Tuesday, April 23, 2013

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie Bars

This is a easy, fast dessert that looks more complicated than it is. Great, right? It's from The Daily Cookie, a book I raved about a little while back. If you're a chocolate-and-peanut butter fiend, you'll love this. The base is ground up Oreos and butter pressed to form a firm crust. The middle layer is creamy peanut butter and cream cheese, and the topping is the simplest chocolate ganache. It's a lot like those utterly decadent peanut butter mousse pies that seem to call to me from countless web pages, but in the form of satisfying little bars that come in around 100 calories (so good ahead, eat two!).

These bars are made in a square pan, but I could see using a round cake pan and cutting them into thin slices if you want a more elegant presentation. Serve them on a plate next to some whipped cream. In bar form, they're easy to just pick up and eat out of hand. The filling is so tasty (obviously) that I'd consider doubling the amount for a thicker bar.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie Bars
Adapted from The Daily Cookie, 365 Tempting Treats for the Sweetest Year of Your Life by Anna Ginsberg of Cookie Madness

Makes 24 small bars

12 Oreo (or similar) cookies
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

4 oz reduced fat cream cheese (neufchatel), softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar (55 g)
1/4 cup chunky or creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp 2% or whole milk

1/4 cup heavy cream
3 oz semisweet chocolate, chips or a chopped bar

Line an 8-inch square pan with nonstick foil (or use regular foil and coat with flour-added baking spray). Process the cookies into fine crumbs using a food processor fitted with the metal blade. You should have 1 1/4 cups. Pour melted butter over crumbs and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer to prepared pan and press tightly to form an even layer. Freeze for 20 minutes to make a firm crust.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Beat the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in peanut butter and milk. Spread over the frozen crust. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until peanut butter layer is firm.

Make the topping: In a small saucepan, heat the cream until it just begins to simmer. Remove from heat and immediately add the chocolate. Let it sit for 1 minute, then stir until chocolate is melted and very smooth. If still very hot, cool up to 5 minutes. Spoon chocolate over the peanut butter layer and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Refrigerate until chocolate is set. Cut into 24 bars, or desired size.

Note: For 24 servings, 1 bar contains approximately 104 calories and 7 grams fat according to my calculations on nutritiondata.self.com.

1 comment:

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