Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
By Jennifer Segal
Metrocurean contributor, onceuponachef.com
When it comes to sweets, you cannot make people much happier than when you combine chocolate and peanut butter. In fact, I don’t know a single person who can resist these indulgent little squares ... with a chocolate wafer crust, creamy peanut butter filling, and smooth-as-silk milk chocolate topping, they're absolutely irresistible.
They also freeze beautifully so you can make them well in advance. Simply defrost them in the refrigerator the day before you plan to serve them.
Be sure to cut them in small fudge-like squares. They're insanely rich.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
makes about 25 small squares
for the crust:
22 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, finely crushed (about 1 2/3 cups crumbs)
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
for the filling:
6 firmly packed tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 cups confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups creamy peanut butter (I like Skippy Natural "No Need To Stir")
Pinch of salt
for the milk chocolate ganache topping:
1 11.5 ounce bag Ghirardelli (or similar best quality) milk chocolate chips
6 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
To make the crust: Combine chocolate wafers, sugar and butter in bowl of food processor fitted with blade attachment and pulse until cookies are finely crushed. Press mixture firmly into prepared baking pan. (I spread it with my hands first, then use the bottom of a measuring cup to even it out.) Bake for 8 minutes. Set on rack to cool completely.
In the meantime, make peanut butter filling: Combine all ingredients together in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix at low speed until just combined (do not whip). Set bowl in refrigerator while you prepare the rest.
Make chocolate ganache topping: Combine milk chocolate chips and heavy cream in microwave safe bowl and cook in microwave at medium power (50%) for 1-1½ minutes. Stir until bowl no longer feels warm. Continue heating at 15-30 second intervals, stirring until smooth and melted. Do not overheat.
Put it all together: Use an offset icing spatula to spread about ¼ cup of chocolate ganache mixture evenly over cooled crust. Place pan in freezer until chocolate is set, about 5-10 minutes. Spread peanut butter mixture into even layer over chocolate (if it's firm, you can use your hands; if it's soft, use a butter knife or spatula). Give chocolate ganache a quick stir to smooth any lumps, then spread evenly over top of peanut butter layer. Cover pan wit h plastic wrap and place in freezer for 1 hour to set (or, if you're not in a hurry, you can just leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours). When firm, use a sharp knife to cut into squares. Keep refrigerated and serve cool.
Jennifer Segal is the founder and publisher of Once Upon a Chef, a cooking blog featuring easy and elegant recipes. Before launching her blog, Jennifer earned her culinary stripes working front and back of the house at some of DC's top fine dining restaurants, including L'Auberge Chez Francois, Sam & Harry's and The Caucus Room.
She has also done private catering and restaurant public relations. Jennifer is a graduate of the professional Culinary Arts Program at L'Academie de Cuisine.