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Monday, July 2, 2012

chocolate peanut butter bars

There are times when I wish I lived in America's heartland. I would love to have a huge yard and plenty of space around my home. I would have a long driveway and a big swath of lawn in front of my house. The house would be up on a little hill so the view from my big front porch would be beautiful. Maybe I would be overlooking some sort of river or lake.

My backyard would have lots of trees. In fact, I would like to have a little bit of woods back there. Somewhere the kids could wander and built forts and make tree houses and have adventures. I would also like some space for entertaining. Maybe a little patio surrounded by flowers, and containing a huge ding table and some comfy chairs for lounging and reading.

Of course, in my dreams, in America's heartland I can have all this for... oh say, the exact same price of the little parcel I have in Southern California. And since there would be actual precipitation (I'll order some summer thunderstorms, please), everything would be lush and green and beautiful.


I can't have all that and have the ocean, too, can I?

So for now, I'll stay right here in sunny (though dry) southern California. I will spend the summer taking my kids to the beach. They wander and build sandcastles and make moats and dig pits and go boogie boarding. They find sea shells and sea glass and dig for sand crabs. They find clams and then watch as the clam sticks that thing (stomach? tongue? Tiny little clam arm?) out and eats the sand crabs they feed it. They poke at sea anemones and squeal over sea slugs. They throw frisbees and footballs and whip each other with towels. They swim out way too far in the cold ocean and then come and lay on the hot sand.

And then, finally, when they are sun-kissed and worn out; when they are exhausted from running and jumping and swimming and floating; when they have raced against each other in the ocean, and raced together against the ocean that tries to destroy their sand castle faster than they can build; only then can I convince them to come close and sit and take a break.

I have to make sure, then, that I have a little treat for them.

These bars taste just like eating a Reese's peanut butter cup. They are rich and to die for. I am warning you now, make sure you have plenty of people to share these with, or you may end up eating the whole pan by yourself!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/4 cup peanut butter, divided
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, 1 cup peanut butter, melted butter, and powdered sugar. Press it into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Put this in the fridge for at least half an hour. 

Melt the chocolate chips on a double boiler (or in the microwave). Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup peanut butter. Spread the chocolate mixture evenly over the peanut layer and allow to cool.

Cut into bars and enjoy!