess. 

For the topping:
For the marshmallow fluff layer: This set up will help. Have a cup with warm water set next to your crust. First dip a spatula in the warm water. Use the spatula to scoop out the marshmallow fluff and evenly distribute the scoops over the graham cracker crust. Then, wet your finger tips with warm water. Using your finger tips, evenly spread the scoops of marshmallow fluff over the graham cracker crust. Wetting your finger tips will prevent the marshmallow fluff from sticking to your fingers and prevent a mess. 

For the chocolate layer: In a saucepan over medium-low heat, bring together chocolate chips and shortening. Continue stirring until the chocolate chips are completely melted. Pour over the marshmallow fluff layer and use a spatula to gently, evenly distribute the chocolate. The chocolate may begin to sink below the fluff- this is okay :)

For Reese's crumble layer: Unwrap all the Reese's mini peanut butter cups. Chop the mini peanut butter cups [the easiest way to do this is to refrigerate them. So it is easier to chop up]. Sprinkle them on top of the melted chocolate. Immediately refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Or place in freezer for quicker cooling. Once cooled, wet a knife with warm water for easiest cutting (that way the marshmallow fluff will not stick to the knife). 

Enjoy,
Chika

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