My friends were astonished to find out these bars were not button-busting. We nick named them bamboozled bars! —Hannah Wolters, Culleoka, Tennessee
- 1-1/2 cups reduced-fat graham cracker crumbs (about 10 whole crackers)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- NUT TOPPING:
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 12 ounces fat-free cream cheese
- 2/3 cup peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
- In a small bowl, combine crust ingredients. Press onto the bottom of a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, combine the nuts, honey and cinnamon. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 5-7 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Cool completely. Crumble mixture and set aside.
- In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, butter, confectioners' sugar and honey until smooth. Beat in the egg, vanilla and maple flavoring. Combine flour and baking powder; gradually beat into cream cheese mixture. Spread over cooled crust. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until set.
- Sprinkle nut mixture over warm filling; press in slightly. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Cool completely on a wire rack. Chill for 2 hours or until firm. Cut into bars. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Nut-Licious Peanut Butter Bars in Healthy Cooking December/January 2013, p70
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