Sunday, March 24, 2013

Peant Butter Squares

If you know anything about me, know this: I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate.  I prefer the peanut butter to chocolate ratio to lean high toward the peanut butter side.  I like the way the saltiness plays off of the chocolate.  It makes me glad to be eating.
My friend Katie made the sad (for her) mistake of leaving a pan of this in my refrigerator for a few days.  I was not ashamed to return the pan slightly less full than when she gave it to me.  I could hardly control myself: each time I opened the refrigerator there were the PB bars pleading with me to eat them.  Why say, 'No', when it feels so good to say, 'Yes'?

2 c. graham cracker crumbs (ground up to a fine powder in a blender or food processor)
4 c. powdered sugar
1 c. butter, softened
3 c. peanut butter
2 c. milk chocolate chips

1.  Mix all of the ingredients (except chocolate chips) with an electric mixer.  Smash the PB mixture into the bottom of a 9X13 inch baking pan.  Pat it down so it's mostly level.
2.  Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 40 second intervals, stirring between intervals until the chocolate is completely melted.
3.  Spread melted chocolate over the peanut butter mixture.  Cool for a few hours in the refrigerator until both the chocolate and the peanut butter has become firm.

The texture of this peanut butter is very close to that of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

Katie's Caramel Corn

This caramel corn is really tastey.  The caramel stays soft and chewy instead of becoming hard and jaw-breaking.  Katie gave me this recipe at our recipe night when we brought our guilty pleasures.  She has good taste in what to crave.

2 c. brown sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Natural popcorn kernels

If you have a popcorn maker -- this works best.  Pop at lease 4 LARGE bowls full of natural (unbuttered, unsalted popcorn).  Remove unpopped kernels.

If you don't have a popcorn popper, you can use "Homestyle" popcorn, with no butter and lightly salted, pop 6-8 bags of popcorn.

Heat all ingredients (except sweetened condensed milk) on stove, to soft-ball stage (using candy thermometer).  Add sweetened condensed milk.  Reheat to soft-ball stage.  Divide caramel evenly between 4 large bowls, and enlist all available adults to help stir quickly. 
Caution: Warn "Stirrers" about extremely hot caramel.  Stir from the bottom of the bowl, the carmel moves quickly.