Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
- Inspired by the National Peanut Festival in Dothan, Alabama, my delicious dessert has layers of salty, chocolate, peanut butter goodness.
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- 1 (17.5-oz) bag peanut butter cookie mix
- 2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
Chocolate & Peanut Topping:
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup miniature peanut butter cups, halved
1 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 cups salted dry roasted peanuts, divided
- To prepare the cookie dough, start by preheating the oven to 375°F. Mix the dough
according to the package directions. Evenly press into the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
To prepare the cheesecake filling, start by reducing the oven to 350°F.
Add the cream cheese, sugar, and peanut butter in a food processor and process until smooth, stopping a few times to scrape the bowl with a spatula. Put in the eggs, vanilla, and salt. Process until smooth, scraping the bowl with a spatula a few more times.
Pour the filling into the baking pan with the cookie crust, smoothing it out evenly over the
cookie crust. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
To prepare the chocolate topping, put the chocolate chips and peanut butter cups into a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
Add the heavy cream to a small sauce pot and heat up to a simmer. Remove from the heat and pour into the mixing bowl, covering all of the chocolate chips and peanut butter cups. Let sit for 15 minutes, then stir until smooth. Add 3/4 cup peanuts and stir together. Pour over the cheesecake layer and smooth out this layer.
Sprinkle remaining peanuts overtop and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Cut into 24 bars before serving.