peanut butter cup bars

July 22, 2011

When I originally moved to America, it wasn’t to my beloved Minneapolis, but actually to Austin, TX. I stepped off the plane onto American soil for the very first time, half expecting cacti and sand, and instead finding the hottest of heats and one of the most exciting cities I’d ever been to.

Austin was everything I wanted for my year of studying abroad. Wild, carefree, adventurous, full of sun, water, laughter, and new friends. That’s before we even get to the tacos and bbq.

One hot evening soon after arriving I visited a Walmart for the very first time (a CRAZY experience for a non-American, let me tell you) where under the supervision of a new friend I picked up a large bag of Reese’s pieces – the miniature version of those sugar bomb peanut butter “cups”. That bag lasted me through a first semester of crazy, adventurous, emotional roller-coasting, and fun.

And so you see, that these little beauties evoke special memories for me of arriving in a hot city with an unfamiliar feel.

Their presence in my little desk drawer (and the frequency with which they came out of said drawer and into my mouth) meant that they stud my memories of time spent in that room, writing essays, emailing home, sitting with new friends, enjoying that notable, intense sugar rush every time I popped one in my mouth.

They’re American as can be and extraordinarily rich so that a tiny little nugget is all you need to satisfy a craving. If you don’t have an intensely sweet tooth like I do then you might think about adding a graham cracker/digestive biscuit base to balance out the richness. To me, they’re perfect just as they are.

Peanut Butter Cup Bars
from Eat Live Run

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 7 ounces milk chocolate
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp butter

Directions

  1. Blend together the brown sugar, powdered sugar, butter and peanut butter until it reaches a smooth paste-like consistency. Press into the bottom of a nine by thirteen inch pan.
  2. Melt the chocolate with the tablespoon of butter over very low heat (or in a microwave). Pour melted chocolate over the peanut butter crust and stick in the fridge for an hour to harden.
  3. Cut into little squares or rectangles and serve. Makes about 48 small bars.

Note: If you’re making these in the summertime heat, keep ‘em refrigerated for a delicious chocolate crunch.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruth July 22, 2011 at 6:49 am

I live in the UK and discovered peanut butter cups in the student union shop at university in Liverpool. I’ve been hooked since then, but now, thankfully they are available in ordinary supermarkets too. I’ll have to try my hand at making these…

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Rhona @ Redwinerunner.co.uk July 22, 2011 at 7:57 am

I remember the first time I tried to select a sweet treat from a shop in Austin (99% sure it was the campus CVS on Guadalupe) and being faced with walls of shelves of unfamiliar products… Dr Goodbar? Mounds? Dove?
In the end I selected a Hershey’s Cookies and Cream bar and was terribly disappointed. Funny the little things you remember after so many years…
~R

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brandi July 22, 2011 at 8:16 am

These look perfect. I think I need to make them.

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Natalie S. July 22, 2011 at 11:41 am

I’m convinced that Austin, TX is the best city in America! Then again, I’ve lived here all my life, so I might be a bit biased.

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Chels September 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

I’m from New Jersey and think Austin, TX is the greatest city !

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Sarah@The Flying ONION July 22, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Chocolate + peanut butter = a very happy me.

I can’t wait to make these! :D

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Evan Thomas July 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I’m going to make these again the right way. I’m getting giddy at the thought.

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Sam July 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm

I would just like to grab these through my computer screen right now.

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Jennifer July 23, 2011 at 4:14 am

I WILL be trying these. I’m addicted to anything chocolate and peanut butter. I made my own version the other day but with almond butter. Tasted good but didn’t last long!

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holly August 8, 2011 at 9:57 am

reese’s pieces are one of my top three candies. i knew we were friends for a reason.

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