Peanut butter and candy bars

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Christmas is tomorrow!!  Hopefully by now you’ve baked most of your Christmas cookies, finished all your Christmas shopping and to-do list, and made plans with family and close friends.

I’ve decided to share some last minute recipe ideas.  It’s been a pretty busy year for me and my husband, and Christmas arrived so quickly.  We have been traveling this season and had the pleasure of spending part of this season in Australia, where their Christmas menus have summer ingredients.  I was thrilled to experience Christmas in another country again (last year we spent part of our winter in Berlin), but I was secretly eager to return home and start my holiday baking.  Although I had a late start on sharing my holiday recipes this year, I made up for lost time by baking in the middle of the night a couple times!  I love giving beautiful and thoughtful food gifts.

Soon after we returned home from Down Under, we packed our bags again and flew out for a weekend trip to visit some of my husband’s relatives.  I don’t like to go empty-handed, and I know that my husband has a teenage cousin who enjoys sweet treats.  Last time we visited, I remember that he really likes peanut butter.  So I decided to infuse peanut butter goodness into these treats for him, and since it’s Christmas, I added some color.

From a peanut butter cookie base to a peanut butter flavored chocolate icing, these bars had my taste buds singing!  They were so delicious!!

Peanut butter and candy bars

Grocery list

20 peanut butter sandwich cookies (like the Pirate brand)
Pinch salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 1/3 cups smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup candy-coated peanuts (like M&M peanuts), crushed
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
Coarsely chopped candy-coated peanuts

Line a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil, extending the foil over the sides of the pan; set aside.

In a food processor combine peanut butter sandwich cookies and salt.  Cover and process until fine crumbs form.

Peanut butter and candy bars  Peanut butter and candy bars  Peanut butter and candy bars

Add the melted butter.  Process with several on/off turns until combined.

Peanut butter and candy bars

Press mixture evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan.

Peanut butter and candy bars

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the confectioner’s sugar, the 1 1/3 cups peanut butter, and the softened butter on low to medium speed until smooth.  Stir in the crushed candy-coated peanuts.  Drop this mixture by spoonfuls over the crust, and carefully spread to an even layer.

Peanut butter and candy bars  Peanut butter and candy bars

In a heavy saucepan melt the chocolate chips and the 1/2 cup peanut butter over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Peanut butter and candy bars  Peanut butter and candy bars

Spread evenly over the bars.  Sprinkle with coarsely chopped candy-coated peanuts.

Peanut butter and candy bars  Peanut butter and candy bars

Cover and chill for about 1 hour or until set.  Using the edges of the foil, lift the block of bars out of the pan.  Place on cutting board and cut into bars.

Peanut butter and candy bars

TO STORE:  Layer bars between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container.  Store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Peanut butter and candy bars

     

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  4. Candy and toffee chocolate chip cookies

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