Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Idle Hand Bars

Idle Hand Bars
Sometimes I sit here, staring at a blog post and...
I can't think of a thing to say.

Like....

nothing.

And I don't want to be a boring blogger who's just like "Look, food. Here's the recipe. The end."
I wanna be like the cool ones who have paragraphs and paragraphs of great stories and hilarious tales and just awesome things to say. I just...for the life of me...

can't think of anything cool to say.

DRAGONS!
DINOSAURS!
DRAGONS ARE TECHNICALLY DINOSAURS BECAUSE THE MYTHS CAME FROM PEOPLE SEEING DINOSAUR BONES! 

Um...that's kind of cool. Unrelated to anything but...yeah...I guess that'll do...
Idle Hand Bars
Ok, now let's chat about these bars.

Did you know that I smelled spring yesterday?
Scoff all you want, my nose is never wrong. I can smell it coming. Sure, it's still chilly out, I didn't say it was here I said it is coming. 
Anywho, what does my nose's uncanny ability to predict spring have to do with anything? Well, with spring comes warmth. And one of the few downfalls of warmth/heat is that it can be a bit...overwhelming...to bake in it. These "idle hand bars" (don't ask me about the name, I have no clue...perhaps if your hands are "idle" you should busy them by making these?) are going to be perfect for just such occasions. Yes, you do need to use your stove, but otherwise these are a total no-bake wonder! AND you store them in the fridge, so no worries about any food melt-age either. AND...umm...these are gonna be great for all the picnics and barbecues and the like. Sure to be a hit. 

You have this amazing sweet, salty, crunchy base, then a rich peanut butter-y filling, topped with the goodness of chocolate and a nice salty surprise on top. These are crazy addictive, so, consider yourself warned.

Idle Hand Bars


Idle Hand Bars
Makes one 8x8 pan
Ingredients:
Base
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 and 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup crushed pretzels
Middle
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup smooth, natural, unsalted peanut butter (if using salted peanut butter just omit the 1/2 tsp. salt)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Topping
  • 5 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Sea salt, such as Himalayan pink sea salt (or kosher salt will work, if you-like me-don't have the fancy stuff).
Preparation:
Idle Hand Bars
Base
  • In a double broiler (or fill a pot with water and place a glass bowl over it-so the water doesn't touch the bowl-and bring the water in the pot to a simmer) melt together the butter, sugar, and cocoa until smooth.
  • Still over the water, add the egg and beat it into the chocolate mixture until combined and thickened. Remove from heat.
  • Stir the graham cracker and pretzel crumbs. Press into a greased 8x8" pan.
Middle
  • In a small-medium bowl combine the melted butter with the peanut butter.
  • Whisk in sugar, salt, and vanilla extract to form a thick, peanut buttery paste.
  • Pour onto the base and smooth over to create a flat, even layer.
  • Place in refrigerator while making the chocolate topping.
Topping
  • In a double broiler, or a microwave, melt together the butter and chocolate. Stir until fully melted and smooth.
  • Remove the pan from the refrigerator and pour the chocolate on top. (Try) to spread it evenly.
  • Allow to cool in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes-until the chocolate is soft, but not warm.
  • Sprinkle the top of the bars, lightly, with sea/kosher salt.
  • Return to refrigerator and cool completely. Cut into squares and eat eat eat!
Idle Hand Bars
Crunchy, sweet, salty, chewy-the basics of greatness.
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