Sunday, November 28, 2010

Scene-stealing Peanut Butter &
Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Shortbread Bars (click for the recipe) from Fine Cooking magazine are like scene stealers in a movie.
   Sometimes in a film, an actor or actress will periodically march into a scene and proceed to act circles around everyone else.
   It’s the same with these shortbread bars. You could put all your heart and soul into the rest of the meal and a trickier dessert, and they’ll still show up everything else on the table.
   Everyone will want one, or two, or three of these bars.
   They’re an addictively good, family-friendly treat. Peanut butter lovers will be in heaven.
   The bars are easy to make, and they will keep well at room temperature for up to one week.
   The crust is made by mixing together melted butter, sugar, salt, flour and chopped peanuts, pressing the resulting dough into the bottom of a 13x9 inch foil-lined pan, then baking it for about 45 minutes.
   The filling is made by mixing peanut butter, melted butter, confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar) and vanilla together. The recipe says to use a stand mixer but my hand mixer worked just fine. The filling is spread over the fully-cooled crust.
   The top layer, a ganache, is made by bringing heavy cream to a boil, pouring it over chopped bittersweet chocolate, letting it stand for a few minutes then stirring until it’s smooth.
   The ganache is spread over the peanut butter filling, and the bars are left at room temperature or put in the fridge to let the ganache set.
   Cut, serve, and watch Peanut Butter & Chocolate Shortbread Bars proceed to steal the food scene in your home.

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