Peanut butter is the universal snack food! After posting this recipe for Peanut Butter Bites, I heard from so many of you, and how you are obsessed with peanut butter and can eat it in any form at any time. What was even more surprising is that peanut butter is just as popular in places like England, Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands, and even South America, and women and men alike have been asking for me for more easy recipes that include peanut butter. I, too, love peanut butter, so I’m happy to provide another recipe that gently satisfies a sweet tooth without a lot of extra, unhealthy ingredients.
Fighting Cravings Guilt-Free
Pregnant women have cravings for things that are savory and sweet. Eating too many sweets is not healthy, nor is it recommended. Healthcare practitioners stress a healthy diet with emphasis on naturally sweet snacks like fruits or some vegetables, but you also need to be realistic and understand that sometimes we all need a sweet treat without guilt.
Peanut butter and chocolate is a perfect combination. What I like about this recipe is that it is simply peanut and chocolate with only a few extra ingredients added in to help it bind. Even better, this recipe requires no baking, minimal clean up, and can be made with ingredients you have in your pantry!
Healthy Snacks That Save For Later
What keeps this healthy is portion size: These bars are purposely to be cut into small squares so the taste can be savored and enjoyed without having to eat a large portion of sugar. What gives these bars more versatility, and possibilities, is the fact that, once the whole mix is set, portions can be cut and wrapped in plastic wrap or stored in plastic containers between wax or parchment paper and taken out individually or several bites at a time.
They’ll be perfectly thawed and ready to eat by lunchtime or to be enjoyed as a snack or as an impromptu dessert if company arrives. Always keep trays or portions of these on hand–they keep for several weeks in the freezer or for several days in the refrigerator (but I doubt they will last that long!). They make a great snack to put into kids’ lunches or make a tray to bring as a hostess gift. If wrapped properly, these bites can be packed and shipped as a perfect homemade gift!
These bites can be made with smooth, creamy, natural or chunky peanut butter. Any chocolate can be used for the topping depending on your taste, and it can be made thicker or thinner depending on whether you want more peanut butter or chocolate taste to shine through. You can also experiment with additional toppings like chopped peanuts, coconut flakes, or banana chips– the possibilities with this treat are infinite!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Mini Bites
Peanut Butter layer:
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup peanut butter (any brand is fine; natural, creamy or chunky works)
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 package (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips (any brand is fine; or any type of chocolate chip will work depending on taste)
- ¼ cup of peanut butter (creamy is best for smoothness but any kind can be used, including the kind used for the peanut butter layer)
- Line a 9 X 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang as a sling for easy removal from the pan (or use a disposable foil pan).
- Combine melted butter and 1 cup of peanut butter in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine (an electric stand up mixer works best).
- Add powdered sugar gradually and stir until combined.
- Gradually add in the graham cracker crumbs (about ½ cup at a time) and mix until fully combined and smooth (no lumps or clumps in the batter).
- Scoop peanut butter mixture into the prepared baking dish and press into an even layer. Set aside.
- For the chocolate layer: Add the chocolate chips and ¼ cup of peanut butter to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20 to 30 second increments, stirring after each increment until the mixture is fully melted and smooth.
- When the chocolate mixture is warm yet easy to touch, pour over the peanut butter layer and spread into an even layer.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate 2 hours until firm and the chocolate is set.
- Lift out using the parchment paper. Cut in 1 X 1 or 2 X 2-inch squares. Wrap each square in plastic wrap or store in an air tight container between layers of parchment paper in the refrigerator for up to a week (or freeze for several weeks).
Featured photo by Tania Melnyczuk