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Two Sisters, Serial #18 and Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

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I call this power food.

There’s a big movement out there toward energy snacks, as you well know from any trip through the natural foods aisle of your grocery store. These high-energy (and high cost) prepackaged snacks promise to pick you up from those low-energy lulls during the day. And to read their labels, you’d think they invented the idea.

NOT! Power food has a long and fabled history, and all samples I can think of include peanut butter. Remember saving half a pb&j sandwich from lunch for the bus ride home so you’d have the energy and the nerve to stand up to the bully kicking your seat from behind? And what about the famous Fluffernutter (peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich)? That rocket ship between two slices of bread got me through more than a few overnight shifts at the loading dock.

So now R&R is proud to add another power food to your arsenal–Peanut Butter Fudge Bars! Guess what? It has peanut butter in it! Even better– chocolate! (Give me caffeine, give me sugar, give me cocoa butter!) Mix in a little butter, a little condensed milk–and cake mix? Well, got to hold all that good stuff together and keep it from blasting off out of the pan!

I’m writing faster just sitting here thinking about Peanut Butter Power Bars–I mean Fudge Bars. Mix yourself up a batch today–quick!

peanut butter chocolate fudge bars

Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

1/2 box  yellow cake mix*

1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, divided

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 egg

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk**

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

peanut butter fudge bars

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray an 8 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Pour the cake mix into a large mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup peanut butter to a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until the ingredients are melted. Pour the melted butter and peanut butter over top of the cake mix and stir ingredients together. Add the egg and mix into cake batter. Press half of the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan.

Add the chocolate chips, remaining 1 Tablespoon butter, and sweetened condensed milk to a saucepan over med-low heat. Stir frequently until all of the ingredients are melted and mixed together. Remove the melted chocolate from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour this mixture over top of the peanut butter cake layer. Smooth melted chocolate to completely cover the cake layer. Break up and sprinkle the remaining peanut butter cake batter over top of the fudge layer.

Place bars in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake just begins to turn golden brown. Remove the bars from the oven and let cool completely before cutting. Store any leftovers at room temperature for a more frosting like fudge layer, or in the refrigerator for a denser, harder fudge layer.

Makes 9-12 bars.

*You can easily double this recipe if you don’t want to only use 1/2 box of cake mix. Instructions, baking temperature, and baking time are the same–just use a 9×13 baking pan.

**Make our Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich with the leftover sweetened condensed milk!

pb fudge bars

{Adapted from Cooking to Perfection}

Click below to listen to or read Serial #18 of “Two Sisters”.

Two Sisters, Serial #18. audio © Jeffrey Anderson

Two Sisters, Serial #18, text © Jeffrey Anderson

Enjoy!

About Elaine

http://cooking2perfection.blogspot.com/

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