Chocolate and peanut butter. Can there be anything better? I submit that there cannot.
In case that picture didn’t whet your appetite in the same way it does mine, allow me to elaborate for just a moment about my dear friend No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Bars. I haven’t gotten them out of my mind since Jenna shared the recipe about a month ago. Last weekend, I invited them into my home and my heart for the first time and life has never been better. See, my friend brings along a thick layer of peanut butter… sweet, smooth, textured. Add onto that a generous coating of chocolatey wonder, and this is a houseguest you’ll never want to leave.
I literally can’t stop eating them. It’s like a magnetic field exists between my mouth and the freezer. I haven’t been this obsessed about a dessert since I don’t know when.
Fortunately for me, Ben is just as big of a fan as I am. What’s the fortunate part about that, you ask. Well, his tolerance of rich foods is significantly lower than mine is… So, yup, he doesn’t mind quite so much when I “volunteer” to fetch him dessert and then it arrives with a bite or three missing. It was like that in the freezer, I promise. And speaking of that freezer… I think I’m a little hungry.
- 2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs [for me, this was about 1/3 of a box]
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter [about 2/3 of a 24 ounce jar]
- 1 cup butter, softened and divided
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Crush graham crackers in a ziploc bag or a food processor until crumbs are small [and if you're like me, until the crumbs are all over your kitchen floor, sticking to your feet].
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine graham cracker crumbs, 3/4 cup butter, and 2 cups peanut butter. Mix on low to combine. Add powdered sugar slowly in small increments, about 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until all powdered sugar is fully incorporated. You might want to do that step extra slowly with caution so you don’t wind up [again] like me, with powdered sugar all over your floor, because it likes to spew everywhere.
Spoon out mixture into an [ungreased] 9×13 pan. Use a spatula and/or your [clean!] fingers to pat mixture down. It will be a little sticky, but be patient and work slowly and it’ll be fine.
Then, combine chocolate chips and 1/4 cup butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave until melted. I like to heat for about 45 seconds on 50% power, remove and stir, then repeat for 20 seconds. If it’s not fully melted by then, continue process until it is. Then remove quickly, stir in cinnamon, and spread immediately over peanut butter layer. Don’t worry, your chocolate will not taste super cinnamon-y. The cinnamon just enhances the chocolate flavor to make it even better, I promise! I used a combination of a table knife and a spatula to spread the chocolate and that worked pretty well.
Then [this is the hard part], cover and place in the freezer or refrigerator for at least an hour to cool and harden. Cut into small squares and serve. I cooled the whole thing in the freezer and then let it sit out for about 15 minutes before cutting into squares and that worked perfectly. Store [and consume] the leftovers in the freezer. They are perfect when eaten at this temperature. Enjoy!