Easy to make. Easier to eat!
This no-bake recipe comes originally from Nigella Lawson’s baking bible, How to Be a Domestic Goddess. I made a couple of changes to the ingredients, simply to fit the recipe to what I had in the cupboard. More about that below…
Nigella makes the excellent comparison between these and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups/ Reese’s Pieces. For anyone who has no idea what those are, I would say that if you like chocolate and peanut butter then you can’t go wrong with these chocolate peanut butter squares 🙂
For the base:
- 50 g / 2 oz dark muscovado sugar (I used light because it’s what I had. If you use dark, don’t worry if you get dark lumps in your base as a result – that’s fine)
- 200 g / 7 oz icing sugar
- 50 g / 2 oz butter/margarine
- 200 g / 7 oz smooth peanut butter (I used crunchy… see my note below).
A note on crunchy vs. smooth peanut butter: Nigella wisely tells you to use smooth peanut butter. This will give a more moist, uniform consistency to your base. I had crunchy peanut butter which needed using up. However, with solid peanuts taking up some of the weight, there was less “butter” in the base mixture, resulting in a drier, crumblier base (which you’ll see in the photos later). It was by no means a disaster: the base still held together well. But, if you can, use smooth peanut butter!
For the topping:
- 200g / 7 oz milk chocolate
- 100 g / 3.5 oz plain chocolate
- 1 tablespoon butter/ margarine
Method (makes approx. 48 chocolate peanut butter squares)
Line your brownie pan or baking tray with baking paper. My tin measures 24 x 20 x 4 cm. Nigella recommends a 23-cm square brownie tin. So as long as the size of your tin is somewhere in that area, you should be fine.
Put all the base ingredients in a bowl and mix until your have a smooth mixture. I used my electric mixer. If you have a mixer, make sure you remember to use a hood or the icing sugar will go everywhere.
Your base mixture should be “sandy” in appearance. As I note above, thanks to me using crunchy peanut butter, I think my base mixture was a little too dry, but I was still able to put it into my brownie tin and press it down using the back of a spoon to get a firm, even base.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl. You can do this over a pan of hot water or you can use the microwave to give the mixture short zaps then stir between zaps. I zapped the chocolate for 1 minute, shook it, added the butter and put the whole lot back in for another 30 seconds. I stirred the mixture, encouraging the chocolate to melt into the butter. I gave the mixture another 20 seconds in the microwave and another stir and that got me a smooth, lumpless mixture.
Pour your chocolate mixture on top of your peanut butter base.
Put your chocolate peanut butter slab in the fridge to set. When the chocolate has hardened, lift the slab from the tin and slice it into as many pieces as you want.
If you’d like your chocolate peanut butter squares to look a little more interesting, I’d suggest trailing some melted white chocolate through the chocolate topping while it’s still warm, or drizzling it over the top of the slab when it has set.
But they’re also delicious just so and incredibly easy to make. No baking required!
The next time I’ll make the effort to get smooth peanut butter 🙂
Looking for other no-bake recipes? Try these!
Easy Malteser’s rocky road.
Chocolate honeycomb squares.