Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

These decadent treats taste just like the brand name peanut butter cups, only butter I mean, better!

This is one of those recipes that I feel necessitates a disclaimer. These are so, so good, but…the butter. Oh, so much butter. How could they not be good, right? I make these on special occasions (Christmas, Father’s Day, and most recently, Super Bowl Sunday) and cut them into small rectangles or squares so I can savor a little treat and then give the rest away or serve them at a party. Because, seriously. If these stayed in my house for too long, there’s no telling what would happen.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

(makes 3 dozen or more depending on the size of squares/bars)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs, finely crushed
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

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Melt 1 cup butter over low heat. Remove from heat.

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Crush graham crackers (I used the ziploc/spatula handle smash technique this time, but sometimes I use the food processor) until they are fine crumbs and measure 1 ½ cups.

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In a large bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Add peanut butter, pour in melted butter, and stir thoroughly to combine.

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Spread mixture in a jelly roll pan. Pat down evenly.

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To Make Topping:

Melt together 1/2 cup butter with 1 cup chocolate chips. Spread this mixture over peanut butter mixture.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Refrigerate 1/2 hour. Cut into squares. Savor the yumminess.

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Test Kitchen! Chex Lemon Buddies

Test Kitchen, you say? Clover and Thyme’s Test Kitchen is where I try a recipe provided on a product’s packaging that I have never tried before and give a report on how our family liked it!

We have tried Chex’s Muddy Buddies before, but today at breakfast my daughter noticed a different recipe on the back of the Chex box – Chex Lemon Buddies. They looked delightfully sweet and yummy on the box, and I’ve been craving all things lemon lately, so we decided to give it a go.

You can find the recipe here (the recipe has a big ol’ copyright slapped on it, so I don’t want to get the good folks at General Mills huffy.) The recipe comes together much like the Muddy Buddies, only vanilla baking chips and lemon are the glue that hold these happy buddies together. To my dismay today, my grocery store was in full scale renovation mode and everything was in a different spot than it usually is. Since the baking section was in a state of shambles, I had to settle for white chocolate chips instead of the vanilla chips the recipe calls for. I’m not sure there is much of a difference, though. Also, for the sake of simplicity, I simply zested a full lemon and then used all the juice from it, though the Chex recipe does give measurements for each.

The result? Success! I think it goes without saying that these were yummy. I was pleasantly surprised, though, by the delicate flavor of the lemon in these. I expected the powdered sugar and lemon to be a little cloying, but they reminded me of a little lemon meringue pie in every square. And just like their muddy cousins, they are extremely addictive. I’m sending these buddies off to my daughter’s sleepover tomorrow night so I don’t eat them all!

Have you tried these lemony buddies? What did you think?

 

Shhhh…Don’t Tell My Arteries.

I’m a from-scratch kind of girl. If I make it from the beginning, I know what’s in it. Simple as that. Normally I eschew all forms of box mixes except a select few that I know are all natural.

I’m also an artery-conscious kind if girl. Both my husband’s cholesterol and mine have a tendency to dance in the danger zone, so I’m usually very aware of the saturated fats in what I make.

Normally and usually. But not this past weekend. Shhhhh. Don’t tell anybody. This weekend I pulled out my Amish cookbook I mentioned back in the Jello post and found some more recipes to try. This little Amish lady loves her saturated fats and box mixes, apparently.

First, I did another round of layered jello, this time going with a Hawaiian Punch theme using raspberry, pineapple and lemon flavors in the layers.

Next up was Lettuce Bacon Salad. Oh my. Hold on to your hats.

Lettuce Bacon Salad

1 large head iceberg lettuce
1 head cauliflower
1 small onion
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 lb. bacon, fried and cut fine (I just couldn’t bring myself to make this much. I just fried up about 6 slices and used that.)

Wash and cut up lettuce in a large bowl. Break up cauliflower into small pieces and put on lettuce. Add chopped onion, cover with mayonnaise. Add sugar, then sprinkle with cheese. Add bacon and cover. Set in refrigerator overnight. When ready to eat, mix everything together.

Next, Triple Chocolate Cake Roll. Holy Box Mixes, Batman! Actually, this one could be adapted to scratch by making your own cake and frosting recipes. But I went mixes all the way on this one, just to see how it would turn out.

Triple Chocolate Cake Roll

1 pkg. chocolate instant pudding
1 3/4 cup milk
1 pkg. chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1 12 oz. bag chocolate chips
1 tub chocolate frosting

Prepare pudding with milk as directed on box. Combine cake mix, eggs, pudding and chocolate chips. Pour into greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Cool and fill with your favorite icing and roll up. Put chocolate icing on top (I used powdered sugar instead.)

Strawberry Lemonade Jello

Several weeks ago, our family attended a memorial service for an extended family member. Afterward, the entire extended family had the pleasure of dining in the home of an Amish family in the area. These pretty little jellos greeted us as we arrived and served as our appetizer.

 

My daughter and I were so enamored with this little layered jello concoction we decided to recreate it back at home using our host’s recipe (she had a little cookbook available for sale – I don’t think I’ve ever pounced on a cookbook faster.) After tossing around jello flavor ideas we decided on strawberry and lemon flavors.

Here’s our version!

 

Strawberry Lemonade Jello

Ingredients:

2 (3 oz. ea.) boxes of strawberry jello
2 (3 oz. ea.) boxes of lemon jello
boiling water
sour cream

1. In a mixing bowl (preferably one you can easily pour from,) mix your strawberry jello packets with 2 cups boiling water.

2. Take 1 cup of the mixture and in a separate small bowl, mix it with 1/4 cup sour cream until the sour cream is fully incorporated. Set aside at room temperature.

3. Pour the jello (that you did not mix with sour cream) into a 9 x 13 pan and chill. It should only take about 10-15 minutes to set up.

4. Once set, remove the dish and gently pour the sour cream mixture on the top. Stick back in the fridge to chill for another 10-15 minutes.

5. Rinse out your bowls and repeat this process for your lemon flavor, completing 2 more layers. Chill completely and serve!

You can play with whatever flavors you wish – orange pineapple, lemon lime, whatever! We are planning to try a blue raspberry/ red raspberry combo for July Fourth, cut into stars like these, which we brought to a picnic on memorial day!