I love the recipes I have that remind me of a special person in my life. Recipes out of a cookbook are fun too but I love being reminded of neat memories of the dear one who gave me the recipe. This is one of those.
This recipe came from a neighbor of ours (Gladys) when I was a child in California. Her husband died when I was in the 4th or 5th grade. I think she had at least one child but they didn’t live locally so my mom became her adoptive daughter and helped her with the things a grown child would. It was a wonderful lesson in loving your neighbor!
When Gladys had to sell her home and move to a retirement center, she gifted my mom with a beautiful teacup and saucer with a teapot that matches. These are still among the items my mom cherishes and we used the teacup at a recent family tea party. It was the start of a beautiful collection for my mom and birthed in me a love for bone china.
I honestly don’t remember how or why we got the recipe. She must have made it and we liked it, thus she gave us the recipe (isn’t that how recipe sharing usually works?). Her original calls for chunky peanut butter but I prefer creamy; it also calls for “oleo,” the early term for “margarine” (something I had to ask my mom about the first time we made the recipe).
For those of you who live locally, you may have had the peanut butter bars at Cater’s Market (I’m uncertain of the exact name)…this recipe reminds me of those bars. I’m not saying they’re as good but they’re similar.
1 stick margarine or butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup graham crackers, crushed finely (1 of the 3 packets in a box is about enough—8 or 9 full sheets)—I use my food processor for this but a heavy duty ziplock bag and wooden spoon would work as well.
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup milk chocolate chips (if I have more, I use about 1 ½ cups), melted
Stir together the butter and peanut butter. Add the cracker crumbs and sugar and stir well. Spread into a 9x13 pan. Allow to cool and harden a bit, then spread the chocolate on top. If you’re in a hurry to get it done and don’t mind the chocolate swirled a bit into the peanut butter, you can spread it on immediately. Allow to harden. Cut into bars and serve.
I’ve made actual “cups” by spreading some chocolate into the bottom and on the sides of a paper muffin cup. Place the cup into a muffin pan (so it will hold its shape). Let them cool and harden. Fill with warm peanut butter mixture, allow to harden. Cover with more chocolate. Cool/harden completely. To serve, peal off the paper cup. This requires a lot more chocolate than the recipe calls for.
You can also spread the mixture into the pan, let harden, cut into small pieces, then dip each piece entirely in chocolate. I’ve tried different shapes before and discovered very simple shapes work best (squares, circles, hearts). Again, this will require more chocolate.