Ohoho yes I went there. I so went there.
But these didn't just happen. First of all, new house, new oven. New discoveries. As in, gas stovetops are great, but for some reason the oven likes to brown the crap out of anything I put in there so that's just fine.
Not fine. Got some tweaking to do with that.
So these were inspired by Diethood's awesome-looking gluten-free bars. Those pictures man, they just got me. Got me good. Got me so good I didn't even read through the recipe, just started making them. They're gluten-free, so what big whoop. Much big whoop, actually. The base is just egg and peanut butter baked together. Like some funky unsweetened eggy custard. That's fine if you're into that, but...not what I was led to expect. I wanted creamy. I wanted peanut butter. I wanted Reese's and stuff. Not eggs.
So I brainstormed on a boring spring break day in the trailer kitchen. I wanted something simplistic, with no fricken eggs and baking and messing with fussy oven stuff. I recalled The Wannabe Chef's amazing little peanut butter bar recipe, and from there the ideas just kept flowing.
The only unsound idea was the graham cracker crust. It had good intentions, but it just isn't worth it. It falls apart, doesn't stick to the peanut butter, and really doesn't do much for texture or taste. So whatever, I'm ditching it for the recipe, and that makes it gluten-free anyway so everyone's happy.
Also, much rich. Little nutrition. High calorie. Very addict. But enjoy.
Also, please welcome the latest contribution to our family, and apparently my new kitchen helper. We've had her for some amount of months now and she's already grown like crazy while I've been college-ing. The face kills me every freaking time. Finola is happy to meet you and would love to lick your face, but alas the computer screen separates her from you. Done talking vicariously for dogs now, please make bars and eat them k bye.
Peanut Butter Samoas Bars
Yield: 16 bars
- 3/4 cup peanut butter, runny or no-stir
- 7 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 10 oz + 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
- 7.5 ounces store-bought or homemade soft caramels
- 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
- A few pinches of salt
In a large, microwaveable bowl, melt together the peanut butter and butter until completely liquid. Remove from microwave and stir in powdered sugar. Press the peanut butter mixture into an even layer in an 8x8 inch square pan. Melt together the 10 ounces of chocolate chips and remaining tablespoon of butter and mix. Pour over the peanut butter layer and place in the freezer (or fridge) while you make the topping.
In a medium pan over medium-low heat, toast the coconut, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Place in a medium bowl and set aside. In a double boiler (or a medium metal/glass bowl placed over a pot of simmering ((and only simmering, not boiling)) water), combine the caramels, milk, and salt and stir until melted and combined. Pour the caramel mixture over the toasted coconut and stir to combine.
Immediately press the coconut/caramel mixture onto the peanut butter/chocolate layers, be sure to initially spread it in even chunks as it is quite sticky and will adhere to the still-warm chocolate. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and drizzle over the top with a fork. Place the finished product in the fridge to chill and set up thoroughly, at least 2 hours, or until the chocolate drizzle has hardened.
Chisel into bars and allow to come to room temp before serving. Be wary of portions, these are lovely, but rather rich.
Sources: inspired by Diethood, peanut butter chocolate bars from The Wannabe Chef, and samoas topping from Just a Taste