Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

My husband has been whiny lately.

Apparently I haven’t been making enough chocolate and peanut butter treats for him? He feels like it’s all caramel, all the time around here.

I will admit to a slight obsession with caramel lately, but I’m not out of control or anything.

Seriously. I can stop at any time.

To prove it, I made these insane cake mix bars. They are bursting with chocolate and peanut butter. The filling is so gooey and rich. The crust is full of peanut butter. These totally taught my husband a lesson.

And that lesson? If you whine enough, I’ll give you what you want just to shut you up.

I maybe didn’t plan that so great.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Ingredients:

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
1 cup peanut butter
8 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13x9 baking dish with parchment paper.
Place the cake mix, peanut butter, melted butter and eggs in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The mixture will be thick. Reserve 1 1/2 cups for the topping. Transfer the remaining crust mixture to the pan. Using your fingertips, press the crust evenly over the bottom of the pan so that it reaches all sides. Set aside.
For the filling, place the chocolate chips, condensed milk, and 2 tablespoons butter in a medium pot over low heat. Stir and cook until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is well combined, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Pour the chocolate mixture over the crust, and spread it evenly with the rubber spatula so that it reaches the sides of the pan. Using your fingertips, crumble the reserved crust and scatter it evenly over the chocolate.
Bake until the top crust is light brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
Cut into small pieces.
Store at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to one week.

adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor

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22 Responses to “Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars”

  1. shelly (cookies and cups) July 11, 2012 @ 7:37 am (#
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    I agree with your husband.
    Although my second love is caramel, so I agree with you too.

    [Reply]

  2. danielle July 11, 2012 @ 7:51 am (#
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    )

    These look great – I may make them with the kids today – thank you!!

    [Reply]

  3. Riley July 11, 2012 @ 8:20 am (#
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    Yum! There’s no better combination than peanut butter and chocolate!

    [Reply]

  4. sally @ sally's baking addiction July 11, 2012 @ 8:28 am (#
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    LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about these. They look so incredibly easy! And I can’t get enough cake mix shortcut recipes. Aaaaaand pb+choc too of course. my bf begs me for chocolate pb recipes all of the time. Funny… I always seem to make them and he always complains he wants more! my blog should just be named sallys pb addiction but whatevs.

    [Reply]

  5. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel July 11, 2012 @ 8:39 am (#
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    Holy crapola, those look super duper fudgy & awesome. I’m loving the crumbly top mostly because I have a crumbly top obsession I inherited as a little girl. But you know, only a minor obsession. ;)

    [Reply]

  6. Averie @ Averie Cooks July 11, 2012 @ 10:51 am (#
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    Choc & PB is a winning combo….Pretty much a day never goes by where I don’t have it! (or one or the other, for sure!)

    [Reply]

  7. Chelsea July 11, 2012 @ 1:40 pm (#
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    )

    husbands…. you’ve just gotta love them!

    [Reply]

  8. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar July 11, 2012 @ 1:50 pm (#
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    Hmmm so if I whine about NEEDING a milkshake recipe from you I’ll get one?! WAAHHHHHHHHH!

    [Reply]

  9. Becca from It's Yummilicious July 11, 2012 @ 6:39 pm (#
    9
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    So ummm… Karly? If I start whining rigggggght now… *sniffle* and getting all teary-eyed, and if I quiver my lip a little bit and tell you how I’m going in for a hysterectomy next Tuesday, will you pullleeeez bake me a dozen of these bars and mail them to the hospital? Pretty puuuulleeeez?

    [Reply]

    Karly Reply:

    @Becca from It’s Yummilicious,

    Girl, you know I would. No need for hysterics either. :)

    Hope the surgery goes well! I’ll be thinkin’ about ya.

    [Reply]

  10. DessertForTwo July 11, 2012 @ 7:23 pm (#
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    It seems like everyone is baking desserts using box mixes these days. I better jump on the bandwagon!

    [Reply]

  11. Melissa July 11, 2012 @ 8:18 pm (#
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    )

    I love caramel. I love peanut butter too, but I can not eat it, sadly. So I’m on Team Caramel! I’d love caramel and chocolate.

    [Reply]

  12. DARLENE EPPS July 11, 2012 @ 9:10 pm (#
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    SOUNDS LIKE MY DH LAST NIGHT . I WAS IN THE KITCHEN LAST NITE MAKING COOKIES AT 10:00 PM. LOL

    [Reply]

  13. Joanne July 11, 2012 @ 9:13 pm (#
    13
    )

    What if you made him something with caramel, peanut butter AND chocolate? That seems like it would be ideal for all parties. Compromise is key! Though..I’m kind of in love with these. So maybe just leave them as is.

    [Reply]

  14. Sue {munchkin munchies} July 11, 2012 @ 10:12 pm (#
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    )

    I’m SURE these made your husband VERY happy!

    [Reply]

  15. Jocelyn July 11, 2012 @ 10:31 pm (#
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    )

    I kind of get whiney myself if I don’t have peanut butter and chocolate in some form each week:-) I love how easy these bars are with the cake mix too. I have to say I love Joanne’s comment about caramel, pb and chocolate…now that’s a bar waiting to happen!!!

    [Reply]

  16. Catherine Smith July 12, 2012 @ 4:07 am (#
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    )

    Hi Karly: I love chocolate and peanut so these bars look so yummy. I am going to try them in couple of days and try not to eat so many and give some to my neighbors. I love all your recipes and contests!

    [Reply]

  17. Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings July 12, 2012 @ 6:31 am (#
    17
    )

    Love chocolate and peanut butter together!!

    [Reply]

  18. Christine July 14, 2012 @ 5:11 am (#
    18
    )

    Hi Karly,

    Wow, thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I tweaked it a bit by adding a tsp of instant coffee granules to the chocolate filling and by spreading some peanut butter over the initial layer of crust before adding the chocolate filling on top. To DIE for!

    I love to bake, and I try to bake something every other week or so for a salsa dancing team that I practice with on Saturdays. Last night I made these bars, and (after more quality control than was necessary on my part…I had a fair sampling), I just can’t wait to share them today! I will also be making another batch this Sunday for a summer bbq I’m hosting.

    Thank you thank you thank you!

    [Reply]

  19. danielle July 14, 2012 @ 8:40 am (#
    19
    )

    Yum! I wanted to let you know that I featured this today in my “What I Bookmarked This Week” post. Thanks for the inspiration.

    [Reply]

  20. sly311 April 6, 2013 @ 8:36 am (#
    20
    )

    The presentation of these dessert treats on ripped paper towels is tacky at best. Certainly not conducive to getting someone’s attention. You need to watch more Food Network shows.

    [Reply]

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