Thursday, August 13, 2009

dn's No Bake Chocolate and PB Slice

Earlier this summer, I went looking for a dessert recipe with two of my favourite ingredients - chocolate and peanut butter. Not surprisingly, there were thousands to choose from. I wanted something that tasted as great as it looked mouthwatering, but didn't require a lot of ingredients (10 or less) or a lot of time to prepare (under and hour plus chilling when completed) - something I could chill in the fridge and serve over the next few days. I narrowed it down to no bake and a chocolate crumb crust. There were still lots to choose from, but none seemed to have enough chocolate or peanut butter to suit my taste buds. I saved and printed 3 or 4 recipes that all had elements that I thought would be flavourful and then mixed, matched and improvised to come up with my own masterpiece!

What I came up with was a cookie crumb crust with three layers of peanut butter and chocolate combinations. If you wanted to, you could use a basic chocolate crumb crust, but I find that those tend to either be rock hard or very crumbly. The cookies and the cream filling hold together quite nicely without getting to hard to cut with a fork. The three layers of filling range from a creamy peanut butter to a dark chocolate with a bit of peanut butter to the top layer of a light chocolate mixture. I sprinkled peanuts or shaved chocolate on top just because!

So here is the recipe that I finally came up with:

dn's No Bake Chocolate and PB Slice

1 350gram/12 ounce package fudge filled chocolate cookies (I used no name as they were almost half the price of name brand)
1/2 cup margarine, melted
2 250 gram/8 ounce light cream cheese, softened to room temp
1 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
3/4 cup white sugar
200 grams/6 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate
1 4 serving instant chocolate pudding
1 1/2 cups 1% milk
1 litre/4 cups frozen dessert topping, thawed (I used a light, no name version)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts and/or shaved chocolate for garnish

Spray a deep 9"x13" pan with Pam. Break the cookies in half and process to crumbs in a food processor by pulsing for a few seconds. Depending on your processor, you may need to do this in 2 or 3 batches. Place crumbs in large bowl and combine with the melted margarine. Press gently and evenly in prepared pan and chill in fridge.

Break/cut the chocolate into small pieces and melt on medium power in microwave for about 2 minutes - stirrring after 1 minute. Stir till smooth and set aside to cool.

Combine the cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar until light and creamy. Fold about 1/3 of the dessert topping into the mixture. (I just estimated rather than measuring). Pour about 2/3 of the cream cheese mixture over the cookie crust. Carefully spread the mixture evenly and return to fridge.

Mix pudding mix with the 1 1/2 cup milk and stir just till it starts to thicken. Stir in all of the melted chocolate and mix till more or less smooth - the chocolate may start to harden as it mixes, but a bit of chocolate pieces only adds to the texture and flavour! Gently fold in about 1/3 of the dessert topping and blend till smooth.

Pour 1/2 of the pudding mix into the remaining cream cheese mixture and stir till evenly combined. Pour the pudding/cream cheese mixture carefully over the first cream cheese mixture and spread evenly. Return to fridge for about 10 minutes.

Stir the remaining 1/3 dessert topping into the chocolate pudding mixture and then spread carefully over the second layer, spreading evenly.

Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and/or shaved chocolate. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Serves 12-16.



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