Thursday, April 19, 2012

Reese's Bars in Two Movements

Today I present to you Reese's Bars.

And their whole grain cousin.

Reese's Bars are all over the web right now. And with good reason. They taste like Reese's cups and take at most 5 minutes to whip up, and they're so much cheaper than Reese's Cups (this is a very rough estimate, but at $.75 for 2 Reese's Cups, this batch of Reese's Bars is worth about $12 and it only costs $4.50 to make). Plus, you can have a whole pan-ful of them yourself if you make them. Wait. Maybe that's a bad reason.

At any rate, we had a bunch of friends over last week and I decided to make them. And then, for reasons I don't even really understand myself, but which probably had to do with a rash of breakfast cookie experimentation last week, it came into my mind to use oat flour in place of the graham cracker crumbs for one pan. We'll just call it inspiration.

As indeed it was. The fun thing about serving two different versions of the same food and forcing your guests to taste one of each is that you get a pretty good idea of which is the most popular.

I have to tell you they were both pretty popular. And that people liked both versions, even when they had a favorite. But at the end of the night more of the oat version was gone. There were only 4 pieces left as opposed to nearly half of the other pan. The oat version is also cheaper by nearly a dollar. However, I should tell you this: my favorite was the graham cracker one. Yeah, I know, clearly I wasn't thinking skinny thoughts. Or, well, whole grain thoughts, since neither version could really be considered, um, skinny.

Which brings me to one final thought. These may look like cookies, but they're really--as one of my friends pointed out--more of a candy. It's just something to keep in mind when you're cutting yourself (or watching your kids cut) an enormous bar. Not that I'm telling you how to live your life (although I'd be happy to tell your kids how to live their lives if you think it would help {pssst--it won't}); you can eat the whole darn pan if you want to. I just wanted to warn you that you can get sugared up on them pretty easily, so just beware; and please drive responsibly.

Reese's Bars (with optional oat flour adaptation)
adapted from Baker Lady
Makes 9x13 inch pan
Prep time: 5 minutes
Wait time: 30 minutes
Cost: $4.45 for graham cracker version; $3.55 for oat version
butter: .50, graham cracker crumbs: 1.30, oats: .35, sugar: .40, peanut butter: 1.25, chocolate chips: 1.00

1 C butter, melted
2 C graham cracker crumbs, finely ground (or 2 C oat flour)
2 C confectioner's sugar
1 1/4 C peanut butter
1 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

If you don't have pre-prepared graham cracker crumbs or oat flour, throw graham crackers (about 2 sleeves) or oats (probably about 4 cups, but I'm guessing here) into a blender and go to town until you have a flour-like substance.

Mix butter, crumbs, sugar, and peanut butter until it's a nice paste. Press this into a 9x13 inch pan and chill until set (about 30 minutes).

When your peanut stuff is set, melt your chocolate chips in the microwave by microwaving in 30 second intervals, mixing in between, until the chocolate is all melted. Pour this on top of your peanut layer and spread quickly (because your peanut layer is cold and your chocolate is going to start to set up quickly). Let the chocolate set up (it won't take too long since your peanut layer is cold).

Cut and eat. I refrigerated these and preferred them brought to room temperature for purposes of both cutting and eating. They were softer and just tastier to eat when not cold and they were much easier to cut; when at room temperature, the chocolate didn't break into pieces during cutting and it adhered to the peanut butter layer better.


1 comment:

  1. Jeanie,

    Absolutely love your blog! So glad I got it this month for SRC - great recipes, tips, and you had me chuckling at every turn. I'm trying those wonderful looking lemon doodles next. :)



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