During my elementary school years people in Seattle dressed more formally for the office. My dad went to work wearing an pressed shirt, tie, and polished shoes that he covered with goofy looking waterproof over-shoes. He called them rubbers. That has nothing to do with the story but it makes me giggle.
Every morning Dad would get on the number 28 bus with his newspaper and sack lunch and ride into Downtown to go to work in one of the very tall buildings. I don’t know which one. He did stuff with computers. At a time when the world was still plugging away in “real time” his job sounded super amazing to my 8 year old ears. Around Christmas, as with most offices, it was customary for employees to bring in a confection to share. Every year we would enthusiastically begin work on a double, or tripple, batch of sugar cookies. Making the dough is fun. Rolling and cutting the first cookies is a delight. However, by 9 pm, with only half the dough baked, and a mere dozen frosted, even an 8 year old starts to get a tension headache. As much as we all liked the idea of homemade sugar cookies, they are a tremendous amount of work for 30 seconds of chewing.
Some years, while we rolled and cut cookies, Dad would throw together a big pan of Peanut Butter bars.
For the frazzled Christmas Elf, a no-bake bar cookie is a lifesaver. These treats are a lot less work, for a much more indulgent reward. Head-to-head against the sugar cookies, I preferred Peanut Butter Bars. Not to be confused with my favorite of ALL no-bake bars, the Nanaimo Bar, Peanut Butter Bars come in a close second. During my weight loss years, I have done my best to enjoy these treats cautiously, or not at all. Given the choice between a small Peanut Butter or Nanaimo Bar I have relished a single Naniamo Bar and moved on.
This year I have found a way to add Peanut Butter Bars back into my selection of Christmas treats. On my travels around the interwebs I happened upon Peanut Butter Cup Grahams. A big shout out to Alisa at godairyfree.org for this recipe revelation. The recipe is written for dairy and gluten free folks in need of a chocolate peanut butter fix. I looked at it and immediately thought of Dad’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars. With a few little tweaks and twists these grahams are everything I love about Dad’s bars and the best part is they have about 250 less calories per piece! Hooray!
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Grahams
These individual graham treats have all the chocolate, peanuty, graham goodness of the traditional bar cookie without the pesky fat and calories!
1 tablespoons of natural creamy peanut butter (the ingredients should include only peanuts & a pinch of salt)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
6 graham crackers, quartered
1 cup of chocolate chips, melted
1/2 tsp coconut oil
sea salt for sprinkling
In a small bowl, blend the PB2 chocolate with water, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. It should be a thick spreadable paste. If needed add a touch more water to thin or peanut butter to thicken.
Spread a thin layer of the peanut mixture over each graham and place on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes.
Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water (DIY double boiler). Chocolate may also be melted slowly in the microwave. Heat on high for 15 seconds, stir and repeat until smooth.
Dip grahams peanut butter side down into the melted chocolate. Allow some of the excess to drip off. Place dipped grahams on a cookie sheet to cool. Repeat until all the grahams are covered. Sprinkle each coated graham with a teeny pinch of sea salt.
Refrigerate the Chocolate Peanut Butter Grahams for at least an hour or until the chocolate has hardened. Once the chocolate is hard store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Melt together 1/2 cup of semi sweet morsels and 40 grams of dark chocolate
Omit the PB2 Use 1/2 cup of peanut butter and 1 tsp of cocoa powder – this will affect the the nutritional information.
Try different nut butters like almond or cashew, – again this will affect the the nutritional information.