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Best-Loved Chocolate Bars

Whenever I'm invited to a potluck with family and friends, it's understood these scrumptious bars will come with me. Our grandchildren request them when they visit. Usually, I wait until they arrive, so we can make the treats together.—Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 16 squares)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half cream
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 jar (11-3/4 ounces) hot fudge ice cream topping
  • 1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup salted peanuts

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and cracker crumbs. Cut in peanut butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk egg and cream. Add to the crumb mixture just until moistened. Set aside 3/4 cup for topping. Press the remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in ice cream topping until smooth. Spread over the crust. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips, peanuts and reserved crumb mixture.
  • Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours. Cut into bars. Refrigerate leftovers.
Editor's Note
Reduced-fat peanut butter is not recommended for this recipe.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 326 calories, 17g fat (7g saturated fat), 23mg cholesterol, 268mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (24g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.

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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • HeatherHH
    Feb 8, 2012

    These were okay, but none of us (myself and 6 children) were really that impressed with them. There are a ton of other desserts, including easy ones, that we'd rather have.

  • Domino712
    Nov 14, 2010

    I made this recipe for a crowd based on the reviews and boy did I make a mistake. They were very dry and had no appeal. Very disappointed. I had to double the recipe to feed more but followed it to a tee so maybe that had something to do with it not sure. I couldn't give the leftovers away. Will not make them again.

  • sanddeb6
    Aug 10, 2010

    I add 1/4 c. peanut better to the hot fudge

  • JFenrick
    Feb 28, 2009

    I made these for my 8th grade class and they gobbled them up. I loved the white chocolate chip tip.

  • JennyTaylor
    Jul 21, 2008

    What a rich and yummy bar! I used white chocolate chips instead of the peanuts to make them even more chocolatey!