These chocolate peanut butter bars are a classic treat, and so easy to make—no baking required! They hold a popular place on my holiday cookie platter, and with just a couple of substitutions, they can be easily made kosher for Passover too.
Graham cracker crumbs are mixed in with the peanut butter to give the base structure and crunch. For a Passover substitution for the graham crackers, we use either ground up toasted matzo, or ground Passover crispy cereal. Confectioner's sugar and a little honey provide the sweetness in the base. When observing Passover we make our own confectioner's sugar by grinding granulated sugar with potato starch.
This recipe makes a delicious confection (a cookie? candy bar?) whether preparing them the classic way, or Passover-friendly. In any case these goodies are a great choice for dessert after a meal and they make a perfect snack anytime. My husband has given the matzo version the ultimate compliment: they do not taste like a Passover dessert!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
These bars freeze well if you want to make ahead.
* Take 4 or 5 sheets of matzo, roughly break into chunks, toast in a hot dry skillet on high heat until the crumbs begin to brown and you can smell the matzo toasting. Remove from heat, let cool for a minute, place in a food processor or mini-chopper, and pulse until ground to the consistency of coarse bread crumbs.
**2 cups of granulated sugar in a food processor or blender, and 2 Tbsp of potato starch. Process until very fine. Use 1 1/4 cups for this recipe. You'll have some leftover which can be used for other recipes for Passover.
Peanut butter layer:
1 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs (use toasted matzo crumbs—see recipe note—or ground Passover crispy cereal if following the Passover dietary rules)
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar (use Passover-friendly confectioner's sugar—see recipe note—if following Passover dietary rules)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of crunchy, natural peanut butter (no added preservatives or corn syrup)
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups) (use Kosher chocolate chips if making for Passover)
1 tablespoon butter
Prepare the pan:
Line the baking pan with parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil. Line the pan in a way so that you have an overhang on at least 2 opposite sides of the pan to make it easy to lift up the bars once they have set.
Make the peanut butter mixture:
In the bowl of a food processor place the crumbs and the powdered sugar. Pulse until well mixed. Add the peanut butter, melted butter, and honey. Process until well blended. The mixture should hold together, almost like a dough. If it's too dry, add a little more melted butter. If it's too wet, after you press it into the bottom of the pan in the next step, you can chill it in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up a bit.
Press the peanut butter mixture into pan:
Press the peanut butter mixture into the bottom of your lined pan in an even layer. You can use the flat bottom of a measuring cup, small saucepan, or smaller baking pan to press on the mixture to help make the surface more even.
Melt the chocolate chips:
Place a metal bowl over a saucepan with simmering water (not boiling, but gently simmering). Place the chocolate chips and butter into the bowl. Melt the chocolate chips, stirring occasionally, until smooth.
Spread the chocolate:
Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the peanut butter layer in the pan. (An offset spatula is a good tool for this.) Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Cut into bars:
Lift the contents from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into 36 bars, 1-inch by 2 1/4 inches.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 26g||34%|
|Saturated Fat 15g||74%|
|Total Carbohydrate 13g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 10g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|