Each week when we go to the grocery store, we (well my husband) looks at the store’s app and adds all these digital coupons. One week, he added cake mixes to the coupons. Now, I don’t really use cake mixes all the much, since I like to bake cakes from scratch, but I usually do have a cake mix or two in the cupboard. There are quite a few cookie recipes that use cake mixes as the base. I found this recipe shortly after we picked up the cake mixes and thought they sounded great.
It’s honestly hard to go too wrong with chocolate and peanut butter. These worked out well for me, as I made the base of the bars right when I got home from work, let them cool while we ate dinner, and then finished up the filling and the ganache after dinner. I refrigerated the bars for about 2 hours, which seemed to work. Ganache can be tricky; if you let it harden too much then the bars are impossible to cut. Ok, maybe the ganache was a little soft, but there are only so many hours in the night.
The base of these cookies was a little different than I expected; I thought the base would be fudgier. The base is drier, more cake like, which shouldn’t be surprising since it uses a cake mix as the base. The peanut butter and ganache layers are excellent! Maybe I would increase the amount of peanut butter filling, so that the ratio of peanut butter is higher. Still, there are great as they are, and again, you can’t go wrong with such a classic combination.
Peanut Butter Cake Bars
1 Devil's Food Cake mix
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
Milk, if needed
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or 2 cups chocolate chips)
¾ cup whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x13” baking pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixer bowl, add the cake mix, melted butter, and egg. Stir on medium until the mixture forms a cohesive dough. Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 12 minutes. Cool the base before making the filling.
In a large mixer bowl, combine the peanut butter and vanilla. Beat on medium until combined. Add the powdered sugar and ½ cup whipping cream and beat until smooth. If the mixture is too thick to spread, add a tablespoon or two of milk to thin it. Spread the filling evenly over the cooled base. Refrigerate while preparing the ganache.
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the ¾ cup whipping cream to just before the boil. Pour the heated whipped cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Stir the mixture until smooth and glossy. Spread the ganache over the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate for several hours before cutting into bars.
Recipe from Something Swanky