Friday, August 5, 2011

Joe-Joe Peanut Butter Bars

Confession: these treats involved zero baking on my part.  That means I didn't have to turn on the oven when it’s 98 degrees outside, and that they were really easy to make.  I saw this recipe on Tasty Kitchen (from Lauren’s Latest) a few weeks ago (on our 2 year wedding anniversary, to be exact!) and couldn’t wait to make them.  It is one of those recipes that combine the most wonderful flavors into one perfect mouth watering bite - the kind of thing that makes you want to dance around the kitchen after taking a bite.  Or maybe that is just me…

They are super simple to make.  First - the crust consists of pulverized vanilla sandwich cookies and melted butter.  The original recipe called for Golden Oreos, but I prefer the Vanilla Joe-Joe’s from Trader Joe’s.  If you have a food processor, this would probably work best for more uniform crumbles, but bashing them with a rolling pin worked out fine as well. 

Second - the filling requires melting together some peanut butter, white chocolate, and butter, then stirring in some powdered sugar and vanilla.  That’s it!  Once chilled, the bars have a delicious crunchy base with the smoothest, creamiest peanut buttery, white chocolate-y goodness you have ever tasted!  They disappeared very quickly around here, and I definitely plan to make them again!

Joe-Joe Peanut Butter Bars
Makes 16 pieces

For the crust:
16 whole vanilla Joe-Joe’s
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
 cup white chocolate chips
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon vanilla
 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Line an 8 inch square baking pan with waxed or parchment paper, leaving enough hanging out over the edges of the so that you can lift out the bars after they have chilled.

Pulse the cookies in a food processor until crumbs have formed.  Alternatively, place the cookies in a gallon size plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.  In a medium bowl, stir the melted butter into cookie crumbles until moistened throughout.  Press the cookie mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Set aside.

In a small sauce pan, melt the peanut butter, white chocolate chips, and butter over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth.  Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth.  Pour this mixture over the crust and smooth out the top with a spatula.  Place the pan in the fridge and chill for 2 hours.  If you’re impatient like me, chill the bars in the freezer for about 45 minutes.

Once chilled, lift the bar out of the pan using the edged of the waxed or parchment paper.  Slice into 16 squares with a sharp knife.  In case you don’t eat the entire batch immediately, any extras can be stored in the fridge.

(Recipe adapted from Lauren’s Latest)

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