Remember the ‘rent is too damn high’ guy from a couple years ago? I was a little like the ‘heat is too damn high’ guy today, even though it was a cool 96 degrees compared to the 100 or so of the past couple bake days. So, I just didn’t want to turn on the oven. And, I didn’t. I found a ‘no bake’ recipe that let me keep my house cool in this Central Valley climate. Score!
I’ve been looking for something to do with Nutella for a little while and I thought my first crack at it was going to be chocolate cupcakes with Nutella frosting, but I changed my mind and got a little lazy. And though my usual M.O. is to not leave the house on these hot days especially for one ingredient I made an exception this one time. And the results are the absolute greatest thing to come out of my kitchen ever. Maybe because I consider a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (full size, not King Size, not Miniature) to be one of Mankind’s crowning achievements, God’s gift to Mankind, the nectar of the God’s in a solid disc form. In other words, I love me some peanut butter cup and this recipe is essentially one gigantic peanut butter cup with a little something extra and it is delightful. So without any further nonsensical ramblings, I present to you a recipe for Hazelnut Spread, Chocolate, and Peanut Butter Squares, or Nutella, Chocolate, and Peanut Butter Squares if you want to stick with brand names, despite me not even using Nutella, more on that later.
Here’s what I adapted from a SugarLaws.com titled Nutella and Peanut Butter Bar Recipe. First of all, while I stayed true to the spirit of the ingredients of said recipe I varied where I thought it might make a difference, so you feel free to go either way with this one. Here’s what I did:
Hazelnut Spread, Chocolate, and Peanut Butter Squares
- 12 whole low fat graham crackers obliterated in a food processor
- 1 cup softened butter
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup natural chunky peanut butter for a little texture, feel free to use creamy
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips, 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup JIF Mocha Cappuccino flavored Hazelnut spread (Nutella alternative) divided into 1/4 cup and 3/4 cups.
1. Pulverize your graham crackers in your food processor.
2. Mix butter, graham cracker crumbs, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and peanut butter until smoothed out.
This was the peanut butter I chose, a natural chunky style for a little bit of texture.
3. Place parchment paper into 9” square pan (for easy clean up) and spread peanut butter-graham cracker mixture inside pan.
4. Place in your refrigerator for about an hour until firm.
I have Nutella in the cupboard, but I chose this because I thought it might add a little more flavor. Apparently this is a new product, based on the indication on the label, so you may or may not be able to find this in a store near you.
5. (One hour later) Use a metal bowl or small pot over hot water to melt your chocolate and 1/4 hazelnut spread.
6. Spread over peanut butter graham cracker mixture. Refrigerate for another hour.
7. (One hour later) Distribute remaining 3/4 cups of hazelnut spread over now cooled and hardened chocolate, refrigerate one last time. Cut into squares when nice and firm and enjoy with a nice glass of cold milk, non-fat of course.
I think this is a fairly straight forward recipe, it’s hard to wreck it if you follow directions. I tried to give it a different kind of flavor by using a flavored Nutella alternative and dark chocolate. I also used low fat graham crackers because my feeling is that if you can cut just a few calories off a super sweet dessert, go ahead and do that.
One thing I liked about this recipe is that it features a lot of downtime when you place the bars/squares into the refrigerator, time that I used to play a game of Battleship with my son and play a couple of songs in Just Dance 3. You can use it to prepare dinner or watch a TV show, might I suggest Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, or even Dexter.
Anyway, this is usually the spot where I talk about what I learned, but this is so straight forward that there’s not much to learn with a recipe like this. I’ll give it a a go, though.
What I learned:
- I used my square cake pan for this, but I think one of those disposable deals from a place like the local dollar store would have been perfectly fine, especially when you’ve got a plan to transport it somewhere.
- Even if you’re not using Nutella just put it in the title so that search engines will find it because people probably aren’t going to their search engine and inputting ‘hazelnut spread chocolate peanut butter squares’
- This thing is a pain to remove from the pan, as you can see from the photo above, even with parchment paper.
As always, thanks for reading. Share both the recipe and the squares with friends they’ll be amazed at your ability to make something this delicious and you can laugh yourself silly because it’s so simple. Enjoy!