Essential Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

By • December 17, 2013 10 Comments

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Author Notes: These bars were served at my small private school in Houston for decades. When peanut allergies became more prominent, they only lived on as a euphoric memory for me and my classmates. Fast-forward ten years: after making a "healthy" version of these on my blog, I launched a quest to find the original recipe. We found it handwritten on a lunch order form, and actually traced the recipe back to my first-grade teacher. While this isn't a traditional family recipe, it made for one of the most formative food memories of my childhood, and I'm so excited to pass it down. Call it a "modern family" recipe, or call it anything you want, just don't call us late for dessert. These are the stuff of chocolate and peanut butter lovers' dreams.

[To be clear, this recipe is not my own, as it has been passed down through generations of teachers and cafeteria cooks and students, etc., at my small private school. I wrote this recipe based on the ingredient list we tracked back to my friend's mother. Yay for keeping recipes alive! It is posted on my food blog at]
Randle Browning

Makes 9 x 13 baking dish

graham cracker crumbs, creamy peanut butter, confectioner's sugar, butter

  • 1/2 pound graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 pound confectioner's sugar
  1. Crush graham crackers thoroughly, in food processor or sealed in a plastic bag. It should look like sand.
  2. In wide sauce pot, slowly melt 1/2 lb. butter over gentle heat (no sizzling). Stir in peanut butter. When incorporated, add confectioner’s sugar and graham cracker crumbs and stir until combined. Press filling into an even layer in a plastic-lined 9 x 13 in dish.

chocolate chips, unsalted butter

  • 1 pound chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  1. Meanwhile, gently melt chocolate and remaining ? cup butter in the microwave, stirring frequently and heating in 5- to 15-second intervals. (Alternately, melt chocolate and butter together in a double boiler). Pour chocolate mixture over the peanut butter layer in the dish and smooth into an even layer.
  2. Refrigerate for at least an hour, slice, and serve chilled or at room temperature.

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