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ISO recipes for Turtle Brownies and Peanut Butter Bars

soccermom13 Aug 10, 2012 02:32 PM

I am bringing desserts for a shower. The hostess has requested chocolate. I am thinking of Turtle Brownies and peanut butter bars with a chocolate ganache topping and maybe, just maybe, some tiny peanut butter cups on top.

Has anyone tried the Cooks Illustrated recipe for Turtle Brownies? Are they good?

This is an adaption of the CI recipe:

Can anyone direct me to a really good recipe for peanut butter bars? Has anyone tried this Smitten Kitchen recipe for Peanut Butter Brownies? If so, now were they?



  1. todao Aug 10, 2012 04:01 PM

    Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
    Crush up 3/4 cup of Butter Finger candy bars.
    Combine with 3/4 cup crushed graham crackers and 1/2 cup melted butter.
    Use cooking spray to lubricate an oven proof glass 9x13 baking pan and press the mixture firmly (use a fork) into the pan.
    Pour a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk over the crust.
    Cover with a layer of semi-sweet chocolate chips and chopped freshly roasted peanuts and press those into the bottom layer using spatula or fork.
    Bake at 325 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes.
    Remove from oven, set aside to cool.
    While still slightly warm, use a sharp knife dipped in cooking oil to cut the cookies into bars.
    You can also cut them with a spatula or other instrument if that works better for you.
    Store, covered, in cool dry place but avoid refrigerating as they'll get pretty hard in the fridge.
    You won't store them for long. They disappear like a burst of steam.

    1 Reply
    1. re: todao
      KSlink Aug 11, 2012 06:46 AM

      This is definitely going on my 'to do' list, bless you, todao!

    2. TrishUntrapped Aug 10, 2012 05:12 PM

      This is a standard classic for Peanut Butter Bars which I taught my son to make when he was six. They taste like peanut butter cups and are still a holiday favorite.


      4 Replies
      1. re: TrishUntrapped
        TrishUntrapped Aug 11, 2012 03:57 AM

        For a shower, what you can do is cut these into very squares and put them in tiny little cupcake papers on a platter. A great little one bite pop.

        1. re: TrishUntrapped
          soccermom13 Aug 11, 2012 04:06 AM

          Trish--little squares is exactly what I have in mind! :0) No one will feel guilty about eating a little tiny square. Or two. Or three :0) Using little cupcake papers is a brilliant idea! I see a trip to Michael's in my immediate future! (They should have cute little cupcake papers, don't you think?)

          1. re: soccermom13
            TrishUntrapped Aug 11, 2012 06:39 AM

            Yes they should have them, probably in the Wilton cake supply area.

            Back in the day (man, I'm sounding old) guests used to say "Give me a big ol' slice of that thar cake." Nowadays, it's "Oh just a tiny smidge. THAT'S TOO BIG CUT IT IN HALF."

            I admit, I'm pretty much off sugar these days too except for special occasions, so I get it. Now when I serve desserts it's with "small" in mind. As you say, people are more willing to grab a little bite rather than a big piece. Also, one recipe goes a much longer way!

            1. re: soccermom13
              Caitlin McGrath Aug 11, 2012 08:18 AM

              Michael's has a huge selection of cute little cupcake papers!

        2. v
          valerie Aug 10, 2012 06:24 PM

          I have not made these, but I want to....Amazing Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies. Though maybe not what you are looking for since they are more of a brownie.


          1. sbp Aug 10, 2012 06:35 PM

            I recently made salted caramel brownies. Standard brownie recipe. Separately, made the salted caramels from the recipe right here on Chow. Baked the brownies for about 20 minutes, then took out, dotted with caramels, and finished baking. (If I add caramels at beginning, they dissolve completely.

            1. Caitlin McGrath Aug 10, 2012 07:04 PM

              I haven't tried it myself, but Chow has a recipe for turtle brownies that has some good reviews: http://www.chow.com/recipes/14156-pec...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                soccermom13 Aug 11, 2012 03:52 AM

                Great suggestions, everyone. Thank you.

              2. r
                rstuart Aug 11, 2012 01:37 PM

                Soccermom.. I've made the SK ones, and they're good!!
                My favorite PB bars though are from Nigella's Lawson How to be a domestic Goddess..
                Utterly addictive..

                6 Replies
                1. re: rstuart
                  soccermom13 Aug 12, 2012 03:10 AM

                  OMG ---those look really good, rstuart! More like a candy, are they?

                  1. re: soccermom13
                    TrishUntrapped Aug 12, 2012 06:58 AM

                    Nigella's take on Peanut Butter Bars is interesting, she uses brown sugar instead of graham cracker crumbs. I've never made her variation, but they do seem more more like a candy, and tasty.

                    1. re: TrishUntrapped
                      rstuart Aug 12, 2012 09:55 AM

                      They are.. more like peanut butter cups in bar form. But even better.

                      1. re: rstuart
                        soccermom13 Aug 13, 2012 02:55 AM

                        I'm almost afraid to make Nigella's for fear I'll eat waaay too many. I did make the SK peanut butter brownies, using peanut butter chips instead of chocolate chips in the batter. They are very, very good. Made a chocolate ganache to frost them but it's too thin. Used Joy of Cooking's ganache recipe but it called for too much cream. I will have to rescue this ganache by adding more chopped chocolate. Or maybe I'll just offer this thin ganache in an attractive pitcher for those who want to pour some on. I think I prefer the unadulterated pb taste not "distracted" by chocolate....

                        1. re: soccermom13
                          TrishUntrapped Aug 13, 2012 03:13 AM

                          You could also try whipping the ganache to make it a bit thicker. It will be lighter in color but still tasty.

                          1. re: TrishUntrapped
                            soccermom13 Aug 13, 2012 04:17 AM

                            I had no idea it could be thickened by whipping! Thank you very much!

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