Peanut Butter Berry Bars

Two recipes in one week? Who am I?

I’d like to blame (or thank?) Laura for this conundrum but before I get to that, I have a confession to make.

I love peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. Like love love LOVE, could eat for every meal, reminds me of my childhood, always puts a smile on my face kind of love.

PB Berry Bar 1

I know, they’re not the fancy type of food that healthy living/food bloggers should like (or admit that they like…) but peanut butter & jelly sandwiches are wholesome and innocent and they just taste so darn good!

Oh PB&J’s, if only everything in life could be as wonderfully simple as you…

Anyways, on Sunday Laura posted a recipe for Caramel Peanut Butter and Jelly BarsI knooooow, right? And I immediately knew I had to make them ASAP but there was a problem.

A big problem.

PB Berry Bar 4

I needed to remove the processed sugar and delicious butter from the recipe so that I could devour enjoy them. That or I could make the recipe as Laura wrote it and be required to give the entire batch away… The latter was just not an option! Priorities my friends, priorities…

I quickly got to work in the kitchen and I’m pleased to report that my Peanut Butter Berry Bars were the result! A rich blend of peanut butter, oatmeal, coconut oil, honey and berries – the flavors combine perfectly to taste just like my favorite childhood PB&J’s.

Pure and innocent happiness <3

PB Berry Bar 3

Peanut Butter Berry Bars (Inspired by Pies and Plots)

Makes 16 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey (I used slightly less)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1.5 cups frozen berries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Melt peanut butter in a medium bowl in microwave for 45 seconds, until warm and easily stirred. Mix in coconut oil, honey, vanilla and cinnamon until combined then stir in oatmeal. Press 3/4 of oatmeal mixture into bottom of pan. Sprinkle frozen berries evenly over oatmeal base then crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture on top. Bake 20 minutes, until edges are slightly browned. Allow to cool completely prior to lifting parchment paper out of pan. If you can wait, cool in fridge for 2 hours before enjoying! Store in airtight container in fridge.

PB Berry Bar 4

I’m linking up with Jenn today because these Peanut Butter Berry Bars are what I’ve been eating lately. Believe it or not, they taste even better the next day :)

And here’s another confession, I had to put half of the recipe into the freezer to keep myself from eating the entire pan!

  • PB&J’s – yay or nay? Yay, of course ;)
  • What is your favorite childhood, comfort food? PB&J’s, Kraft mac ‘n’ cheese with peas, Grilled cheese sandwiches – My love of carbs was formed at a very young age…

Triple Layer Chocolate-Peanut Butter Brownies

Last week was long. Really long.

Thursday after work I needed a treat and I needed a treat now. It wasn’t the “oh, chocolate would be nice tonight” kind of week. Oh no no no no no. It was the “I need chocolate and peanut butter and wine right now or the city of Chicago needs to watch out” kind of week.

brownie 1

Thankfully, I walk through the French Market most days after work and I decided to browse the dessert vendors with more detail Thursday evening. Boy, oh boy am I ever glad I did!

As I was perusing the dessert window, something caught my eye… something chocolate-y, something peanut butter-y, something that I knew I needed right then and there.

A triple-layered brownie filled with a peanut butter layer and topped with a chocolate ganache.

Oh yes. The week had been redeemed.

And after one bite, I knew I needed to recreate this recipe for you.

brownie 2

You’re welcome.

A dense, rich brownie base (that’s gluten-free, I might add!) topped with a gooey peanut butter layer which is then drizzled in a thick chocolate ganache and sprinkled with crushed peanuts.

O to the M to the G.

This dessert will redeem any awful, no good, very bad day and will take you directly to my favorite heaven. The CPB heaven, that is ;)

Triple Layer Chocolate-Peanut Butter Brownies

Makes 20 brownies

Ingredients:

Brownie Layer

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Peanut Butter Layer

  • 1 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 TBSP butter, melted
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Ganache Layer

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP milk
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9×9 baking pan with non-stick spray and layer with waxed paper. In a medium sauce pan, melt 8 ounces of the chocolate chips and 1 cup butter until completely melted. Pour into large mixing bowl and add sugar, eggs (one at a time) and cocoa powder. Once mixed, stir in chopped peanuts by hand. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until there is a thin crust on the top and the middle is just firm to the touch. You do NOT want to over-bake the brownies! Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in pan.

While brownie layer is cooling, combine all peanut butter layer ingredients and stir until combined. Do not over stir to prevent stiffness. Using a knife, spread peanut butter mixture evenly over brownies. Place pan into refrigerator to cool while making ganache layer.

Melt 6 tbsp butter and 4 ounces of chocolate chips in saucepan. Once melted stir in milk, honey and vanilla and pour over chilled peanut butter layer of the brownie. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup chopped peanuts and place in refrigerator to cool completely, approximately one hour. Store in refrigerator and devour enjoy!

brownie 3

If this recipe seems familiar, it’s because it is ;) I ever so slightly adapted my Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe to recreate these sinful brownies.

They sound fancy and complicated but honestly, they’re the easiest dessert to make. Plus they impress a crowd, are gluten-free and can be adapted for peanut allergies (almond heaven!).

What’s your go to treat during a stressful week? Can you think of a better name for these brownies? (I’m not feeling too creative in the naming department…)

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