Salt River Bars

September 28, 2012

My husband loves salt. Wait, I don’t think that statement really conveys his feelings about salt adequately. He really LOVES salt. You know, he is a complete salt fiend. The kind of fellow who drives all of those top chefs mad by reaching for that salt shaker before he ever tastes one little bite of whatever it is that he is about to eat. I used to get a bit upset about it. I mean, I did take care to salt the item appropriately as I cooked it. But now, I know that whatever I do, it won’t be enough salt for him. I’ve accepted it. I know they say salt is bad for you, but he has low blood pressure and is very healthy and active. Perhaps he has eaten a large enough quantity that he is somewhat preserved and immune to its detrimental effects. Anyway, his love of salt was how I knew I’d instantly get his attention when I said that I was making Salt River Bars for dessert. As he grinned and his eyes took on a far-away look, I knew he was visualizing himself floating down his dream river of salt, munching on a delicious treat.

Now you don’t actually need a river of salt to make these bars, much to my husband’s dismay. They are incredibly easy to make. No oven required. And you get a treat that gives you that wonderful, often mentioned here, salty/sweet taste sensation. These bars also deliver with rich chocolate, gooey caramel, creamy peanut butter and a satisfying crunch. They’ve got it all going on! And just think, you can have all of this goodness for yourself, ready to devour in about 30 minutes or so. What are you waitin for? Get to it!

Salt River Bars

recipe from: Baker Girl

yield: 25 (1 1/2″) squares

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Club crackers
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • Coarse sea salt

Directions:

Line an 8×8-inch pan with foil, allowing the edges to hang over the side, and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Place 15 crackers in the bottom of the pan (3 rows of 5). For three layers, divide the peanut butter chips into thirds and sprinkle 1/3 over the crackers.
Melt butter and brown sugar in a pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly and smooth and a creamy caramel color, about 4 minutes. Pour 1/3 of the caramel over the peanut butter chips and crackers, then add another layer of crackers, peanut butter chips, and caramel, then repeat again for the third layer, topping the last layer with crackers.
 Melt the chocolate chips and pour over the crackers, spreading evenly.
Sprinkle coarse sea salt over the top.Allow chocolate to set up in refrigerator (about 20 minutes), then lightly cut through the partially-set chocolate (to make it easier to cut after it cools completely). Place bars back into the fridge. Once cooled completely, gently remove bars by lifting out foil. Cut accordingly (they are pretty rich, so I cut them in smallish 1 1/2″ squares. I used a pizza cutter, not a wheel, but one of those rocking ones and it worked very well)
*If you want to make this in a 9×13-inch pan, add about a half more of everything in measurements.
Enjoy!

Original Sin Bars

September 16, 2011

Now we’re talking baby! Original. Sin. Bars. This is my kind of treat. Yummy, crunchy, peanut buttery base topped by some decadent, rich chocolate and then alluringly dusted with flaky sea salt. You will find that these bars are an exquisite sweet and salty bliss. I know that Eve was most tragically, tempted by an apple. Well all I can say is that the Old Serpent behind that infamous enticement must not have given her the choice between an apple or one of these Original Sin Bars. Believe me…there is no contest…and  I say this even though my favourite fruit is the apple. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I definitely appreciate the fruit based desserts. They have the potential to be phenomenal when there is lovely fresh fruit to be had. I’ve certainly posted a good number of those seasonal, fresh fruit recipes here. You see, my husband LOVES the fruit desserts. He would pick a crumble, cobbler or buckle over any chocolaty treat offered up. Me? I’m all about the peanut butter. Of course adding chocolate to the mix certainly doesn’t hurt, but you can often find me and my pup Gimlet in the kitchen eating peanut butter right out of the jar! (Chill out! We aren’t sharing the same spoon….usually…)

I guess what I’m saying is that I fear that the Old Viper might give me quite a run for my money if he were to attempt to enact some terrible snare upon me by provocatively dangling one of these bars before my eyes. Lord, Give me strength! The good news is that you can achieve the divine taste of these bars rather effortlessly, no dire challenge required. In fact, I whipped up some of these scrumptious treats in no time for my dear pal’s birthday celebrations, just a short time ago. He (whose name I will withhold) also loves the good old peanut butter / chocolate combo. And for some reason, when I was sorting through my recipes, thinking of what dessert I might make to mark his day and saw the good ole “sin”  bars, he (and you know who you are…) just popped right to mind…Just kidding!!!…well, sort of….:) Anyhoo….give these bars a try the next time you’re feeling a bit naughty. You won’t regret it!

Original Sin Bars

recipe from Making Life Delicious

yield: 20 squares or so depending on how you cut them

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chunky peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (22 graham crackers ground up finely in food processor)
  • 4 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar
  • 7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chips
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped or chips
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • large pinch of kosher salt
  • Maldon Sea Salt to sprinkle over the top

Directions:

Line a 9 X 13-inch pan with aluminum foil.  Make sure the foil extends about 2 inches up past the two long sides of the pan.  You will use this extra foil later to lift the finished bars out of the pan before cutting.

Melt butter with peanut butter in the microwave, stirring until smooth.  Add the graham cracker crumbs, vanilla and powdered sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined.

Pat the peanut butter mixture into the lined ungreased 9 X 13-inch pan.

Melt the chocolate chips, butter and the pinch of salt in the microwave and stir until smooth.

Spread the melted chocolate mixture over the peanut butter layer.

Sprinkle Maldon Sea Salt over the chocolate layer.

Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 30 minutes.  Cut with a hot dry knife.


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