Friday, February 9, 2018

Chocolate Peanut Butter Magic Bars

If you are a peanut butter lover and enjoy sticky, sweet, chewy bars - this is a must try treat! Layers of crumbly graham cracker crust, gooey sweetened condensed milk melted together with peanut butter chips and toffee bits, plus both chewy and crunchy textures from coconut flakes and chopped peanuts - so so delicious all together in one little bar. And by little, I really meant it. You definitely want to chop these bars up into little bites because each one is so rich and decadent.

Also, how easy is this recipe! All you have to do is mix together 3 ingredients, press it into a crust in the pan and then layer on each of the toppings. The recipe takes just about five minutes to put together, less than 30 minutes in the oven, and the hardest part is waiting for them to cool!  Something magic happens in the cooking and cooling process that turns these few layered ingredients into a solid, gooey, chewy bar cookie.

Oh and just a quick word to all the coconut haters out there - don't let that ingredient keep you from trying this recipe - you can't taste any coconut flavor at all, it just adds a lovely chewy texture especially if you use the unsweetened variety here.

As always, feel free to experiment with different combinations and create your own version of magic bars based on your tastes or what you have on hand in your kitchen. Next time I think I will try chocolate chips, caramel chips/bites, and pecans for a totally different flavor profile.  I would love to hear what you come up with so please leave me a comment with your ideas!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Magic Bars

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder 
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup chocolate covered toffee bits
1 cup coconut flakes
1 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 cup chocolate covered candies

1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. 
2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and cocoa powder and mix together well. (You could also use chocolate graham crackers instead.) Press the graham cracker crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the 9x13 pan to form a crust. 
3. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk evenly all over the surface of the graham cracker crust. Try to do this slowly and evenly because it is difficult to spread with a spoon or spatula without disturbing the graham cracker crust. 
4. Sprinkle the peanut butter chips, toffee bits, coconut flakes (I used unsweetened), and peanuts evenly each in a layer on top of the crust.  
5. Top with chocolate covered candies and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are brown and the center is bubbling slightly. 
6. Let the bars cool completely before cutting and serving. I let mine cool at room temperature for about 1 hour and then put them in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before cutting. 
7. Store for up to 3 days in an air tight container.


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