Tomorrow is Joe's annual fantasy baseball draft with his friends, and I always bake some sort of treat for him to bring along. I usually make Joe's favorite Kandy Kake bars, which was the plan for this year as well, but this morning I discovered that I was out of flour. I immediately turned to The Cake Mix Doctor Returns, a great cookbook given to me by my friend Lauren this past Christmas. I thumbed for through the book looking for a bar or cookie recipe that I had all the ingredients for and found this recipe for peanut butter chocolate bars. These were super simple to make and are really good - they taste like thick peanut butter cookies with chocolate frosting. Can't beat that!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
1 package plain yellow cake mix (18.25 ounces)
1 cup smooth peanut butter
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), melted
2 large eggs
1 package semisweet chocolate chips (12 ounces; 2 cups)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Set aside an ungreased 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
Place the cake mix, peanut butter, melted butter and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for one minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The mixture will be thick. Reserve 1 1/2 cups for the topping. Transfer the remaining crust mixture to the pan. Using your fingertips, press the crust evenly over the bottom of the pan so that it reaches all sides. Set aside.
For the filling, place the chocolate chips and condensed milk in a microwave safe bowl and microwave 1 minute. Stir until smooth, then stir in vanilla. Spread mixture evenly over crust in pan. Using your fingertips, crumble the reserved crust and scatter it evenly over the chocolate. Place the pan in the oven.
Bake 30-35 minutes until edges are golden. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.