Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chocolate-Cream Cheese-Peanut Butter Bars

OK. The pressure is on. Word has gotten out amongst the people I know that I am posting pictures about food :) And do you know what the number one question is??? How come you don't bring any of this to work?? We should really go back to Food Fridays...I'm just sayin'...

Over Christmas, I got a little over zealous with the recipe collecting. That is one of my favorite times to browse through cookbooks and since all my cookbooks were burned up in our fire, I felt like I had to do some catching up. So in a huge pile of recipes I found this little gem from Betty Crocker and decided to try it out on a bunch of railroaders. Now, the men out numbered the women at this get-together by about 3 to 1, so maybe the feedback on this one is a bit skewed, but I loved these and will make them again and again, I'm sure.

The first step is to mix up a peanut butter cookie dough. Since this was from Betty Crocker, they recommended the BC Peanut Butter Cookie Mix. Of course. So I used that. It was wonderful, but you could substitute any peanut butter cookie recipe here.
You need to make about six cookies and press the rest of the dough into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Caution here: the six cookies are NOT to eat!

Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes.
While that is cooling, microwave 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips with 1/4 cup butter. DO NOT just throw this in the microwave and wait. Cook for 30 seconds and stir. Cook for another 30 seconds and stir. After that, cook for 15 seconds if needed and stir. Patience is a virtue that will prevent you from ending up with burned chocolate. Because no one wants that.
Spread this mixture over the cooked cookie crust and put in the fridge for about half an hour. Just enough time to log in and beat Krokopatra in your Wizard 101 game. Somebody help me.

NOTE: Now is a good time to get the cream cheese out of the fridge!
Once the evil villan is defeated, get your cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter and whipping cream into a bowl.
Turn your mixer on medium speed and mix well.
Do you notice what is NOT in the picture at this point??? Normally turning on the mixer brings The Boy from any corner of the house. He is not here...sigh...Grandma has the kids today :)
Spread this on top of the chocolate layer.
Those extra cookies that you were not supposed to eat? Crumble those up. I started using a fork and quickly changed over to fingers.
Sprinkle this over the cream cheese layer, munching on any pieces that are too big and mess up the uniformity of the sprinkles. What can I say? I like symmetry. Pop this into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so the mixture can set up.
The recipe says to cut these into 36 squares. This makes REALLY small squares, so I cut them into 24 pieces. Turns out, there was a reason for the small pieces. This are rich, rich, rich. Wonderful, but did I mention they are kind of rich? 24 squares is probably the smallest number you would want.

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About Concordance™

These are wonderful. I think they could even be frozen for a change of pace. I used semi-sweet chips, but milk chocolate would be a good substitute.

If you love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, these are a must. Try them. They will make you happy.

Click here for Printable Recipe

Chocolate-Cream Cheese-Peanut Butter Bars
Cookie Base and Topping
1 pouch peanut butter cookie mix
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon water
1 egg
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup crunchy or creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, stir cookie base and topping ingredients until soft dough forms. Shape 6 (1-inch) balls of dough. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls 2 inches apart; flatten in crisscross pattern with fork.
2. Press remaining dough in pan. Bake cookies and base 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Reserve cookies for topping.
3. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and butter uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and stirred smooth. Spread evenly over bars. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
4. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, powdered sugar and whipping cream with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat on high speed about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Spread over chocolate layer.
5. Crush reserved cookies; sprinkle over cream cheese layer. Press in lightly. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

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