Peanut Butter Graham Cookie Bars
When I was growing up, my mother had a stand-by baked good recipe that took less than an hour to prepare but always received rave reviews—graham cracker brownies. While her recipe is delicious, it features processed graham crackers, sugar-laden condensed milk, and chocolate chips. I set out to re-create this dessert with slightly healthier ingredients, substituting whole grain graham crackers, evaporated skim milk with a moderate amount of sugar, and nutrient-packed peanut butter. The result is a dessert with a cookie-like texture, sure to please anyone with a sweet tooth.
- Yield:4 bars
- Prep Time:30 minutes
- Cook Time:20 minutes
- Total Time:50 minutes
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk (preferably skim)
3/4 cup raw sugar
48 whole grain graham cracker squares, crushed
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Pour evaporated milk into a medium saucepan, and add sugar. Stir well, and cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and bubbling.
Add Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolatey Dreams to sauce pan, stir well, and cook over medium heat until peanut butter is well-incorporated and bubbling.
Allow the mixture to cool. The consistency should be similar to that of a brownie batter.
While the Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolatey Dreams mixture cools, place graham crackers in a large zip-top bag. Be sure not to seal the bag all the way so that air may escape. Crush crackers with a rolling pin or drinking glass until all that remains are small crumbs and fine graham powder
Place graham cracker crumbs in a large mixing bowl, and add the cooled peanut butter mixture 1/4 cup at a time. Stir until the mixture reaches a sticky, clay-like consistency; it should be very difficult to stir. There may be some leftover peanut butter mixture.
Press mixture into a greased 9X12 baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10-12 minutes before cutting into bars and serving.
- Traditional graham cracker brownie/cookie recipes call for sweetened condensed milk. Due to the extremely high sugar content of sweetened condensed milk, I have used evaporated milk to which I add a moderate amount of raw sugar.
- Whole grain graham crackers are available in most major supermarkets. I like Mi-Del brand.
- These cookies tend toward a dry texture, so be sure not to bake them too long to prevent a crumbly mess.
- As indicated above, there may be leftover peanut butter mixture. Save this sweet sauce as a topping for ice cream or a dip for strawberries!
- Store in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature to keep them fresh for up to a week.