B's 5-Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How are you feeling these days? Have the past 10 months felt especially heavy for you, or is it just me?

Part of me wakes up every morning thinking I don't have another Facebook comment rant in me, but the other half just wants to rage to random strangers on the street on a daily basis (HOW. DO. YOU. NOT. GET. IT?????? Even worse, how do our COUNTRY'S LEADERS not?). The past few months have felt particularly terrible: devastating earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, Charlottesville, Barcelona, Las Vegas. But we spent Monday night in a room filled with 4,000 people that think like us, and I feel re-energized, hopeful about the work that can still be done.

I wish I could give everyone a hug, really. A solidarity hug. Because we're dealing with a lot of shit (I can't think of a better way to put it). But if I can't give you a hug, I wish I could give you one of Brian's peanut butter bars because they do make things better. And if I can't do that, I'll at least share the recipe because they're easy to make and you need one (or four) in your life (the chef literally cut me off last Friday, whoops). They're simple and insanely delicious. In fact, a quick cure for the state of our nation (until you check your phone and see the latest news): a glass of (lactose-free ;) milk, a pan of these bars and cozying up next to a warm fire and watching This Is Us.

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1 1/2 cups, plus 4 tbsp creamy peanut butter, divided
1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick), softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 cups powdered sugar (B only uses 1)

Line an 8x8-inch square brownie pan with parchment paper.

Place 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of the peanut butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring often until melted and smooth. Alternatively, you can do this in the microwave on 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and tap against the counter until the chocolate is in a smooth and even layer. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to harden.

Meanwhile, add the stick of softened butter, 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1 cup powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until smooth and creamy. Taste and add more powdered sugar to your liking.

Spoon the peanut butter mixture over the chocolate layer into a smooth layer. Place back in the fridge.

Place the remaining 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and remaining 2 tablespoons peanut butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring often until melted and smooth. Again, alternatively, you can do this in the microwave in 30-second intervals.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the peanut butter layer, smooth the chocolate out into an even layer. Cover and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours or until ready to serve. Slice into bars and keep refrigerated.

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