Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Bars

Sometimes you just need a brownie…

Sometimes you just need a brownie that is topped with a crunchy peanut butter chocolate layer.

Yup…it’s time for that brownie.

I wanted to check in with all of you (and use a new brownie recipe as an excuse to do it;))

Soooo….how are y’all doing?

No really…I want to know.

If you would have asked me a year ago, “what do you think you’ll be doing a year from now?”, waiting for a news conference on how our province is going to implement even tighter restrictions on this lockdown that we’ve been in forever, would not have been my answer.

A year ago, I thought (like most of you I’m sure) this would all be a distant memory by summer 2020… never (ever) would I have thought that by April 2021:

  • we would (still) be in lockdown
  • small businesses would (still) be hurting and wondering how they will ever get back on their feet
  • streets and places that used to have groups of people gathering and having a great time would be eerily empty
  • our hospitals would be completely overwhelmed
  • our health care workers would be feeling over worked and under appreciated (and I know this first hand because I’ve had wonderful, hardworking nurses send me messages about this exact thing)
  • instead of people thanking their lucky stars for what they have, they would become very (very) angry

You guys know me…I’m not a gloom and doom kinda gal.  I’m usually the exact opposite.

But it’s really hard lately. I still try to find silver linings every day (thank goodness I get to be surrounded by nature) but when things seem to be getting worse, it’s really hard. It’s hard to be “up” a year later.

I want to tell you that, if you’re feeling this way, I get it.

I also want to tell you guys that my “comedic relief” on social media is not to diminish how people are feeling…it’s actually the exact opposite.

I do it with the hope that I can bring a bit of laughter into your day – especially now.

Anyway, I really do want to know how you are all doing – leave me a note.

Seriously…leave me a note.

big batch brownies

Now, onto the brownies.

THESE brownies.

They have been my go-to and were inspired by my pal Ina Garten (she’s not really my pal…but I wish she was!). I loved how she made a huge batch (instead of the measly “one small pan of brownies” that most recipes give you) and how she added coffee to her batter, which is a real game changer! So I took her recipe to the next level by giving you a few ways to change up the batter (see the original recipe here on how to change the base recipe)

big batch brownies

big batch brownies

But, when I was flipping through Pinterest (which is my “what do you do when you sit down to relax” activity), I noticed a funny post called 40 Funeral Desserts To Console Loved Ones and it hit home.

IT hit home because that’s what I do at funerals…I bring food.

My way of saying “I’m sorry for you loss” is by sending food to people who are grieving so I was curious what was in this list. And it came at a time that I needed some help in figuring out what to send to a family I know who had just lost their young father to covid.

This has been a hard week.

crispy chocolate and peanut butter brownie bars

crispy chocolate and peanut butter brownie bars

So, here you have it.

A brownie recipe that has a little extra to get you through your “tougher than normal” spring.

It will get better.

It will.

You can do it.

I’m here for ya.

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Bars Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Bars

Crispy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Brownie Bars

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 20

Ingredients

Brownie Base

  • 2 cups butter 454 g/1 lb
  • 1 lb dark chocolate, chopped about 3 cups
  • 6 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup instant coffee
  • 1 1/4 cup flour substitute rice flour for gluten free
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cups milk chocolate/semi sweet chocolate chips
  • handful walnuts about 1 cup, chopped

Crispy Layer

  • 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 cups Rice Krispies

Chocolate Layer

  • 3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or vegetable oil)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet (with sides) with parchment paper (you can also split the batter between two 8" square pans and one 9x13" pan - they are thin layers, OR  4 8" pans OR 2 9x13" pans ).

  2. In a big stainless steel bowl, melt butter and dark chocolate in the microwave (yes, you read it right…microwave…as long as it is stainless steel, it can go in the microwave). 

    Heat for 2 minutes on high and stir until all is melted and smooth.

  3. In another bowl, combine eggs, coffee, vanilla and sugar. Whisk vigorously until combined. 

    Add to chocolate and butter mixture and whisk again….it should be oh soooo chocolatey!

  4. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; add chocolate chips and add to chocolate mixture…blend again.

  5. Pour into pan (or pans) and smooth out. Sprinkle walnut over top and bake in oven for 30 minutes (don’t overcook or you will lose the fudgy goodness!). Remove from oven.

  6. Make Rice Krispy layer: place chocolate chips and creamy peanut butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals until melted; stir until smooth. Stir in Rice Krispies; spread over the brownie layer.

  7. To make the chocolate layer, in a small bowl, melt the chocolate chips (2 cups) and coconut oil in the microwave until melted; pour evenly over rice krispy layer  among the pans. Refrigerate, covered, at least 30 minutes or until set.

  8. Cut into bars and serve.

Inspired by Taste of Home

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