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It's National Peanut Day!

Justin Fox Burks

National Peanut Day is September 13.

I can think of no better way to celebrate than with my Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars.

I love this recipe not only because they are super yummy, but also because they are made from 5 simple ingredients I always have on hand. Peanut butter, graham crackers, butter, powdered sugar and chocolate chips are all you need! I can whip them up any time someone needs a treat.

Think of them as homemade peanut butter cups!

The only cooking required is making a basic graham cracker crust and melting the chocolate. Simple tasks that allow your kids to help you whip up this decadent sweet.

The filling is made by whipping together peanut butter, softened butter, and powdered sugar. I add some finely ground graham cracker crumbs to the mix to help make the filling a little thicker – kinda like the inside of a Reese’s peanut butter cup.

I add peanut butter to the melted chocolate to help it be softer once chilled. This makes it easier to eat as well as to cut. My trick to make sure these bars (and any chocolate dessert) cut nicely is to slice them with a warm knife. The best way to do this is to dip the knife in warm water and wipe dry in between every cut.

You can use either dark or milk chocolate in place of the semi-sweet chocolate chips if you prefer. Just use what you keep on hand to make chocolate chip cookies.

Once assembled, you need to allow them to set the refrigerator for at least an hour. I store mine in the fridge until ready to serve.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

  • 4 3/4 cups crumbled graham crackers (about 2 1/2 sleeves)

  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided and at room temperature

  • 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky), divided

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

  • 1 bag (12-ounce) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) of the butter. In a food processor, finely grind the graham crackers. Remove 3/4 cup of the graham cracker crumbs and set aside. Add the melted butter to the remaining graham cracker crumbs in the food processor and pulse until well incorporated and moist lumps form.

Transfer to a 9 x 11-inch baking dish. Press the crust evenly into the bottom. Bake until set, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cup of the peanut butter, and powdered sugar, until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup of the finely ground graham crackers. Spoon the filling evenly over the crust and refrigerate to set, about 5 minutes.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Add the remaining 1/4 cup peanut butter and stir until well combined. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the peanut butter filling and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup finely ground graham crackers evenly over the top. Chill for at least one hour. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 12 to 18.

Recipe from The Southern Pantry Cookbook by Jennifer Chandler.

Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.