Peanut butter chocolate bar for Mikey

13 August 2011 § 4 Comments

I was very saddened when I read that food blogger, Jennie Perillo’s, husband died suddenly last Sunday, leaving her and two little girls. I did not know Jennie, but I read her blog and admired her down-to-earth approach and her love for her family was very evident in her writing.

She asked that people made her husband’s favorite peanut butter pie to honor him on Friday.  We were traveling yesterday so I got up early this morning to make frozen peanut butter chocolate bars this morning, with the few ingredients I had in our bare cupboard.

I also gave King Marv, who has just got back from Moscow – thank you Aeroflot, and The Ladies™ extra big hugs and cuddles.

This is a Ruth Reichl recipe from the Gourmet Today cookbook:

For Chocolate Layer

  • 7 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick cold, unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup salted dry-roasted peanuts (I used cashews and brazils – chopped)

For peanut butter layer

  • 4 oz cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup very cold heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extra

Accompaniment – hot fudge sauce

Make the chocolate layer:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving a 2″ overhang on 2 opposite sides. Lightly brush with canola or olive oil.

Melt the chocolate and butter with sugar and salt in a large metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, whisking occassionally until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the nuts.

Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake until it is set and edges are slightly puffed – about 15 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool completely.

Make the peanut butter layer:

Beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until well combined, about 4 minutes.

Beat the cream with vanilla in a bowl with cleaned beaters at medium high speed until it just holds stiff peaks. Make sure the cream is really cold as it will whip better. Also use a large bowl as will take less time.

Gently fold in the peanut butter mixture until just combined.

Spread mixture evenly on top of chocolate layer, cover foil and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.

I then made chocolate fudge sauce that I drizzled over, not necessary but even more delicious.

Carefully lift cake from pan, using foil overhang. Pull back foil and trim ¼ ” from edges of cake. Cut into 8 bars and peel off foil.

Recipe for the fudge sauce to follow later this week.

Enjoy with friends and loved ones.


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