Friday, January 28, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Revel Bars

Hello there foodie friends! I can't believe that it's been nearly a year since I last posted. Goodness! Let me share with you a brief explanation to my absence the last twelve months. 

Not long after my last post, my beloved Granny was not feeling well. She was taken to the hospital where we were informed that she was riddled with cancer in her abdomen. Granny was a tiny, little thing standing at her full height of 4'10" on a good day and MAYBE weighed 85 pounds. The cancer made her stomach protrude like she was 5 month's pregnant and with every passing day, she grew a little more. The good Lord gave us six beautiful days from her diagnosis to her passing to share lots of tears, heart-felt laughter, precious memories and the opportunity to say good-bye. Granny told my kids every night that she had no regrets and was ready to go home to be with her Savior. Not many people have the chance for this kind of closure and we are so incredibly thankful for this amazing gift.

After Granny's passing, I lost my passion for baking. I've shared with you before that Granny was an incredible cook/baker and, as a child, I spent many hours at her apron strings just trying to absorb hints, tricks and her talent in the kitchen. I thought that my desire to bake had died right along with her and even thinking of blogging anything made my want to cry. The few times she looked at my blog, she oohed and ahhhed over the pictures and recipes and seemed so proud of this little blog. 

Just after Christmas, I came to the conclusion that the best way to honor Granny's memory and legacy was to get back into the saddle and begin blogging again. I can't promise regular postings, thanks to the crazy schedule with four kids' activities. But, I can tell you that I am excited to return to blogging about food and  look forward to build new friendships through this little thing I call "Christy's Kitchen Creations". I hope you'll have a seat at my kitchen table, enjoy a cup of coffee with me and let's share a recipe or two. :)

This first recipe I'm sharing with you I baked when our family was visiting from Atlanta after Christmas. Everyone in our family loves the chocolate-peanut butter combination and these bars sounded perfect to prepare for company. I have no idea why they're called "revel" bars. Maybe it's because the amazing taste of the fudgy, chocolaty middle is sandwiched between yummy oatmeal layers that leave you wanting to take just one. more. bite. ? All I do know is that the entire batch of bars was devoured in less than one day! That's a definite stamp of approval around our house.

From the heart of my kitchen to yours, may your experience be fun and the food always flavorful! Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Revel Bars
Yield: 20 large bars

14 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
3 cups quick cooking oats

For Filling:
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9- x 13- inch baking pan and line with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar and baking soda until creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour and mix until completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of bowl as you go.  Stir in the rolled oats (you may need to use a little elbow grease to mix them in).  Set dough aside.

Using your hands, evenly press about two-thirds of the oat mixture into the bottom of the baking pan.  Set the rest of the dough aside.

For the filling, combine the peanut butter, chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in a medium sized microwave safe bowl.  Heat in the microwave for 1 minute, stirring every 20 seconds, or until chocolate is melted.  Stir to make the mixture smooth, then add peanuts and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
Spread the chocolate filling evenly over the oats mixture with a rubber spatula.  Dot the remaining oat (dough) mixture over the top of the chocolate.

Bake for 22-25 minutes, until top is lightly browned.  The chocolate may still look moist.  Allow bars to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into individual bars.

Source: Pennies on a Platter


Rachel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel said...

What a beautiful post, Christy and such a wonderful way to honor your Granny!

I can't wait to try these bars! Jake and Maddie are HUGE peanut butter and chocolate fans!!!

I hope your boys are feeling better and the rest of you avoid whatever they have!

Lisa said...

I've seen chocolate revel bars before, but oh how I love your idea to add peanut butter to it. Now that really would be something to revel in. I have a linky party on my blog every week called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by tomorrow and link this up.

Melody said...

Glad to see you back! :)

Shelby said...

Christy, this really brings tears to my eyes. I'm sure you know that my grandmother is my inspiration. I cannot believe she has been gone for so long now. I'm glad you decided this would be a good way to honor her because that is exactly what I write my blog for. My nanny not only loved to bake and cook - but she wrote in a journal every single day. I feel like I am carrying on for her with what I do. Welcome back!

Patsyk said...

So sorry to hear about your Granny. What a wonderful post to honor her memory.

I'll look forward to more posts of your baking creations, this one is something I know would be a hit with everyone I know!

Mandy said...

Thank you for sharing Christy, I can understand why you haven't been blogging. Welcome back! And what a great way to make a comeback with an awesome peanut butter and chocolate combo. Yum!

I've always felt that being in my kitchen cooking is some of the best therapy I never paid for. :-)

CaSaundraLeigh said...

Aww Christy I am sooo glad your back! I always really enjoyed your blog, and I was hoping everything was ok when I didn't see anything pop up on Google Reader ever!! I am so sorry to hear about your Granny, but I am sure she is looking down and so happy with the choice you've made to continue sharing recipes and life on your blog! Are you still doing your little cookie business??

Lisa said...

Thanks for linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday. I hope you'll be able to join in again.

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