First off....I have to say, there is such an abundance of these floating around, I have to say I have become a recipe snob. Plenty of them call for store bought sauces, cake mixes from boxes or some other such preservative filled nonsense. Those recipes I skip over with NO apprehension whatsoever and I do not share with my family, friends or followers. The closest I got to my "line" was a recipe I shared the other day that called for "vanilla wafers" to line the pan. I shared it because I can buy those dairy free and with less than 7 ingredients. Something I am willing to feed the Sprout as a snack. That is my guideline, even for my OWN eating. "Would I ever give this to my son?" If the answer is "No.", it doesn't go into my mouth either. Good plan to live by!
Most recently (ahem...this morning...just now) I came across a recipe for "Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Bars". Sure, we've all seen a recipe like this and most likely have made it and have a favorite "no bake" go to recipe already. But honestly, I usually see peanut butter bars that are "no bake" made with just peanut butter and powdered sugar or peanut butter and quick oats. THIS recipe...THIS one has a graham cracker base. Mmmm....peanut butter with graham crackers! It was one of my favorite after school snacks when I was growing up. This particular recipe can VERY easily be made into a dairy free delight by using vegan buttery spread, graham crackers that don't have dairy in them and my "Enjoy Life!" dairy free chocolate chips. Yay!
Easy No Bake Peanut Butter Bars
1 c. vegan buttery spread, melted
2 c. organic dairy free graham cracker crumbs, pulverized
2 c. organic powdered sugar
1 c. + 4 T. organic natural creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 c. Enjoy Life! mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
*Click on each ingredient to see the product. You will be able to find it easier in your grocery store. All of these things can be bought online.
In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners’ sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended.
Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. (I did mine in a 8 X 8 square pan because I wanted them to be thicker.) In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the 4 T. peanut butter, stirring every 30 seconds until melted until smooth. Spread over the bottom layer. Refrigerate for at least one hour or allow to sit for 4 hours at room temperature before cutting into squares. Voila!
It was really, REALLY hard to wait for these to cool the full 4 hours...so I didn't! They are SO scrumdiddliumptuous! This is one time I made something and KNEW it was going to be awesome before I even made it, so I won't say how pleasantly surprised I was. It was more of a "Yup, they're awesome." reaction. The Mister has been hittin' harder than I have been if that gives you any indication of how awesome they are. Mr. Nutty Bar himself is layin into them like they are goin out of style!
It seriously only takes about 10 minutes to make these. The real time consumption comes in the waiting for the chocolate to set. But, SO totally worth it. Now, I made these thicker because I like a larger ratio of peanut butter than chocolate when I eat a bar like this. If you want it to be closer to equal amounts, then going with the original recipe directions of a 9 x 13 inch pan is right up your alley. Either way, these are a perfect recipe and something easy to toss together for a potluck or a picnic. Spring and summer ARE upon us...even if it doesn't seem like Mother Nature got the memo...it IS on the way. Try these out for your brood and see if they don't ask you to make them EVERY time they ask for a dessert!