These bars are sick. Not bad sick. They are super, duper, amazing sick.
Anything that involves peanut butter, cream cheese and mini Halloween chocolate bars can’t be bad right? (well… perhaps not great for you, but they sure do taste GREAT!)
This recipe is why I heart twitter so much. You see … I was scrolling through some tweets when I came upon this one:
Obviously I clicked on the link.
And then my mind started going into overdrive.
I knew I had to make these squares. They looked just too good to pass up.
Thank you Jenny (picky palate
) for posting the recipe. Thank you Michelle (browneyed baker
) for tweeting about it. Thank you twitter
for putting it all together! Oh… and I should thank Téana (my friend Tonya’s daughter
) for providing me with some Halloween candy.
I didn’t exactly follow the original recipe… my jar of peanut butter wasn’t quite as full as I originally thought; but I was able to substitute butter for the missing peanut butter. It totally worked. Quite frankly – I’ll probably make them my way again.
I bet these would be good with a layer of toffee or butterscotch chocolates in the middle… doesn’t that sound perfect for the holidays? Oh yum. I’m already picturing other combos… seriously, this recipe is so simple (3 easy steps), and ridiculously delicious you’ll feel the same way after you give it a try. DO IT!
You need about 25 pieces of Halloween chocolate candy – but I bet you could use a couple regular sized chocolates (or boxes of smarties), chopped up and spread atop the cream cheese.
(gooey delicious) peanut butter, cream cheese, candy squares
peanut butter base and topping
1/2 c. creamy, all natural peanut butter
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c. flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3-4 tbsp hot water
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line your square baking pan with parchment paper or tin foil; ensuring that the sides hang over. Spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand-mixer, beat together the peanut butter, butter, and sugars until well combined (use your paddle attachment). Add the egg and vanilla, continue to beat until everything has blended.
In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Slowly (and with the stand-mixer running) add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture. Pour in the hot water, a tablespoon at a time, you just want enough to dampen the dough (making it easier to spread). I used the 4 tablespoons… but could probably have stopped at 3.
Press half the dough into your square pan. Set aside.
cream cheese filling
1 package cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp sugar
This is so easy. Pull out your food processor (yes – use your metal blade). Dump the softened cream cheese, the sugar and the vanilla into the bowl and pulse until smooth. That’s it.
Pour the thick and smooth cream cheese over the unbaked peanut butter cookie base – evenly spreading it out.
25 pieces – I used a mixture of smarties, aero and kit kats, broken up (use your hands – it’s fun).
Spread the broken chocolate pieces over the layer of cream cheese. At this point you’ve squares will look like this:
peanut butter cookie base
cream cheese filling
broken chocolate pieces
Top the chocolate with the remaining peanut butter cookie dough. Spread it evenly throughout the pan.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, the cookie will turn golden brown. Don’t worry if it remains a little gooey – mine did. It tasted FANTASTIC!
The original recipe says that you can get 9 large bars out of the batter. I decided to cut them into much smaller pieces and ended up with 3 dozen squares – this is one intense treat… a little goes a long way. Plus … it means you can have more than just one. This is a quality and quantity treat! Loves it!