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Chocolate Topped Peanut Butter Bars

I wanted to make sure that I got this post in before Super Bowl Sunday. These bars are amazing. If you like that famous combination of chocolate and creamy peanut butter, then this is the treat for you. The crust is comprised of graham crackers, crushed pretzels and chocolate. So much deliciousness, so little time!

I found the original recipe for these on Guilty Kitchen where they are titled Idle Hand Bars. Her photos are beautiful and she wrapped them up in waxed paper with some twine, so lovely! Mine are a little different in that I didn’t include the salty topping and I had to adjust the powdered sugar amount drastically. I believe it was because I use regular jar peanut butter and her recipe used natural peanut butter. Perhaps there’s some sort of consistency difference, I’m guessing maybe the oil content, but mine required a lot more coaxing to become a paste. I also prefer bittersweet chocolate over semi sweet, so I went with that for my topping.

These are really good, so kudos to Guilty Kitchen for this fabulous recipe!

Chocolate Topped Peanut Butter Bars
Adapted from Guilty Kitchen’s Idle Hand Bars

printable version

Base Layer
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
5 Tbsp. cocoa
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup coarsely crushed pretzels

In a glass bowl over simmering water, melt melt butter with the sugar and cocoa. While still over water, add egg and beat to combine (will thicken quite a bit here). Remove from heat and add crumbs and pretzels. Press into an 8 x 8 cake pan. Set aside.

Middle Layer
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly.
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup smooth, peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla

Combine peanut butter and butter together in small bowl. Mix in sugar and vanilla to form a thick paste. Dump onto base layer and smooth over, patting down to make a flat, even layer.

Top Layer
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

In a glass bowl over simmering water, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir until smooth. Pour over peanut butter layer and spread out evenly.

Chill in fridge until chocolate is set. Cut into squares.


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42 Responses to Chocolate Topped Peanut Butter Bars

  1. 1
    Heather I. says:

    Mmmm, chocolate and peanut butter, the BEST combo ever. And pretzels in the crust? I need to make these, stat.

  2. 2
    Fallon says:

    Like a big reese's peanut butter cup but better!!! Pretzels in the crust, I like that combo!

  3. 3
    Tami says:

    Oh yes! These would be a winner in our house! I wish that I would've seen this earlier before I went grocery shopping. I'd be making these now. :)

  4. 4
    Jocelyn says:

    These look delicious…love the addition of pretzels in the crust. I am off to see if I have all these ingredients right now!

  5. 5
    cookies and cups says:

    ummm, yum!!!
    Those sound (and look) spectacular!
    The pretzels in the base is great!

  6. 6
    Amanda says:

    Thanks all! These are really delish :)

  7. 7
    Biz says:

    I normally don't like sweets, but those look amazing! Hope you enjoy your superbowl Sunday!

  8. 8
    Katrina says:

    Sheeze, yum!

  9. 9
    MaryBeth says:

    When I saw this on Facebook the other day I just about died and went to heaven….the best too flavors in the entire world on top of each other OMG…YUMM-O!

  10. 10
    Jennifurla says:

    These are pretty, I love the layers. Very nice.

  11. 11
    briarrose says:

    Wonderful treat….I love the pretzels in the base layer….so cool.

  12. 12
    Tasty Eats At Home says:

    These look like peanut butter nanaimo bars. Which sounds amazing to me!

  13. 13
    Katie @ This Chick Cooks says:

    These look perfect for me. Love at first sight :) Yum!

  14. 14
    Julie says:

    Wow! My favorite ingredients all together :)

  15. 15
    Rachel says:

    How can you go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate?!? The bars look heavenly!!!!

  16. 16
    Heather@The Black's Best says:

    These look so good! I've got to tweet and facebook about them. Love peanut butter and chocolate together.

  17. 17
    Elizabeth says:

    Glad you liked the Idle Hand Bars Amanda! Thanks for making them and spreading the word!

  18. 18
    Anonymous says:

    I just knew these would be a BIG hit, so I went ahead and doubled the recipe, and put it in a 9×13 pan. Oh my gosh, amazing!! It was a little daunting, however, at the amount of butter I needed for that double recipe. Good thing I made them myself, so I know not to eat more than one at a time – LOL! That peanut butter layer came together super-super easy with my new Beater Blade for my Kitchen-Aid; whipped up so incredibly smooth in seconds! Hardly had to wash any of the dishes; the kids licked the bowl and blade spot-free. This recipe is dead-on for PB+chocolate freaks like me and my kids; thanks for sharing. My daughter's b-day is coming up next week and she has requested the chocolate peanut butter ganache (did I spell that right??) cake of yours. I hope it turns out as well as these bars did! Your directions are very thorough, so I should be okay.

  19. 19
    Anna G says:

    Made these today with my 4 year old. Flavors are awesome but
    The pretzels turned soft. Trust me that isn't stopping my crew a bit. ;)

  20. 20
    Amanda says:

    Elizabeth – thanks so much for developing this recipe, it's marvelous!

    So glad to see so many people trying and enjoying these!

  21. 21
    Meaghan Luby says:

    this looks SO SO SO good! my gosh, thanks for sharing!
    -meg
    @ http://www.clutzycooking.blogspot.com
    @ http://www.myscribblednotebook.blogspot.com

  22. 22
    Lindsey @ Inspiring Creations says:

    Those look delicious!! Thanks for sharing!

  23. 23
    Sue says:

    Oh my, Amanda! I wish I had one of your bars right this minute! They look fabulous!

  24. 24
    Lauren at KeepItSweet says:

    This looks like a perfect dessert bar!!

  25. 25
    LocalFunForKids says:

    These look so good. Chocolate and PB is a weakness of mine. You should link up with *Fun for Kids Friday* http://www.localfunforkids.com/

  26. 26
    FrouFrouBritches says:

    Oh my gracious! These look delicious! The salt from the pretzels with the chocolate and peanut butter are the perfect combo. YUM! I'm bookmarking this for later, for when the Hubby is a little less into watching his diet.

  27. 27
    Gingham Skies says:

    My fav combo: chocolate and peanut butter! Whipped up a batch of these yesterday and they are super yummy, I especially like the addition of the pretzels. Sweet and salty along with peanut butter? Genius.

  28. 28
    shopannies says:

    these look delicious best of both worlds chocolate and peanut butter

  29. 29
    Pam - diy Design Fanatic says:

    Looks fantastic! You can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate! Going to forward this to my husband!(he loves to cook!)

  30. 30
    Jen @ tatertotsandjello.com says:

    Wow – those look SO good!! I wish I had one right now!!

    I shared this on my TT&J FB page and linked to you :)

    xox
    Jen

  31. 31
    ...with ♥, SB says:

    O. M. G. Those look amazing.

  32. 32
    Jennifer says:

    Looks delicious!! We're going to try to make it. I've got to convert it to gluten free but seems that should be simple enough to do.

  33. 33
    Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] says:

    Oh my! I want, now!!

  34. 34
    Sandra says:

    How did you know that I had a bag of pretzels in my pantry?

    I just popped these in the frig – serious yum!

    Should we just change the name of these to -"Oh Man!"

  35. 35
    Amanda says:

    I agree – serious yum!

  36. 36
    Carolyn says:

    Yum, yum! Look and sound fantastic, and mouth watering. Can't wait to try.

  37. 37
    Bee says:

    Oh my god. These looks so delicious, dangerously delicious!! I do however love salt, chocolate and caramel so I might just add that element :) Thanks for the tip :)

  38. 38
    clarice says:

    With a few variations, these are almost “Nanaimo Bars”, a canadian favorite the I make every year for my family. My husband loves them and I am curious to see how he will like these with the PB, as he is a PB nut. Can’t wait to make them, thanks……

  39. 39
    sue says:

    It does sound delicious but I keep thinking I am missing something. It has an egg in it and you don’t bake the crust part of it?

    • 39.1

      That’s correct. The instructions for the crust include adding the egg to the simmering mixture, which raises the temperature of the egg enough to be safe.

      “In a glass bowl over simmering water, melt melt butter with the sugar and cocoa. While still over water, add egg and beat to combine (will thicken quite a bit here). Remove from heat and add crumbs and pretzels. Press into an 8 x 8 cake pan. Set aside.”

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