Make Elizabeth Chambers Hammer's sea salt peanut butter bars

Dec 21, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. ET
Image: BIRD Bakery

Our imaginary BFF Elizabeth Chambers Hammer, co-owner of Bird Bakery and guest judge on Food Network's Cupcake Wars, is back with another can't-miss dessert: Sea salt peanut butter bars. A fluffy, salty-sweet peanut butter filling covers a peanut butter cookie crust, and then a chocolate layer tops the whole thing. It's a family recipe she likes for the holidays, but we're pretty sure we can come up with an excuse for making these bars any time of the year.

More: Steal your imaginary BFF Elizabeth Chambers' brilliant Halloween party tricks

Sea salt peanut butter bars recipe

Ingredients:

For the bar base

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons high-quality creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon high-quality vanilla extract

For the filling

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

For the topping

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

More: Take your salted caramel obsession to the outer limits with these desserts

Directions:

For the bar base

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add peanut butter and beat until combined.
  3. Slowly add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. On low speed, add the flour mixture, incorporating completely.
  4. On a greased 8 x 13-inch sheet pan, evenly press the dough. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool.
For the filling
  1. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter, sea salt, vanilla extract and heavy cream until fluffy. Spread the peanut butter filling evenly over the pre-baked bar base.

For the topping

  1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter and chocolate together until smooth. Spread evenly over the peanut butter filling using an offset spatula. Let chill. Cut into 3-inch squares.

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