Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup butter, softened
¾ teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup brown sugar
1¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon unsalted butter (for pan)
1 (12 ounce) bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Finally mix in the confectioners’ sugar. Beat until smooth. You can do all of this by hand in a pinch but it takes a lot of mashing and mixing.
2. Prepare a 9 inch spring-form pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper and buttering the edges. You may also make this in any roundish dish that is approximately 8 to 9 inches across. This will change the thickness of the candy, but it is not a deal-killer. Press the peanut butter mixture into the bottom of the pan. If it is too sticky to handle, use a spatula to press it down. You can cover this with plastic and place it in the refrigerator while you prepare the chocolate.
3. Melt the chocolate chips, either by microwaving them for 30 second bursts at 50% power, and stirring between bursts. Or, you can melt them in a double boiler, stirring continuously. When the chocolate is melted, pour it out on top of the peanut butter and smooth it with a clean, dry spatula. Set the pan aside for 15 minutes.
4. When the chocolate is beginning to set, you can take a toothpick and “score” the top into squares, which will make it easier to cut when it is completely hardened. Also, run the toothpick or stick around the edge of the pan. If you do this too early, the chocolate folds back in on itself, which is pretty but will not help as much when you cut it later. Let it set for about 15 minutes and check it with the toothpick to make sure that the lines will hold. If it is still too “wet” allow it to harden a bit more before scoring. Place the pan in the refrigerator for an hour to allow the peanut butter and chocolate to harden completely. Or simply leave it on the counter to harden.
5. When the chocolate has hardened, gently unlock the pan and remove the sides. You can now slide the chocolate treat onto a serving platter, trimming the parchment close to the edge. You can serve it whole and allow folks to cut off bits with a knife, or you can carefully cut off squares to serve.