Do you ever have moments where something–a memory, a smell, a sensation, etc.–triggers a feeling and all of a sudden you can perfectly imagine being somewhere other than where you are? Maybe a smell that reminds you of your grandma’s house or the sensation of snapping beans that takes you back to a summer day from your childhood? Stuff like that? Well, at the risk of sounding melodramatic, I had one of those moments today–about the weather.
I don’t know what triggered it, but just like that the wind was howling, snow was blowing, and I could taste the hot chocolate. And it was wonderful. It is totally typical of me this time of year to long for fall. But you know it’s been a hot 18 months when I start longing for winter like that. And people, it has been hot–2 summers in a row! With a super mild winter inbetween. I chose to live north of the Mason Dixon line for a reason. I am tired of the sun and tired of the heat. And we had better get real snow this winter!
But in the meantime, the heat continues on. So despite the date, let me share one more no bake dessert with you in case it is still creeping into the 90s (Fahrenheit) where you are also. This one is a doozy too. I don’t think it is possible to stay out of these bars, so if you don’t have iron control. I recommend making them for a crowd. They are that good.
The recipe I adapted from arrived in my inbox one day courtesy of Martha Stewart. I bookmark lots of recipes that are emailed to me in various newsletters, etc., but this one I basically made immediately. My biggest change was to use more milk chocolate and create an actual second layer on top, rather than artistic drizzling as is shown on Martha Stewart’s site. Given the result, I am pretty happy with my decision, even if my bars are more boring looking!
- Vegetable oil cooking spray
- 9 oz chocolate wafers, finely ground (2 cups)
- 1½ cups old-fashioned oats (I used Bob's Red Mill Extra Thick)
- 1¼ cups confectioners' sugar
- ¼ t coarse salt
- 5 oz (10 T) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1¾ cups plus 3 T peanut butter, divided (I used Jif)
- 10 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
- 3 oz milk chocolate, melted
- Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides.
- Whisk together the ground wafers, oats, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat, then add 1¾ cups peanut butter, whisking until well combined. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the wafer mixture, stirring until combined. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, and firmly press the mixture into an even layer. I used a piece of parchment to do this; the original recipe suggests a measuring cup.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Pour melted semisweet chocolate over the chilled bars and use an offset spatula to spread it into an even layer that covers the entire surface of the bars. Refrigerate until hardened, at least 15 minutes.
- Melt the milk chocolate in a small saucepan. When it is partially melted, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and whisk smooth. Pour over the chilled bars and again use an offset spatula to spread the milk chocolate mixture evenly over the bars. Chill another 15 minutes.
- Use the parchment to lift out the entire chilled block of bars. Run a sharp knife under hot water, dry well, and slice the bars into desired size rectangles, wiping the knife between cuts. Let bars stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. I kept the bars at room temperature, but if your kitchen is warm you may need to store them in the fridge.