The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Idle Hand Bars (Sweet & Salty)

5.00 Mitt(s) 4 Rating(s)4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 54 votes, average: 5.00 out of 54 votes, average: 5.00 out of 54 votes, average: 5.00 out of 54 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5

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Level: Easy

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Description

Peanut butter meets chocolate in this sweet & salty take on a classic combination.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CRUST:
  • ½ cups Unsalted Butter
  • ¼ cups Sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons Cocoa
  • 1 whole Egg, Beaten
  • 1-¼ cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • ½ cups Pecans, Finely Chopped
  • ¼ cups Hazelnuts, Finely Chopped
  • _____
  • FOR SECOND LAYER:
  • 1 cup Smooth, Natural Peanut Butter (no Salt Added)
  • ½ cups Unsalted Butter, Melted And Cooled Slightly
  • ⅔ cups Powdered Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • _____
  • FOR TOP LAYER:
  • 5 ounces, weight Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • Pink Himalayan Salt

Preparation

1. In double boiler (or a bowl resting over a pot of lightly simmering water), melt the butter, sugar and cocoa.

2. While still over water, add egg and beat to combine (will thicken quite a bit here). Remove from heat and add graham cracker crumbs and nuts.

3. Press into an 8 x 8 cake pan. Set aside.

4. Add peanut butter and butter together in small bowl.

5. Mix in sugar, salt and vanilla to form a thick paste.

6. Dump onto base layer and smooth over, patting down to make a flat, even layer.

7. In double boiler (or microwave), melt butter and chocolate chips together. Stir until completely dissolved and smooth.

8. Pour over peanut butter layer and spread out evenly.

9. Cool in fridge for about 5 minutes (should still be slightly soft on top but not warm).

10. Sprinkle, lightly, with Himalayan salt. Return to fridge (or freezer, if you’re in a hurry like I was), and let cool completely to become hard.

11. Cut into small squares and don’t say I didn’t warn you. These things are addictive.

7 Comments

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The Sugar Tree on 5.20.2010

These looks awesome!

But Pink Himalayan Salt?? Not sure my small town local grocery carries that stuff! Will Sea Salt do?

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guiltykitchen on 3.11.2010

I just had to mention that if you don’t want nuts in the base layer, pretzels are terrific in there! Reduce the salt accordingly though or they area little too salty.

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everydayisgourmet on 3.9.2010

these are super yummy!
I didn’t have all the ingredients so I substituted a few, and I’m so glad they still turned out.
thanks for the great recipe!

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wyngrrrl13 on 3.3.2010

My Dad’s b-day is coming up and I want to send him a gift that is all things peanut butter…this will be a great start!

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kittylou13 on 3.3.2010

I haven’t tried these yet, but I absolutely LOVE how you have presented them! What beautiful packaging!

4 Reviews

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Jess on 2.4.2012

Oh my goodness. Yum. I followed the modifications suggested above by jecarl (thickened peanut butter with more sugar and increased butter in chocolate layer) and they came out lovely. Thanks all!

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lilrosi on 5.10.2011

These are excellent!! I found that they were best when chilled. Somewhat resembled a candy bar. To say that this will serve 24 is pushing it a little, unless your squares are itty-bitty… makes about 16 small squares from an 8×8 pan.

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jecarl on 6.17.2010

Excellent! Super rich chocolate and peanut buttery goodness. I only had peanuts on hand and it turned out great. I agree the peanut butter layer was more fluid than paste-y, but I added a bit more powdered sugar to thicken it up. Also had to add 3 to 4 times the amount of butter to the chocolate in order to get a spreadable consistency. They didn’t firm up quickly so refrigerated overnight. Will definitely make again due to the rave reviews from coworkers.

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smvillers on 5.17.2010

So good! A super rich, super delicious upscale peanut butter cup. I made these to bring to a party and got a ton of compliments.

I had a few issues with preparation, though. The peanut butter layer was quite runny–I had to stick it in the fridge for a while before adding the top layer. Also, I think I overheated my chocolate chips in the microwave because they got really, really thick. I thinned with a couple more tablespoons of butter and had to kind of spread the mixture over the refrigerated peanut butter layer.

Despite these issues, I would definitely make again. So good!

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