Do you ever daydream about cinnamon rolls, or am I the only one? I could eat them all day every day. One of the very first things I decided to bake during the shelter in place order was ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls. I figured now was the time to take on a recipe that I don’t get to make that often and takes time and effort to prepare.
If I am being honest, I have a major sweet tooth and don’t even get me started on how much I love chocolate. For six glorious weeks, I have been passing the long quarantine hours cooking and baking up a storm. Most of you have probably been doing much of the same. I have made cupcakes, cookies, brownies, casseroles and everything else you can imagine. I even jumped on the bandwagon and made the obligatory banana bread.
Then, the most unfortunate thing happened to my husband and I during this pandemic: our oven and stove quit working on us. Can you believe it? What an awful time for this to be happening! I know this may not be a big deal to some, and I know there are far worse things that could have happened. But as a chef, to be without one of my most prized possessions and one of the only means I have to cook food with has got me feeling very lost. Some home cooks have Instant Pots, hot plates, or other means to whip up some tasty food but not me. I rely too heavily on my oven and stove for the majority of my cooking needs.
Just like that, I had to make due cooking on my George Foreman grill, using my microwave, or ordering way too much takeout. Our only saving grace was our grill and Pit Barrel smoker. When the weather would permit, we were at least able to grill chicken, pork, and other proteins in the interim. The real quandary for me was the side dishes and desserts. I had to forgo making mac and cheese, pasta, sautéed vegetables, and other delicious side dishes, which happen to be my specialty when my husband is grilling proteins. My favorite way of cooking is one-pan dishes like the one pictured below and that option was now taken away from me.
We were surviving and cobbling together odds and ends to make meals. Then, the sweet cravings would creep in. I was racking my brain for a way to satiate my intense chocolate desires without an oven and with what I had on hand. This was hard.
One night, out of nowhere I remembered I had everything in my pantry to make no bake peanut butter bars! I can’t tell you how happy this made me. Who doesn’t love the classic combo of chocolate and peanut butter? I am going to share with you this extremely easy yet very delicious peanut butter bar recipe that the whole family will enjoy more than the famous store-bought confections. Chances are you might have all of these ingredients sitting in your pantry too.
Peanut Butter Bars
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 sheets) finely crushed
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup + 2 T creamy peanut butter, separated
2 cups chocolate chips
- Spray a 9x9" pan with pan spray and lightly dust the bottom with powdered sugar.
- Mix the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs and confectioners’ sugar together in a medium bowl.
- Stir in the 1 cup of peanut butter and mix thoroughly.
- Press the peanut butter mixture into prepared pan evenly.
- Melt the chocolate chips with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter in the microwave.
- Start with 2 minutes, stir when starting to melt around the outside of the bowl.
- If not completely melted, use 20 second intervals in the microwave until melted.
While I am still dreaming about the day I get to bake those cinnamon rolls or anything else for that matter, I am completely satisfied with my no- bake option in this moment. If you are able to bake and would like to try our TCB Cinnamon Roll recipe, we have a great blog by Chef Sara Salzinski with the recipe and tips on how to tackle them day by day.
Now that it is getting warmer, by the time I do get my new oven, I am probably not even going to want to turn it on! I’m sure you all will be in the same mindset and turn to this wonderful no-bake dessert selection to pair with all of your outdoor barbeques coming up. The best part of this recipe is how fast it comes together and it is a great option for kids to make as well. We have some virtual grilling classes starting Memorial Day weekend and kids virtual baking classes coming up in June, so stay tuned.
- Saturday 5/23 2pm CST Brined and Smoked Pork Chops with me
- Sunday 5/24 3pm CST Grilled Strip Steaks and Chimichurri with Chef Hans Mooser
- Monday 5/25 3pm Grilled Cheese-Stuffed Burgers with me