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Monday, November 01, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Squares

If you need a chocolate fix, this is the recipe for you! It's quick and delicious, and it makes plenty to share. I found this recipe quite a while back, and by popular demand, I'm posting the recipe here. Actually, the only change I made to the original recipe is to use minor variations on ingredients. And, I weigh some ingredients rather than using volumetric measurements. Be sure to check out the Joy of Baking website. She has tons of fabulous recipes over there along with great photos of each dish.

Chocolate Peanut Squares

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup honey (use a mild flavored honey)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey's)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
180 grams marshmallows (can use large or mini - about 3 cups of mini)
1 tsp. vanilla extract (use the real thing, no imitation please!)
80 grams (~3 cups) crisp rice cereal (could use Rice Krispies or even Chex in a pinch)
1 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts

8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Prepare a 8x8-inch square pan by lining it with foil (making sure it comes up & slightly over two sides) & spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Place peanut butter, corn syrup, honey, cocoa powder, and brown sugar in a large saucepan (or a dutch oven) over medium heat. Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to low, add the marshmallows, and stir constantly until mixture is melted and smooth.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Add rice cereal and peanuts. Press mixture into prepared pan and allow to set. (If you're in a hurry, put it in the fridge for ~20 minutes.)

When the bottom is cooled, make the topping: Put the chocolate chips into a microwave-proof bowl. Place butter on top of the chips. Microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate is mostly melted. (This usually takes about 1 minute total microwaving for me.) Spread the topping over the bottom mixture, and refrigerate until the chocolate has set.

To cut into squares, remove from the pan using the foil 'sling' and cut into squares. Serve cold (my preference) or at room temperature. Yield: 24-36 squares, depending on how large you cut your squares

Recipe slightly adapted from Joy of Baking