It’s fair to say that I am easily led. Particularly when it comes to sweet treats. After reading about chocolate and peanut delights on wheres the beef? and cake mistress, it was inevitable I would make a batch for myself.
I decided to make these for my friend M and her little boy, J who were coming over to visit. I found a recipe from Nigella’s How to be a domestic goddessand within 15 minutes, they were done and chilling in the fridge. These no-bake squares couldn’t be easier to make, the biggest issue is actually eating them after you know what is in them (ie. fat, in the form of butter, chocolate and peanut butter and sugar – lots of it!).
While the recipe called for smooth peanut butter, I used crunchy because that’s what I had on hand. I actually liked the chunks of peanut that peppered the base. My only qualm with the recipe is that the base did not set perfectly, so the squares were a little squishy to handle. I think perhaps using smooth peanut butter would assist to hold things together, and some diced peanuts would provide that textural interest. You will also note that I added some sea salt to the top of these – while this was not part of the recipe, I make no secret of my love of salty and sweet. I tried the squares with and without the salt and strongly believe you should add it. The salt cuts through the sweetness and the richness of these squares, and it takes them from small child to adult.
Back to the small child that I made these for, I made J a little plate of them (sans salt). While chocolate and peanut butter seemed like it would be a winner for an almost three year old, these were far more popular with the adults. J also (inevitably) decided to eat one of the salted squares and loudly proclaimed them to be ‘yucky’.
Personally, I found them very sweet and certainly something to enjoy in very small pieces. I am not particularly good at self discipline, but they really are much nicer in small doses. I took little pieces of them in to work the following day and they were universally popular. Just don’t forget the salt!
Salted choc-peanut squares
Adapted from a recipe by Nigella Lawson
For the base
50g dark brown sugar
300g caster sugar
220g creamy peanut butter
50g roughly chopped peanuts
For the topping
200g milk chocolate
115 dark chocolate
1 tbs unsalted butter
- Combine the sugars, butter and peanut butter until smooth. The easiest way to do this is to use a paddle attachment on your mixer, or you can use a bowl and wooden spoon. There will still be some small lumps. Stir through the chopped peanuts.
- Press the mixture into your greased pan – I used a 9 inch, square pan. Chill the base.
- Melt the chocolate and the butter together and spread over the base. You can melt it in the microwave, but I find it easier to put it on the stove. Spread the melted chocolate mixture over the base and refrigerate to set.
- Once the chocolate has hardened, cut into small pieces – I find dipping the knife in boiling water an easy way to cut even squares.