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ISO recipes for Turtle Brownies and Peanut Butter Bars

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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:
http://www.cookingdebauchery.com/cook...

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?

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/1...

Thanks!

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  1. 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

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

    2. 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.

      http://www.yumsugar.com/Easy--Bake-Pe...

      4 Replies
      1. re: TrishUntrapped

        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

          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

            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

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

        2. 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.

          http://makinglifedelicious.com/2011/0...

          1. 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. 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

                Great suggestions, everyone. Thank you.

              2. 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..
                http://littlemissmoi.wordpress.com/20...

                6 Replies
                1. re: rstuart

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

                  1. re: soccermom13

                    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

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

                      1. re: rstuart

                        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

                          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

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