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Nut-Licious Peanut Butter Bars

 Nut-Licious Peanut Butter Bars
My friends were astonished to find out these bars were not button-busting. We nick named them bamboozled bars! —Hannah Wolters, Culleoka, Tennessee
24 ServingsPrep: 45 min. Bake: 15 min. + chilling

Ingredients

  • CRUST:
  • 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
  • FILLING:
  • 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 McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • DRIZZLE:
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

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Nut-Licious Peanut Butter Bars (continued)

Directions

  • 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 add to creamed 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: 24
  • servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1 bar equals 189 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 16 mg cholesterol, 175 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.