Sunday, 2 October 2011

Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Shortbread Bars...

YUMMM!  I don't think the word "delicious" can even begin to describe these cute little baby bites!  The "buttery" vanilla shortbread, the soft peanutty filling, the smooth chocolatey topping, mmmm. . .

 Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Shortbread Bars: 
(no-bake, GF, vegan*, low-glycemic, high-protein)
(makes 9 big squares or 36 bites)

Shortbread Crust:
96g (1 cup) Rolled Oats (old-fashioned, gluten free if you like), blended to a flour
48g (1-1/2 scoops) Natural Vanilla Custard Protein Powder* (I used egg protein powder)
1/8 tsp Salt
105g (1/4 cup + 1 tbs) Brown Rice Syrup, microwaved for 15 seconds or until runny
28g (2 tbs) Coconut Oil
1/4 tsp Butter Extract**
1/2 tsp Hazelnut Extract
1/2 tsp Stevia Extract

Peanut Butter Filling:
256g (1 cup) Raw, Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar, salt or oil added)
189g (1/2 cup + 1 tbs) Honey*/***
1/2 tsp Stevia Extract
96g (3 scoops) Natural Vanilla Custard Protein Powder* (I used egg protein powder)
pinch of salt

Chocolate-Peanut Layer:
4oz 60% Cacao Chocolate****
32g (2 tbs) Raw, Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar, salt or oil added)
20 drops Stevia Extract*****

Directions (for the shortbread crust):
1.  Line a square brownie pan with parchment paper both ways for easy removal later
2.  Mix together the blended oats, protein powder and salt, then add in the brown rice syrup, coconut oil, butter/hazelnut/stevia extract.  Stir until everything is incorporated and even (you can use a hand mixer and a large bowl if you like)
3.  Press the mixture down into your brownie pan until every corner is even in height.  This batter makes just enough to fit the bottom of the pan.  Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, or until firm and dry

Directions (for the peanut butter filling):
1.  In a large bowl, add the peanut butter, honey and stevia extract and stir.  Add in the protein powder and pinch of salt and stir until combined (you can use a hand mixer for this too).  It should look like a big, soft blob of peanut butter play-doh
2.  Press this onto the shortbread crust until even in height.  I would suggest using a pastry roller if you have one, but I used a rubber spatula.  Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, or until firm

Directions (for the chocolate-peanut layer):
1.  Break up the chocolate into pieces, and microwave at thirty second intervals until melted
2.  Add the peanut butter and stir in until melted and incorporated
3.  Add the stevia extract five drops at a time, stirring after every 5 drops (too much at a time or too much in general will seize the chocolate, as noted below)
4.  Pour the mixture over the peanut butter layer (if the chocolate is too hot, let it cool a little bit) and spread until even.  Refrigerate until the chocolate has just barely hardened, then take it out and slice (this allows the chocolate so slice in nice lines rather than break, which happened to me because I refrigerated it overnight and then sliced them).  Store in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap
5.  To serve, take out of the refrigerator to soften for 10 minutes, EAT!

These are best eaten close to room temp.  The fork slides easily into the bar and you get all three flavors in one scrumptious bite!

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