The "fudge" layer is based on how long you want to bake these for- if you want less "gooeyness", simply bake longer! Because these are so rich and tempting, you may want to cut them even smaller when bringing them to your next meeting, picnic, party, etc.! It may seem like it, but this is not an "all day in the kitchen" recipe! The only layer made from scratch is the peanut butter dough and ganache!
***If you want to save time even more, purchase a roll of pre-made peanut butter cookie dough, and instead of making ganache to finish the bars, purchase a can of chocolate frosting! (Not the same in my book, but your friends and family will still eat them up!)
Yields: 24-48 bars
Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookie Dough:
1 stick unsalted butter (room temp.)
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 T maple syrup
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 t. baking soda
1 1/2 cups of AP flour
1 cup chopped or crushed pretzels
1) Butter or grease a 13x9 cake pan, (must be at least 2in. deep).
2) In a mixing bowl, cream together your butter, peanut butter, and sugar. Add maple syrup, egg, and vanilla until combined.
3) Slowly add the baking soda, and flour until combined. Stir in pretzels last.
4) Press dough into the bottom of pan as evenly as possible. Refrigerate.
1 box of Girl Scout "Tagalongs" or "Peanut Butter Patties", ( or any chocolate/peanut butter cookie, shortbread, oreo,etc. would work too!)
1 box of your favorite brownie mix, (or you can make your own favorite brownie recipe from scratch!)
1) Pre-heat oven to 350F
2) Prepare your brownie mix according to instructions on package.
3) Take out chilled peanut butter cookie layer. Place 24 cookies, (4x6), in the pan on top of peanut butter cookie layer.
4) Evenly pour, and carefully spread, the brownie layer over the other 2 layers in pan.
5) Bake for 25- 40min. @ 350F. (About 25- 30min. for more "fudgy" layer, or 40min. for firmer texture.)
6) Allow to cool.
1 -11oz. bag 60% Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate chips
1 pt. Heavy whipping cream
1) Place chocolate chips in a bowl. In a pot, heat the cream on medium- high. Allow to come to a boil. Pour over chocolate chips, and mix well. Allow to cool for about 30min.
2) Pour ganache over the brownie layer in the pan. Spread evenly. Place pan in refrigerator to firm the bars for an hour or two prior to cutting.
3) Remove pan from refrigerator, cut in 24-48 bars, and serve! (Or store on a wrapped platter, or in a storage container- preferably in refrigerator.)
****For ease of cutting, dip a knife or pizza cutter in hot water (frequently) between slicing.