Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars

It's the most wonderful time of the year...again!  Last year, right around this same  time, I shared a recipe for a Lower-Fat Nanaimo Bar, 'member?  This time around I thought I would switch it up a bit, and make them with a peanut buttery twist!  These however, are mos' def' NOT low-fat...sorry, not sorry.  These Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars are, so super decadent, and a would make a perfect treat to bring to a party or to give as a homemade Christmas gift.

My veins are running with sugar,  and body is practically vibrating around the kitchen at this point.  I'm in the midst of a baking, packaging, pricing, flurry of activity, as I get ready to sell some of my goodies at local Christmas Craft Sales.  I hope that these Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars, along with my other treats sell like crazy, 'cuz it's a heck of allot of work!  If they don't?  Well, more for me!  Or maybe placed beside the Christmas tree for Santa...if he's nice.

Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars

1/2 cup room temperature butter (salted or unsalted)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup coconut
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped

1/2 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons butter or coconut oil
2/3 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

4 Tablespoons peanut butter

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, and set aside.
For the bottom layer: In a large bowl mix together the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and finely chopped peanuts. Set aside.
For the bottom layer:  In a double boiler, stir together the butter, sugar, beaten egg and cocoa. It will be a bit stiff, but it’s important to start with the beaten egg in a cold pan and allow it to warm gently, to avoid scrambled eggs.  Stir constantly for 5 minutes, until smooth and slightly thickened.
Add the graham cracker mixture and stir until well combined.  Press this mixture evenly into the lined 8-inch pan and chill.
For the middle layer: Beat together the peanut butter, butter, icing sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth.  Spread this mixture over the chilled base. Smooth top and chill for 30 minutes or until firm.
For the top layer: Melt the chocolate and butter or coconut oil together in a double-boiler or in the microwave.  Spread melted chocolate over the chilled middle layer, smoothing out as evenly as possible.  If doing swirled top, heat peanut butter in microwave or in the same (clean!) double boiler. Pour warm peanut butter over the still warm chocolate top, in straight lines, and then lightly slide knife or toothpick through in the alternate direction.  Chill again until firm and then bring to room temperature, before cutting into bars.


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